The making of bazhang in SF

Oh yeah – I’m here in San Francisco! Ain’t gonna see the seals in ferry terminal nor the golden gate bridge but I rather stay home to make bazhang!😎😎😎

Turn on Spotify, let the summer breeze in – it’s a beautiful sunny 20 degrees n I can’t wait. Forget the jet lag n let’s get going.

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Touring the Golden Gate bridge on a previous visit during winter.

Bazhang is rice dumplings

I was planning on making the bazhang in Singapore, freeze n hand deliver via a 14 hour flight. I actually made on 2 consecutive days first, 2 kgs then another kg on the next day.

Already made 2+1 kg in Singapore to give away b4 flying to San Francisco

But I knew customs (US border security) will not allow, they actually confiscated my bakwa (BBQ pork jerky) on my previous trip. So I brought in the dry ingredients n bought the meat from Safeway here in the Missions district.

Ingredients

Typically, it’s 1 kg  glutinous rice to 1 kg pork (I usually ask for shoulder), 100 grams dry shiitake mushrooms, garlic, 5 spice powder, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, pepper salt, dried prawns, dried scallops, sugared winter melon.

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Prep the ingredients.

1) Wash the glutinous rice n soak it for at least 3 hours.

2) Wash n soak the dried shiitake mushrooms till soft.

3) Wash the bamboo leaves, the strings n let it soak till soft for ease in use. Alternativly use hot water to scald n soften the leaves.

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4) To prep the pork,  cut the pork into 3cm cubes. Scald with boiling water, throw water away n marinate pork cubes with pepper salt, 5 spices, soya sauce n oyster sauce. Let it marinate for at least 3 hours.

5) Cut up the sugared winter melon cubes into very small pieces.

6)Wash the dried prawns n dried  scallops  to be used later .

7) Drain the soaked glutinous rice, chop the garlic. On a frying pan, I heated some olive oil to pan fry the garlic till fragrant. Then add in the glutinous rice to pan fry lightly.

 

8) After the rice been done, use the same frying pan to pan fry the pork slices to seal in the juice.  The pork slices should be lightly cooked, this is because the pork slices will get fully cooked wrapped up in boiling water.

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9) Using the same frying pan, braise the shiitake mushrooms till water is reduced. This is to continue softening the mushrooms.

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10) After the ingredients are prepared, the fun begins now –  wrapping the bazhang.

11) I’ll recommend that you look for videos on how to wrap bazhang. Depending on the quality of the leaves , I’ll  use 1 or 2 pieces, first making it into a cone. Then spoon into the cone, 1 spoon of rice, then pick up a reasonable slice or 2 of pork, topped with shiitake mushrooms, fill in with t spoons of dried prawns, dried scallops n pieces of sugared melon to balance the salty  taste. Cover the cone with a flap of the leave making it shape into a pyramid.

12) Use the strings to tie the pyramid of bazhang into shape.

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13) Simultaneously boil water in a deep pot. Ensure that the bazhang are fully submerged in boiling water. Use a plate to weigh down the bazhang if they are seen floating on top the water. The bazhang must be fully submerged to ensure they are totally cooked. Boil for 1 hour. If water evaporates continue to add in boiled hot water to cover the bazhang totally.

14) Depending on size of pot, I usually boil 2 bunches of bazhang each time. After 1 hour, bazhang is ready. Take out carefully from boiling water to hang above the sink to drip dry.

Now, you can savour your bazhang! I ate 2 at one go. Delicious!

I hope you will make n tell me your experience. Enjoy!!

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