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Friday, June 8, 2012

Our Homemade Ham Yoke Joong / Bak Chang (Dumplings)

My mil makes very tasty ham yoke joong / bak chang aka dumplings. Her dumplings are very big, has lots of 'liu' or ingredients and is so filling that my 3 girls and I can share just 1 joong for our lunch or dinner. Ever since the kids came along, she has not made them. For 9 years, I have been waiting for her to make them. In some years, she was away in Hong Kong or New Zealand. In some years, she had do babysit Alycia and Sherilyn (when I saw still working full-time). And in some years, she just did not have the mood to make them. But this year, the timing was right and she was just gamed to make her tasty ham yoke joong! Preparation was very time consuming and tedious. If you have no patience and time, you can never make a tasty ham yoke joong. She had to fry the glutinous rice grains, soak the mushrooms, de-skinned mung beans, lotus seeds, black eye peas, separate the duck's egg yoke from the white, wash the leaves, fry the dried shrimps before pounding them, fry the Chinese sausages, etc. She did everything on her own. When it was time to wrap the joong, she asked Alycia and Sherilyn to help and the 2 rascals had a lot of fun messing up   lending a helping hand.

2 future Junior Master Chefs at work...

All the 'lius' aka ingredients...

Fried Chinese sausages, black eye peas, dried Chinese chestnuts, soaked and de-skinned mung beans, fried glutinous rice, all waiting to be wrapped in the fragrant leaves...

MIL wrapping the joong. You need to have really good wrapping and tying skill, else all the ingredients will escape from any unwrapped 'holes' into the pot of boiling water.

A joong that I can eat without any qualm or fear that it will cause any detrimental effect to my health and that of my kids. If you had read the newspapers last year, it was reported that most of the ham yoke joong sold in the market had some sort of chemical in them, that may cause kidney failure if ingested in large quantities.  After reading this news, I had avoided joong, though I love them very much.

Gigantic pillow joong bursting with ingredients. And they are low in sodium and free from food additives and preservatives.

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