Here it is again…

Despite the pandemic and the lockdown and everything, time does seem to go by so very fast. Well, another year has gone past and here it is again – the Dragon Boat Festival (端午節) or the Double Fifth Festival that falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar though most will just refer to it as the Zhang Festival or the ciak zhang (eat dumplings) festival. This year, it falls on the 14th of June, today.

I used to wait patiently for it every year, hoping and praying that my good friend/ex-colleague, Richard would make some of his best-in-the-world nyonya ones so I would be able to give some to my mum, bedridden since 2007 till she passed away in 2018. All throughout our growing up years, she would make them every year, something that she learnt from Ah Hiok Ee from whom Richard inherited the skill, for us all to enjoy. Sadly, I never managed to learn it from her. We cannot buy these nyonya ones here in Sibu – we would have to buy from Kuching or the Katong ones in Singapore, or even Malacca.

This year, like before, Richard made his much-coveted dumplings and he dropped by my house to give me not a few but a whole lot…

…for me to enjoy.

In the past, as I have mentioned earlier, I would take some to give to my mum and after she had left us, I still did that – to give to my sister who also enjoyed these as much as I do. I would have done the same this year but the very thoughtful Richard told me when he passed me mine that he had stopped by my sister’s house to pass some to her. Gee!!! Isn’t he so very nice and sweet? One in a million!

I’ve kept them all specially for today except for three that I heated up the very next morning for the three of us in the house…

…to buang gian (appease the craving).

As always. they were perfectly made…

…so symmetrically conical and the meat inside was not minced but painstakingly cut into tiny cubes…

…the way it should be when it comes to nyonya chang and the fragrance of the ketumbar and the pandan plus the beautiful taste as a whole absolutely blew me away!!!

We sure enjoyed them to the max, thank you so so so much, Richard and thank you for remembering me/us every year without fail. We really owe you big time!

My missus is more into the traditional Chinese Hokkien chang that her mum used to make throughout her growing up years and like me, she never got to learn the skill from her. That is why when I come across some nice ones, I would not hesitate to buy them for her and that is not a problem here as those are sold all over town. You only need to know where to go for the good ones…and thanks to my ex-student/lawyer friend, Louis, we still have the ones he gave me that day in the freezer so we can take them out today for my missus to eat in keeping with the heritage, our Chinese tradition, thank you once again, Louis.

To all celebrating, a very Happy Dragon Boat Festival (端午節)! Do enjoy eating your changs!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

14 thoughts on “Here it is again…”

  1. I only like bak Chang, be it Hockkien or Nyonya. I am not into those with salted egg yolk or yam paste. The other day I had some very nice bak Chang which my son bought for me, pork and some with salted egg yolk and of course when I eat I dig out the salted egg yolk and give it to him. I like how your friend use the kiam chye to tie his bak Chang. I for one will not buy those using nylon string to tie.

    1. Same here, will never buy any using rafea. They have mini ones at the Malay kueh stall here, chicken and they taste a bit like like nyonya which we cannot get here. But because they are tied with nylon string, I simply would not bother to buy.

      I love salted egg in Hokkien chang though but not the ladies in the house so I will only buy those without. I’m ok with yam paste, sweet, not anything I would be looking for specifically.

  2. Happy Dragon Boat Festival. I still have changs in my freezer, Nyonya, kee chang,, Hakka and Hokkien. I think can last us this week. Haha.

    Cannot eat a lot as it will cause indigestion and gastric so hubby and I have to take them slowly. Kids not keen to take them. The boys used to like them when they were younger but not anymore.

    1. Oh? We do not have such problems eating chang, just my late father before. even though he did enjoy nyonya chang very much. The pulut caused stomach discomfort and indigestion so he would complain after eating.

      I just had a Hakka chang this morning…for the first time in my life. Blogpost on it done already, will be coming out in my blog in a few days.

      I must go slow on glutinous rice, all that starch, all the hidden sugar, so i would have to limit myself to one per day to the most.

  3. Have eaten one for lunch and after my lunch, my friend dropped by to give me 2 of her Nyonya changs.. so nice of her… so I will be saving them for another day…. One chang can last me many many hours! Talk about old age!

    1. LOL!!! You are so good, such wonderful self-control. In my case, if not for my having to abstain from (too much) pulut, I would have finished off 2 or 3 in one go!!!

  4. Ooohh!! Lucky you! Always so blessed with abundance LOL! No changs for me this year, I did not buy any unlike last year when I had a gala time sampling so many changs.

    1. Yes, I am indeed so blessed – I must have done something good in my previous life. LOL!!!

      You did not order food delivery? I saw some ads on Facebook, none in Sibu, of course. Thankfully, I had more than enough for us to observe the tradition without my having to go out to buy.

  5. Yeah we had lots of chang too. 🙂 This is the second year we need to celebrate this festival being confined to the 4 walls of our home.

    1. We did not celebrate, just ate the dumplings to preserve the tradition, our heritage. No mood to celebrate seeing how the situation does not seem to be getting any better. Getting worse by the day, so depressing!

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