Nyonya Dumpling with blue pea flower colour
A Nyonya in UK, Community, Condiment, Culture, Lunch, Recipes

Dragon Boat Festival: Nyonya Bak Chang with Blue Pea Flower

Bak Chang or Zongzi is made during the Dragon Boat Festival.  I have a family recipe that I have been using and love the taste. I am now trying out a new Nyonya Bak Chang recipe which has blue pea flower coloured rice and there is coconut milk as well. This recipe is also tasty, and it is the half sweet and salty type.

This time my friend came over and we made a large batch and we share the dumplings.

I have made a video to further explain the complexity of the process so that you will know exactly what the process involved. It is a long  process and involves a lot of work and it spans 2 days!

But with a bit of organisation, you will get there fairly painlessly, and end up with delicious chang.

To get more of the history behind the Dragon Boat Festival  please click to my older recipe (2017!) which has the story behind it. I have also made the Alkaline  Chang which is eaten with palm sugar syrup.

Here is another Nyonya Chang for you to try.

Nyonya Bak Chang with Blue Pea Flower

Another type of Nyonya Chang from Penang. This uses Blue Pea Flowers to get the blue rice and coconut milk to make it extra tasty. It is a sweet and salty dumpling.
Prep Time5 hours
Cook Time40 minutes
Soak time1 day
Total Time1 day 5 hours 40 minutes
Course: celebration
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: bamboo leaves, candied melon, cekur, coriander powder, Dragon Boat Festival, glutinous rice, Nyonya, palm sugar, peanuts, Penang, sugar,, white pepper corns
Servings: 32 pieces
Cost: £30.00


  • Steamer
  • chopping board and knifes
  • mixing bowls



  • 1 KG Glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Blue pea flowers, dried or fresh, Soak in 1 cup water, macerate to extract juice
  • 500 ml Thick coconut milk fresh or from a can
  • 2 tsp salt

Spice paste

  • 2 tbsp White pepper corns
  • 25 g Coriander powder
  • 100 g Garlic,  peeled
  • 40 g Cekur or lesser galangal


  • 600 g Pork Belly cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 4 tbsp Sugar or to taste
  • 250 g Candied winter melon chopped
  • 200 g Dry roasted peanuts coarsely chopped or pounded
  • 4 tbsp 4 tbsp Cooking oil


  • 2 Pandan leaves cut to 5 cm length
  • 30-40` pcs Dried bamboo leaves Soak in tepid water overnight
  • 1-2 bundles Hemp strings or ordinary strings for tying the dumplings


  • Preparation starts the night before.

Prepare the rice

  • Rinse the glutinous rice until the water runs clear.
  • Divide into 2parts.
    1/3 part (300g)is for the blue rice, 2/3 (700g) is for the white rice
  • Cover the 700g rice with water and leave overnight.
  • Soak the blue pea flowers in 1 cup of water for a long as you can. Macerate and extract the juice.
  • Soak the 300g of rice in the blue solution. Add more water to the flowers to extract more colour, enough to cover the rice with 2cm of water above it.
  • Leave to soak overnight.

Prepare the wrap

  • In a container large enough to hold the bamboo leaves, soak the leaves in tepid water.
  • Weigh the leaves down with heavy objects like a mortar and pestle or cans of beans, or other suitable weights.
  • Prepare the strings for wrapping by cutting the strings to about 1 metre lengths.
  • Gather 5 strings together and make a loop in the centre for easy handling. This will be the strings that you would tie the dumplings and each bunch will have 10 dumplings.
  • Make 3 to 4 bunches, as there will be 30+ dumplings
  • Gather all the ingredients for the next day.

Prep and cook day


    •  Drain the rice and steam it.
    •  White rice:
    • You can steam in 2 batches
    • Place the rice in a steaming tray and steam to 30 to 40 minutes until cooked, turning once or twice.   Allow extra 10 to 15 minutes if you are steaming it in 1 batch.
    • Add in the 350ml of the coconut milk, and stir.
    • Stream again for 10 minutes.
    • Remove and set aside to cool.
    • Blue rice
    • Do the same as the white rice, using the remainder of the 150ml coconut milk.

    Prepare the filling

    • Cut the pork into small cubes.
    • Put all the spice paste ingredients in a blender of chopper and chop or blend until fine. Add some water if necessary.
    • Heat 4 tbsp of cooking oil in a pan or wok. Add in the spice paste and sauté until fragrant.
    • Add in the pork and stir until cook, about 20 minutes.
    • Add a bit of water if it becomes too dry. Let the meat simmer until cook.
    • When cooked, stir in the candied winter melon and mix.
    • Dish out and leave to cool and then mix in the peanuts. Set aside

    To wrap the dumplings

    • Take 2 pieces of bamboo leaves and place one on top of the other.
    • Fold to make a cone.
    • Spoon 1 tbsp of the white rice into the cone.
    • Add in  tsp of the blue rice. Make a indentation in the centre.
    • Add in 1 tbsp of the filling.
    • Cover with 1tbsp of the white rice and 1 tsp of the blue.
    • Pack the rice tight with your hand.
    • Place 1 piece of the panda leaf on top of the rice
    • Fold over the leaves to cover the rice and fold and shape into a pyramid shape.
    • Tie with the string.
    • Repeat until you have 10 dumplings in a bunch.
    • Continue to wrap more dumplings.
    • You might have some fillings left over.

    Steam the dumplings

    • Steam the dumplings over boing water for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn once to ensure even steaming.
    • If you have small steamer, you can steam 1 bunch at a time.
    • A time saving way is to steam the 1st bunch will preparing the rest of the dumplings
    • Remove, leaveto cool and serve.



    The dumplings can keep for days, and about 2 weeks in the fridge.
    Can be frozen.
    Defrost and warm up in the microwave.

    Enjoy the wrapping and eating the dumplings!

    Cheers and please share if you like this post.

    Penang Lassie

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