The dumplings festival is about 2 weeks away but these dumplings are already on sale in hotels and of course you can also buy these dumplings at markets for a few ringgit each. Price will differ depending on the ingredients used. Some of the common ingredients would be pork belly (the fatter it is the better), dried shrimps, chinese mushrooms, salted duck egg yolk, dried oyster and chestnuts or split mungbeans. Hotel chefs are now coming up with ever increasing flavours to entice customers to buy their dumplings which are usually priced very exhorbitantly. Suffice to say, it's much cheaper to make your own, if you know how. Since this is a long weekend, I'd decided to make these dumplings. My ingredients are pretty basic, just pork, dried shrimps,mushrooms and salted egg yolks. Blackeyed beans are mixed into the rice for easier assembling.
Now see if I am hardworking enough to try the sweet or nyonya version!
I just used the basic ingredients for these dumplings, but you can add more if you wish:-
1.5kg glutinous rice, wash and soak overnight before using;
About 40-50 pieces of bamboo leaves depending on how large or small your dumplings are, soak overnight to soften;
Some jut strings or if you can't find any, tie a bunch of rafia strings together, make a loop to hang it on a hook for easy tying of your wrapped up dumplings
100 gm of dried shrimps,
1 bulb garlic minced;
2 strips pork belly, try to choose fat ones, cut into bite sizes and season with salt, pepper and sesame oil
10 chinese mushrooms soaked and quartered
15 salted duck eggs - only use the yolk, halved
300g of blackeyed peas (or more if you wish), soak overnight
Have ready 5 spice powder, salt, pepper, thick soy sauce, oyster sauce and of cos vegetable oil.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok, add 1 tsp of garlic and fry the shrimps till it's fragrant and slightly crunchy. Set aside.
Using the same wok, add 2 more tablespoons of oil and 1 tsp of garlic, fry till garlic is fragrant, then add mushrooms. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Add 5-6 tablespoon of oil to the wok again and 2 tsp of garlic, fry till garlic is fragrant then add pork belly. Fry till the meat is cook on the outside, then add 2 tablespoons of thick soy sauce, a tsp of 5 spice powder and 2 tbspn of oyster sauce, add 2-4 tbspn of water and stir for a couple of minutes to combine. Dish out and set aside.
Lastly, add 1/2 cup of oil into the wok and the remaining garlic. Fry till garlic is fragrant then add the blackeyed peas. Fry for a minute and then add the rice. Use small fire to avoid burning the bottom. Sprinkle about 1 tbspn of 5 spice powder, 3 tbspn of oyster sauce, 3 tbspn of thick soy sauce (or less if you do not like your dumplings to be too dark), and salt to taste. If you find the rice is too dry, add a couple more tablespoon of oil. If too little oil is used, the rice will stick to the leaves when cooked.You can switch off the fire at this point and use a spatula to combine the ingredient evenly to the rice. Dish out and set aside.
Arrange all ingredients so that they are easily accesible. I hang a hook on the handle of my kichen cabinet above my sink which is convenient as some sauce will drip out of the dumplings.
Now you are ready to assemble and wrap your dumplings. I guess you have to follow the pictures above to get a rough idea of how to do it. I managed to get about 25 dumplings. Make sure you have pot large enough to hold all your dumplings and fill it halfway with water and boil when you are half way through completing your dumplings. When all are ready, put the dumplings into the now boiling pot of water and boil on medium fire for 2 hours or till the dumplings are cooked. Add boiling water once the water level decreased as you boil the dumplings.
Remove from the pot once the dumplings are cooked and hang it out to drip dry or leave in a colander to remove access water.
Enjoy the fruit of your labour warm or at room temperature, with chilli sauce or like me, eat it on its own. I find them flavorful enough.