Across Asia, the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese Lunar New Year heralds the arrival of thumping drums and the comforting aroma of rice dumplings. Yes, it’s time for the annual Dragon Boat Festival (14 June 2021). This year, celebrations aren’t easy with many of us stuck in our homes during the pandemic. So to help, we present this classic Bak Zhang recipe (the bun version) that’s guaranteed to get you into the spirit of the festival.
What is Bak Zhang?
Essentially, Bak Zhang is a meat-based sticky rice dumpling. They are also referred to as Zongzi, a term more familiar among older generation Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia. There are countless variations of Bak Zhangs among all the different Chinese communities — be it from the Cantonese, Teochews or the Hokkiens.
How long can freshly-made Bak Zhangs be kept?
If stored in the fridge, they will remain good to consume within the next seven days. Though this dish tastes at its best when served immediately while piping hot.
Pro-tip: To ensure your cooked food lasts longer, do always sauté your spices and meat filling a little longer than usual to ensure that your ingredients are fully cooked. This leaves less chance for harmful bacteria to grow during its time in the fridge.
This time, we’re changing up the traditional look of the Bak Zhang and making it into a bun instead! No bamboo leaves required. Now let’s get down to business.