Easy Hokkien Bak Chang (Zongzi-Sticky Rice Dumplings)

Easy Hokkien Bak Chang (Zongzi-Sticky Rice Dumplings)

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Cook Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 12 dumplings
Calories: 460kcal
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make Hokkien bak chang in a pressure cooker or with boiling method. Recipe is a no fuss but with same great taste.
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For the rice:

  • 500 gr glutinous rice / sweet rice / sticky rice


  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 bulb garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 50 gr dried shrimp soaked and drained off water
  • 10 shitake mushrooms soak and keep water and slice into 1/2-inch strips
  • 500 gr mixture of pork butt and pork belly cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 12-15 water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup fried shallot crisp
  • 6 salted duck's egg yolk halved (optional)- I didn't use them this time

Seasoning for meat:

You also need:

  • 24-30 pieces dried bamboo leaves
  • 1 ball of natural-fiber string


The day before:

  • If you are not using pressure cooker to cook the bak chang, you need to soak the rice for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain off the water after that
  • Soak the bamboo leaves in water and then discard the water and wipe the leaves dry with clean cloth the next day when you are ready to use them
  • Soak the water chestnuts in water until soft. The next day, discard the water and remove the red membrane in the slit with a toothpick if you see any

Cook the pork filling the day before:

  • Soak shiitake mushrooms in warm water until they plump up. Save the soaking liquid and top up to 2 cups with water if not enough. Cut off the stems and cut into small pieces. 
  • Soak the dried shrimp until soft and then discard the liquid
  • Preheat a pot or Dutch oven. Add cooking oil and stir fry the garlic until fragrant. Add dried shrimp and stir fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and pork and stir fry until the pork turn opaque in color. Add seasonings, water chestnuts, , and 2 cups of liquid you save earlier. Stir to mix everything. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer and cook until the pork is tender but not falling apart, about 30-45 minutes. Have a taste and add more soy sauce or salt to taste. It should be savory in taste

How to wrap zongzi:

  • Get the rice, the meat filling and the salted egg yolks (if using) ready for wrapping
  • Generally, you will need about 2 leaves, stacking on top of each other. If you have ragged leaves, you can use another leaf to cover by overlapping them so there won't be any leakage
  • Fold into a cone shape
  • Fill it up with about 1 Tbsp of rice and use the back of the spoon to pack it in and slightly create an indentation in the middle for the filling
  • Then 1-2 scoops of the filling (if not using egg yolk) and one egg yolk that you have halved earlier (if using) and 1 scoop of filling
  • Top again with a scoop of rice and press with the back of the spoon to make sure they are tight. 
  • Fold one side down
  • Fold the opposite site down. Most people don't fold the two sides and go straight to folding the top part down (as shown in the next step). But I feel like this helps me to wrap "neater" and shows the triangle shape better
  • Fold the top part down
  • This is what it looks like at this point 
  • Fold in both sides
  • You'll have this extra piece on top now
  • Simply fold it down to either one of the side
  • Tie with a string. Repeat with the rest of the filling and rice

Cooking with Instant Pot pressure cooker:

  • Place the zongzi in the inner pot of instant pot. I can cook 12 zongzi in my 6-quart instant pot. Fill up with water to make sure it covers the zongzi. Add 1 tsp of salt to the water
  • Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press "pressure cooker" and make sure it's on "high pressure". Set the timer to 50 minutes. Release pressure immediately after that
  • Carefully open the lid and use a tong to gently remove the zongzi from the pot to a cooling rack. Let the water drips down. The zongzi will still be soft to touch. I recommend waiting 24 hours before eating them

Boiling on the stove:

  • Place the zongzi in a large pot. Add in water until it covers the zongzi. Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp of salt and then lower heat to medium, cover with a lid and let it boil for the next 2 to 2 1/2 hours
  • Carefully use a tong to gently remove the zongzi from the pot to a cooling rack to let it cool down for 24 hours before eating them. They will still be soft to touch, but will firm up once they are cooled down completely

Storing leftover:

  • If you have leftovers, you can freeze the zongzi in the freezer and it's good for 3 months. When ready to eat them, you don't thaw them. They can go straight from the freezer to the steamer with boiling water and steam for about 10 minutes on high heat or until heated through


Serving: 1bak chang | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1300mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g