Saturday, June 13, 2015

Recipe: Lye Water Rice Dumplings (Kee Chang) / 鹼水粽

Because it is the time of the year again! 

One of my favourite festive; Dragon Boat Festival! Honestly, it is a favourite because I love to eat dumplings! Hahahaha! :D 

Typically when we think of rice dumpling, savoury ones always come to mind? 

I know right! I always feel that kee chang is so UNDER-RATED! Like maybe the younger generations (I is included :PpP) may not even know there is such a type of dumpling? 

What is Kee Chang then? 

From our good friend, Wikipedia, Kee Chang is  typically eaten as a dessert item rather than as part of the main meal. The glutinous rice is treated with lye water (aqueous sodium hydroxide), or potassium carbonate, giving them their distinctive yellow colour. It contains either no filling or are filled with a sweet mixture, such as sweet bean paste. They are often eaten with sugar or light syrup.

If I didn't remember wrongly, the last time I have eaten this sweet rice dumpling was like... at least 10 years ago? Haha! 

Being a person with huge sweet tooth, I just have to make it at home! :D

ps: I don't fancy the ones outside because the taste of the lye water is too strong for my liking! #homemadeisstillthebest 

Ingredients (makes ~30 dumplings):
1 kg Glutinous Rice
1 Lye Rock (鹼水头)
~60 Dumpling Leaves (good to have more just in case some leaves are tore/unsuitable for wrapping)
Grass strands to tie

Method (source):

The day before wrapping:
1.Prepare dumpling leaves. Soak the leaves and strings in a big bucket of water. Ensure that they are fully submerge in the water. 

2. Use mortar pestle to break the lye rock into smaller pieces. Add broken lye bits into a bowl of warm water, stir until dissolved. 

3. Wash glutinous rice for few times until water runs clear. Add enough water to cover the rice. Pour in the dissolved lye water and give it a good stir. Make sure it is mixed evenly. Leave it to soak overnight. 

The day of wrapping:
1. Gently wash the soaked dumpling leaves, drain and use a cloth to wipe the leaves dry. Set aside.

2. Drain the soaked rice using colander. Once rice is well drained, you can start to wrap your dumplings. 

3. Once dumplings are wrapped, using a big pot, half fill the pot with water, bring it to boil. Once boiled, add in the rice dumplings and let it cook for 2 hours.

4. Once dumplings are cooked, remove dumplings from water and allow them tocool down before serving. 

My second time wrapping dumplings and I have to be very shameless to say that it is definitely much better than my first attempt! :P 

Honestly, it is very difficult to say provide a step-by-step guide to wrapping dumplings. You need hands-on practice! Haha! 

I remembered years back, my granny and mother tried to teach me how to wrap rice dumpling! They held my hands to guide me even! But I was just.. hopeless. Hahaha! I guess I was just not interested then? :P 

So how did I learn to wrap? 


Really, my first few dumplings are just.. UGLY. 


Eh, I'm not saying my rice dumplings are perfect now. Just not as ugly. Heh. 

Oh ya, the pot that I use to cook my dumplings! ^^

Red bean kee chang. 

Oozing goodness! 

Although tedious to make your own red bean paste, but definitely worth the effort! I find the red bean paste sold outside to be so sweet and oily! 

Loving the golden colour!!! 

Tip to achieve this golden colouring: please soak the glutinous rice with lye water OVERNIGHT. 

Anyway, when I was younger, like really in my primary school days (when I last ate kee chang), my mother always serve it along with brown sugar! But now, I have discovered gula melaka syrup! Please try! It goes so well!!! <3 

Also tried to fill some kee chang with salted egg yolk. Heh. 

Because salted egg yolk anything is always good, according to Lirong. :P 

It is a good combination of sweet and savoury! ^^

Ok, will be sharing the savoury version next. So till then~


1 comment:

  1. Hi. I'm interested in the receipe. May i know where to buy the lye rock? How do you call it in Chinese? Thanks