Nyonya Meat Dumpling | Nyonya Zhang | 端午节 [Nyonya Cooking]

Nyonya Meat Dumpling | Nyonya Zhang | 端午节 [Nyonya Cooking]


Hi guys, welcome to Nyonya Cooking! One of the most celebrated festivals by the Chinese community in Malaysia is the Dragon boat festival or also known as ‘zhang’ festival The word ‘zhang’ comes from a ‘hokkien’ word which is a Chinese dialect That is from the word ‘ba zhang’ which means meat dumplings Meat dumplings are widely known across Asia and you can find various types of them Even in Malaysia, on this special festival, you can find different types of meat dumplings So, today I’m going to show you a very special one from the ‘nyonya cuisine or the ‘peranakan’ cuisine That is the ‘nyonya zhang’ It’s special because of the spices that we used in it So, how this festival came about? It is said that this festival is used to remember the sacrifice that is made by a Chinese poet who jumped into a river and drowned himself because he wanted to show that he was against corruption So, the locals made these rice dumplings and threw them into the river so that fishes will not feed on the body of this Chinese poet So today… this is a legend I’m going to show you how to prepare your own ‘nyonya zhang’ at home We are going to go through a very exciting list of ingredients So, let’s begin now The list of ingredients begins with the bamboo leaves These are the bamboo leaves that I got from the Asian market They are dried, sold in a pack and within the pack…along with the pack, it comes with the bamboo strings as well If you don’t find the bamboo strings in them, you may also get hemp strings as well It works perfectly fine Then, what I have here is also ‘pandan’ leaves, glutinous rice, some oil, fermented bean paste or ‘taucu’ and some black pepper Over here, I have some minced mushrooms, minced garlic, coriander powder and some chicken breasts The next ingredient that I have here is to add some sweetness to the ‘nyonya zhang’ This is the sweetened melon bar So, these are actually eaten just as it is, as sweets Over here, I’d chopped them up It is known that it has medicinal benefits as well The most exciting ingredient on the list is these butterfly pea flowers These flowers are known to give some colour to the food that we cook It is very well known in the ‘nyonya’ cuisine as well So, I have these flowers dried and they were sent to me by my parents They plucked them fresh, dried them in the sun and sent them to me through the mail I don’t think so you can get them at the Asian market, unfortunately If you don’t have this, you have to skip it Because these bamboo leaves are dried, we’re going to soften them first What we have here is that… I have a pan here filled with water I’m going to boil the water and then soak these leaves into this pan of water So, this will soften the leaves and then we’re going to leave them aside After taking the bamboo leaves out of the pan, remember to rinse them really well Now, I’m going to just wipe it dry using a paper towel After this, do not forget to also put in the strings because they’re slightly hard at the moment We’re going to soften them by putting them into the pan When softening the strings, all you want is to make sure that these strings are manageable so they can be twirled because they will be used to tie the dumplings later on Using a glad wrap, I’m going to cover this bowl We’re going to leave this aside overnight The next thing is to work on the chicken breasts that we have here So, we’re going to blanch this in a pot of hot water You do not need to cook this chicken hundred percent We’re just going to blanch it and make sure that the outer layer is white and then, bring it out By blanching the chicken, we are actually getting rid of the poultry smell that we get from the chicken Besides that, it is easier when we want to mince the chicken So, do not worry that it is not fully cooked because we are going to fry it later on We’re going to start by mincing the chicken over here We’re going to leave it aside in this bowl here We can finally begin to cook So, with a bit of oil, I have this pan heated up here A very tiny bit of oil A bit of garlic… few quick stirs This is when we’re going to add in the mushrooms Once you smelled that it’s fragrant, it is time to scoop it out and put it into a little plate or a bowl Once again, with a tiny bit of oil… very little a little bit of garlic I’m going to put in this black pepper Just give it a few quick stirs and then, once it’s fragrant, we’re going to bring it out again Lastly, I’m going to add the rest of the garlic Also remember to add a bit of oil if the pan is not oily Then, I’m going to add this fermented bean paste So, we’re going to add the coriander powder but before that, add a bit of water to create a paste Then, we’re going to pour it into the pan Add the black pepper back into the pan together with the mushrooms and the minced meat Also, do not forget the sweetened melon bars Add about half a tablespoon of water Less is more, as usual The only thing that you need to do now is just to saute this mixture to let the chicken cook Then, also add some salt to taste until the excess water is all dried up Do not cook it too long because you don’t want the meat to be fully dried This is ready right now and I’m going to scoop it into a bowl here This smells really good… aahh… We’ll leave this aside and this will be the filling for the dumplings As for the glutinous rice, what are we going to do with it? So, I have another bowl here All I’m going to do is to take 1/4 of this glutinous rice and I’m going to soak it in the water that has these butterfly pea flowers So, you can imagine some of it would be blue and some of it would be white We’re going to soak this glutinous rice overnight and it must be soaked for at least 8 hours before we can use it As for the rest of the glutinous rice, I’m just going to pour water onto it and we’re going to soak it overnight The only ingredient that I did not work on is the ‘pandan’ leaf I’m going to show you what I’m going to do with it tomorrow Till now, we’re taking a break We’re going to put everything aside Put this minced meat into the refrigerator as well Do not forget that So, I’ll see you tomorrow Hi guys, this is Day 2 Today, we are going to wrap the dumplings As to what I did with the strings here is to just tie a knot and make sure there is a place for you to hook Using an ‘S’ hook, I’m just going to hook it here and look for something like the handle of a cabinet So, like for example, over here Over here, I have the glutinous rice ready and this one is dyed in blue colour As for the ‘pandan’ leaf, I’d cut it into length of about 3 to 4 cm each So, we have a few This ‘pandan’ leaf… we’ll slip it into the dumpling so that it’ll give extra fragrance to the dumplings To wrap one dumpling, you’ll need 2 pieces of the bamboo leaves So, remember to take 2 and have the shiny part or the smooth part of the bamboo leaves facing you That is where the filling will be, in the bamboo leaves Place them both overlapping each other and then, we’re going to make a cone out of it We’ll now start with filling in the blue coloured glutinous rice So, what I like to do usually with the filling is to just grab a bit and shaped it These are minced meat and if you do not shape it and when you put it in, it will mix with the glutinous rice and then you know, it’ll all fall apart Then, the white glutinous rice After that, just take a ‘pandan’ leaf As you can see, we have a very beautiful cone and the ‘pandan’ leaf is sticking out So, I’m just going to push this down and then we’re going to fold this closed Then, take the tip and fold it either left or right It’s up to you Now to tie, take one string and then go over the dumpling Try to tie it as tightly as possible There you go… the first dumpling So, when you’d tied all of them, then you can put them into a pot of boiling water We’re going to boil them for about 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours Now, the problem is, there are many tragic stories whereby these dumplings might just opened up during the boiling process and that’s it You can’t pick the dumplings up It cannot be eaten So, because we want to avoid that as we are not professional dumplings wrappers What I like to do is to secure it with a different string You may use a hemp string, of course What I’m just using here is a normal red colour string Now, I can be quite sure that these dumplings will not fall apart during the boiling process So, I have the dumplings here all wrapped While I was wrapping these dumplings, I boiled some water here in a pot Now that it’s boiling, they’re ready to go in So, we’re going to boil this for about 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours Leave it there and as time passed by, if you feel that the water had gone down, you can always add boiling water to it Do not add cold water because it will disturb the temperature of the boiling process That’s what we do not want So, I’ll see you guys in a while Now, it had been about 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours So, we’re going to take them out They’re ready We’re going to leave them here so that the excess water will drip off Then, once it’s slightly drier, we can start eating So, I’ll give it another 15 to 30 minutes We’ll just hang these up Now, I’m going to pick one and we’re going to cut it off here Normally back home, my mom will make a big bunch… like 50 of these dumplings to give out to friends and family members Now, I have one to myself We’re going to open it to see how it looks like inside So, you can see there’s the shade of blue color on the top and below is the white colour If you want a darker shade of blue, add more (butterfly pea) flowers so you’ll get a darker shade of blue So now, it’s time to try this So… Hmmm… It was a mouthful… I just love the filling of this dumpling I told you earlier, ‘nyonya’ dumpling has this kind of taste and it’s because of the coriander powder That is why this is so special…and also because of the fermented bean paste You can’t really taste it that strongly but it’s there There’s a hint of it The sweetness from these melon bars is really one of its kind It’s not like when you use sugar It’s different So, try this recipe if you love dumplings, this is one recipe that you should try Once you’d tried it, as usual, instagram photos, please I would love to see them or even on facebook, twitter or google+ Remember to subscribe to Nyonya Cooking As usual, I hope to see you in the next video Happy Cooking!

60 thoughts on “Nyonya Meat Dumpling | Nyonya Zhang | 端午节 [Nyonya Cooking]”

  1. Sorry Grace, but this is one recipe I won't knowingly eat. No, not the dumpling but the chicken. Traditionally this is and MUST be made with pork and I will never compromise by substituting with chicken, the taste isn't and will never be the same. Its like I mentioned before, never use pork for rendang and this is the other situation, never use chicken for nonya zhang.

  2. What a wonderful story behind this recipe! A shame the poor poet had to go that far! The butterfly pea flower looks like an amazing ingredient.These dumplings look wonderful & I can understand why its made for special occasions. I think I will leave this one for you experts to make. Have a great week & thank you 🙂

  3. Ehhh.. I also make dumplings every year at my relative's house. But the shape of her dumpling is pretty off-shaped. It's supposed to be a pyramid shaped. There's many ways of shaping the dumpling though. 

  4. I always feel that foods that require a lot of time, effort and skill generally taste very good. Well done!

  5. The Nyonya zhang looks very delicious! It looks different from the Chinese kinds because of coriander, taucu, winter melon candy, and pandan leaf. In mainland China, it is called zong zi(粽子)and there are many variations of the filling in every region.

  6. Hi Grace, I can't help feeling disappointed that chicken meat was used instead of pork. I love Nyonya dumplings a lot and to me, no other meat can replace the fragrance of  pork meat as it's main ingredient. Than again, different people have their own preference, and this is your cooking show. I am still enjoying your other videos but I have to give this video a miss.

  7. These look delicious Grace, tried Nyonya food while travelling through Malaysia, ending up in Melaka where the food was stunning! I practise your recipes on my long suffering family, this is one I will keep for a special occasion. Would I be able to use Pandan extract instead of the fresh leaf?

  8. I love this!  But I will substitute chicken with pork.  Another great recipe Grace!  Greetings from Malaysia!  🙂

  9. This Nyonya Zhang, can I use the Daun Ketupat (of Ketupat Palas) to wrap it instead of the bamboo leaves? Would it affect the taste?

  10. Good effort but something is missing …must be the shape of the wrapped up dumplings!   Look forward to the next video. 

  11. Awesome babe. …..am gonna do some for myself tomorrow….suddenly a carving for nonya dumplings and will hunt for the ingredients tomorrow. …..thanks. you're a saviour……

  12. Hi, may I know the glutinous rice that u prepared… Did u use all to wrap meat dumpling??? How many dumpling did u make??? Thanks… Love ur channel

  13. Hi Grace,

    I hav a few request list …Long Tong,  Mee Soto, Malay Chicken Rice,  Curry Puff, Chendol….
    You can pick from the list. .of course it will be great if you can share all.
    Thanks in advance.

  14. Hi Grace,

    I hav a few request list …Long Tong,  Mee Soto, Malay Chicken Rice,  Curry Puff, Chendol….
    You can pick from the list. .of course it will be great if you can share all.
    Thanks in advance.

  15. I am attracted to eat chinese dumplings from early of this year but I'm always thinking that dumpling is difficult to make.I'm just bought the frozen one,but just found more japanese dumplings than the chinese/nyonya dumplings here in Kelantan,Malaysia and they are different in taste I think.Glad that you post the nyonya dumpling recipe and it is an easy one to make.Hope that more famous chinese dumplings recipes are on this channel in future. 😀 And FYI in Kelantan we used that butterfly pea flower as a food coloring to cook the 'Kelantan Blue rice' or 'Nasi Kerabu'. Have you tried to eat this dishes? You will love the taste so much. 😀 https://www.google.com.my/search?q=kelantan+nasi+kerabu&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=OyMyVIfeJIK2uATj_oCgCA&ved=0CDkQ7Ak&biw=1138&bih=521

  16. I'm loving your cooking channel and all your recipes. Thank you for posting. Looking forward for your next video 😀

  17. Hello Grace! Is there a substitute ingredient if I do not have winter melon to make the ba zhang? 🙂 Your videos are so inspiring!! I'm gonna try to make the ba zhang this week for my class. May I ask how long can you store them for?
    Thank you in advance!!

  18. like it ^_^,i ordy try do tht it so yummy hihi…how about carrot cake do you have the video on you youtube?i want to try make it..

  19. you always make me hungry when you taste your food lol..all the more reason to make my own, Thanks again for the recipe. 🙂

  20. I loved it when you gave the history behind this dumpling. It's so cool to learn more about a culture's food than just the ingredients.

  21. what a cool video of Zongzhi making… im trying to find a simple way to wrap the zongzhi.. thanks for helping 😍😍😍

  22. The lady was right not chicken,s breast I know this very well because my mom is Nyoman to shoe is very good cook and she often make this. Dumpling with pork very good cook love my mom ,s cook I miss her cooking very much now mom is not here any more .

  23. i personally think using plastic wrapper would a good alternative for the wrapper.. i never try before but considering nasi impit used plastic as a sbtitute to the leave wrapper.. mybe the same principle can be applied to this dish 🙂

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