Well, I like both. Hehe :)
There are many types of rice dumplings out there. Cantonese, Hokkien, savory, sweet and the list goes on...
Year over year passed by, I longed wanted to eat her dumplings. But she ignored me. Ever since my father passed away, the more she don't have the interest to make dumplings anymore. I had been begging her for 2 years, just to ask her to teach me how to make this. As usual, I get ignored. I don't wanna let this rice dumpling tradition to fade away. Not in my family. Not at my generation. I wanna let my future child to be able to taste this! And till now, I still couldn't find a shop-bought rice dumpling (in Singapore I mean) that can really wow me. And the price of a good quality rice dumpling in Singapore is like a price of gold!
Me : Hello Ma, I'm going to get the ingredients ready. What should I buy?
Mama : Leaves, glutinous rice, pork, mung bean, dried shrimps and bla bla bla.... Standard la.
Me : Urgh! Erm...Okays.. What is the quantity?
Me : ??? How to ??? U at least must tell me a rough guide right?
She win liao (-___-)
Day 1 (Purchase and Preparation)
2. 1kg pork belly - cut into 50 pieces of big chunks, about 20g each piece. 300g pork fats - cut into 50 pieces, about 6g each piece. Marinade both pork belly and fats and keep it in air tight container and straight to the fridge. It is always better to marinade your meat 2 days in advance. Your meat will taste more flavorful. You could pack them in a plastic bag to differenciate the sizes of meat if you wish. I did that at the begining. But later, my mama says that it is not necessary. Just agak-agak will do. So, she end up ask me to mix both pork belly and fats together. Urgh!
3. Skinned your shallot and garlic. Put it in a container, keep it in the fridge.
1. Prepare dumpling leaves :
b) Let the whole pot of leaves cool down on it's own. I leave it there and I go to work. By the time I return home from work, my leaves are well soaked and turned soft enough.
d) Use a cloth to wipe the leaves piece by piece. By doing that, your leaves will be dry from water, but moist enough to use.
* Please bear in mind that you cannot do this too early. If you are using the leaves the next day morning, the earliest you can do this is the night before you sleep. If you do it too early, your leaves will dry up and crumpled together.
2. Prepare the rest of the ingredients :
a) Wash glutinous rice for several times, until you don't see the milky residue any more. Soak the washed rice in water overnight.
b) Wash chinese mushrooms several times to remove dirt. Soak overnight. When it is soft enough, remove the stem and scissor the mushroom into half. You won't need such a big piece of mushroom in your dumpling.
c) Wash chestnuts, soak it for half hour. Use a sharp object (eg.knife/fork) to remove the membrane and dirt from the chestnut. Wash again, and soak overnight.
d) Cut salted egg yolks into half, keep them in air-tight container and straight to the fridge.
e) Take out your skinned garlic and shallots from the fridge. Finely chopped. Keep it in a container and put it back to the fridge.
f) Take out your marinated meat and fats and check. If you are wrapping them in a plastic bag (like me), give your plastic bag a few squeeze. To kinda even up the marinate mixture, so that every piece of meat are evenly marinated. If you are marinating it in a big container, just use spoon to give your meat a mix, and put it back to the fridge.
Day 3 (Wrap Dumpling Day)
1. Use a big wok, stir fry all the ingredients. (Refer to the seasoning ratio and stir fry accordingly)
- 1st - Stir fry dried shrimps.
- 2nd - Stir fry mushrooms.
- 3rd- Stir fry chestnuts.
- 4th - Stir fry green beans.
- Lastly - Stir fry glutinous rice.
All ingredients are ready now.
For the assembly part...
- A scoop of glutinous rice. Create a well in there.
- Add in some dried shrimps in.
- Continued with mushrooms, chestnut and salted egg yolks
- Add a piece of pork and a piece of pork fats.
- A scoop of mung bean.
- And cover with about 2 scoops of glutinous rice. Press it down gently before wrapping up.
Actually assembly part is easy, wrapping part is not. There's a reason why my mama insisted on the assembly sequence.
At one end of the rice, there's sweetness of dried shrimp. At another end, there's generous amount of mung bean. The existence of that piece of sinful pork fats is not for us to eat. We discard them when we eat actually. It is to add a pleasant fragrance and moist to the mung bean and the rest of the ingredients. Do take note that the taste of the mung bean plays a big part to derive the yumminess of the dumpling. You won't wanna eat bland and beans don't ya? So, the dried shrimps must be at one end, the mung bean and pork fats must be at the other end. So that the flavor will be evenly distributed and it won't have conflict.
Oh well, that's mama's logic :)
It is now ready to cook! Excited!!! Gan-cheong-ness!!! :D
Remember to always check the water level. You must ensure that the water level is always enough to cover up the dumplings. So, adding water frequently is a MUST. Don't be lazy. You won't want to eat half-cooked dumplings right? Look at the water level here. This is the right water level.
After 2.5 hours cooking. Dumplings are done. Remove from water immediately and hang it up, leave it air dry for at least 1 hour. But I have to confess that I will never have the patience to wait for 1 hour. Haha...
You could see that I didn't tie my dumplings tight enough. Look at the grass strands, it's loosen up already. My mama says that my "kung-fu" is not good enough yet. Well, I agree with her totally. Need more practise.
These are all my effort. Total 47pcs. Some are really ugly. And you could tell that I'm the one who did it.
Tired. Perspiring all over. I wanna bathe!!!
But there's alot of things in the basin waiting for me to wash up. And the worst part is to see my
maid husband is sitting outside enjoying his fave TV show. Urgh!
This is the one that I wrapped. The shape is flatter, and not that appealing. Follow my paternal grandma's wrapping method. It uses 3 dumpling leaves. The wrapping method is much easier and fool proof. So, it is great for 1st timer like me. Looking at the shape, I'm not proud of it. But as long as the taste is great, I don't really bother. At least for now. Haha....
The old fashioned savory rice dumpling that I don't think anybody could resist.
This is my Mama's dumpling. Uses 2 dumpling leaves only. The shape is sexy, proudly tall and nice-ass looking. The usual dumpling shape that we saw out there. This method of wrapping need abit of "kung-fu" here. My Mama insisted me to master the easy wrapping way before I learn this.
Although there's alot of shit-ass work and it's really mad tiring for doing all the washing. But I think, I will still make it next year. I'm gonna stick to this ratio and I'm gonna burnt charcoal to cook my dumplings!
My future residential area have lots of space to allow me to burnt charcoal! I'm gonna make even more delicious dumplings next year! Weeee~!!!