G2 Jalan Puteri 2/6,
Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor.
Tel: 03-8052 0181
Business hours 9.30am to 9.30pm, daily.
NINE hours is how long it takes to cook a two-kilogramme giant bak chang (glutinous rice meat dumpling), which when shared among seven people, can be finished in a matter of minutes.
Filled with many handfuls of ingredients like roast chicken, roast duck, roast pork, mushroom, rice, dried shrimp and dried oyster, this huge dumpling takes about five minutes to wrap.
In contrast to the normal-sized bak chang, it only takes about a minute or two to wrap one and about seven hours to cook.
“You don’t see this giant dumpling sold in many places because not many people know how to tie it as it is pretty big,” said third-generation bak chang master Lor Kah Fai, who demonstrated how to wrap the dumpling at Penang One restaurant in Puchong.
The Penangite has his late grandfather to thank. He learned how to wrap a giant dumpling in Guangzhou and brought it back here to start a bak chang business in 1938.
Apart from the giant dumpling wrapped in bamboo and lotus leaves, Lor’s grandfather also passed down his recipes for a few types of dumplings, which he then learned after his father took over the family business in 1963.
“Different areas have different types of dumplings, from the colour to the ingredients and even the way it is wrapped and prepared,” said Lor, who runs Cintra Food Corner.
For example, the Hokkien bak chang is usually dark brown colour filled with pork, egg yolks, mushrooms and chestnuts.
Being one of his best-sellers, apart from the giant dumpling, the rice for the Hokkien dumpling is fried first with soy sauce and other seasoning before being wrapped. It is then cooked for another seven hours or more.
Meanwhile, the Cantonese and Hakka dumpling is white and filled with mung beans and white beans for the latter, in addition to rice and other ingredients.
Watching Lor wrap the various dumplings were diners and also special needs children from the Achievers Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) centre nearby.
“Lor is one of the oldest and most popular bak chang makers in Penang and his dumplings stand out comparatively to others, which is why we invited him to do a demonstration,” said Penang One general manager Gary Teoh.
Teoh, who runs a Penang hawker food concept restaurant which promises patrons only the best street food shipped in daily from the island, is now working with Lor to bring in the dumplings.
For the third year running, he is doing this with the aim to not only keep tradition alive and promote the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival on June 9, but also to educate his patrons about the various dumplings.
“We want our diners to know what makes a good dumpling and what sort of ingredients are used,” he said.
All the dumplings are available for either dining in or for take away, but prior bookings are required for take away orders.
Bookings can be made until May 31, one week before the Dragon Boat Festival.
“We don’t make the dumplings here as we get it delivered fresh from Lor. However, those dining in will only get to have what is available in stock daily at the shop,” he said.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.