Alkaline dumplings or zongzi, is a sweet dumpling, wrapped in bamboo leaves and it is made in conjunction with the dragon boat festival, or Zongzi festival. Also known as Kee Chang, We usually make 2 kinds of dumplings, the savoury ones like the bak chang, filled with meat and this, the sweet type which is served with palm sugar syrup. Some people serve it with kaya or coconut curd.
Way back when I was in Malaysia, My mother and I would cut the bamboo leaves from the bamboo trees. It was and itchy adventure as there were lots of little stings on the leaves and trunks. It wasn’t a fun thing to do. We then sort the leaves and clean them. The smaller leaves were used to make this.
This dumpling is less complicated as it there is not cooking of the filings. In fact there is no filling at all in this recipe.
Here is the recipe below.
Here are some links to other types of Zonzi, or bak chang that I have made previous:
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Cheers, Penang Lassie
Alkaline Dumplings ZongZi, Kee Chang
- 1 Pot for boiling
- 1 collander
- 500 g Glutinous rice- picked rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ tbsp. Alkaline water
- ¼ tsp Borax Pheng sey
- 50 to 60 Bamboo leaves soaked overnight and wipe cleaned
- 1 ball Vine Or string for tying
- 3 litres Water
- 3 tsp Akaline water
- 2 tsp Borax
- 300 g Palm sugar
- 250 ml Water
- 1 Pandan leave
Soak the bamboo leaves
- Soak the leaves in warm/hot water overnight.Rinse and wipe the leaves and drain.
Prepare the Strings
- Cut the strings to to about 180cm and fold into 2.
- Bunch 5 strings together at the centre and twist to make a loop. Secure it with a knot.
- Make about 3 bunches
Prepare the rice
- Soak the rice in water to about 3 cm above the rice. Add in the alkaline water and borax. Mix well and let it soak for about 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain and give the rice 1 rinse. Leave to drain.
To pack the dumplings:
- Use 2 bamboo leaves to form a cone, then add in 2 tablespoon or so of the rice. Make sure that the rice is half to 2/3 full. Wrap the leaves to form a pyramid and tie with the string/vine. Repeat until all the rice is wrapped up. If you can hear the rice when you shake the cone, you have done it correctly.
To cook the dumplings:
- In a big pot put in the water, alkaline and borax. Put the dumplings in making sure that the water covers the dumplings. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 hours. Turn the dumplings twice to ensure even cooking.
- Lift the dumpling out when it is done and let it drain.
- Serve warm or cold with the syrup.
To Make the syrup:
- Put in the palm sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the syrup becomes thick and coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain into a clean container or jar and leave to cool. Can keep in the fridge for weeks.