Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nyonya Rice Dumpling (with tutorial)

Nyonya Dumplings.. or any sorts of rice dumplings  are my absolute favourite. They're the kinda thing I can eat just about every day.. (I think I've too many favourite food!) I had the luxury to learn them last year and I'm glad that I've tried wrapping them and cooking them from scratch this year all by myself. 

I took reference from Annie's recipe from Annielicious. 

These rice dumplings aren't the easiest of thing to cook and make due to the work that goes into the cooking of meat... the boiling of leaves.. the cleaning of leaves (each and every one of it!), the wrapping of the rice dumplings  and the long hours taken to boil it. But trust me.. these are worth every bit of the 2 day process. 

I took about 2 hours to cut & cook the filling.. Another 1 hour to boil the leaves.. Overnight soaking of rice.. 2 hours to wipe the leaves, 1 hour to wrap the rice dumplings.. 2 hours to boil them and an hour to cool them. Well, you get the idea (: I'd rate it a difficulty level 4 out of 5. 

Nyonya Rice Dumplings (Pork) Recipe
This recipe yields about 40 - 50 small rice dumplings

1500g glutinous rice
2 tbsp salt

400g glutinous rice
2tsp salt
1 handful of blue pea flowers (dried)

800g tui bak (lean pork belly)
400g pork fats (can omit if you're health conscious)
100g dried Chinese mushroom
200g dried candied winter melon
50g garlic, minced
100g shallots, diced
4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp white pepper
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
25g coriander powder/ground coriander
200ml water

80 - 100 pieces of rice dumpling leaves (better to have more)
4 - 6 pandan leaves cleaned and cut into 2" pieces

*These rice dumplings have a nice almost equal proportion of meat and rice
*These ingredients for the filling and leaves can be prepared the night before. 


Wash the pork and cube up the meat and remove excess fats/skin. Each piece of meat was about the size of one fingernail. You may keep it as big as you want or as fine as you'd like.. but I won't recommend mincing it of course!

Cube up the pork fats. DO NOT wash/wet them. 

In a pot with low/medium heat, allow pork fats to fry. 

Oil will secrete from the pork fats.

Allow it to continue cooking, stirring occasionally. It took me about 25 - 35 minutes to get it all golden brown in colour.

Slice the candied winter melon into thin slices.

Remove stalks from mushrooms and cube the cap.

Dice the shallots.

Dice the garlic.

Here's the pork fats frying on their own..

They will shrink significantly,  When golden brown, drain and set aside. Keep the pork fats in a bowl for later use.

Here's the fried pork fats.

Scoop out 6 tbsp of pork fat crisps and dice it into smaller pieces. 

In a hot pot/wok.. add 8 tbsp of pork fat oil, Add in diced pork fats along with shallots and garlic. Fry till fragrant. 

Fragrant and good!

Add in the cubed meat as well as pepper, salt and sugar. 

Fry till pork turns colour.

Add in dark soya sauce, water, mushrooms and stir.

Add in the candied melon.

Cover and allow it to cook for 8 - 10 minutes.


This is the coriander powder I used.

Add in the coriander powder and stir well.

 Remove from heat and scoop into a bowl. 

Allow it to cool completely before storing in refrigerator. Else, keep it covered and allow it to cool overnight in a cool room if you are wrapping the rice dumplings in the morning.

These are the leaves I got. I bought 2 packets which is way too much.. I believe 1 pack would suffice for this recipe provided the leaves are all intact (not torn) and long enough.

Place the leaves in a large pot of boiling water and immerse all the leaves into the water. (Use a weight if you need to)

Boil for 20 - 30 minutes (30 minutes of the pot is really full like mine).
Allow leaves to cool overnight while still soaked in the water. 

This was how dirty the water was!

Wash and rinse the rice 4 - 5 times. Cover with 1 - 2 inch more water than what covers the rice and allow to soak for 8 hours or overnight. Add the blue pea flower into the smaller portion of the rice.

This is the rice that I used from NTUC.

The pot of water was still relatively warm when I checked on them in the morning.

Using a clean cloth. wipe each and every leaf that you intend to use on both sides. Soak them in a pail of clean water until you're ready to use.

This was how dirty my yellow cloth became after a few wipes.

Using raffia strings that's uncoloured (please forgive my use of coloured strings.. I was told that it is toxic) or thick string that is uncoloured, tie them into bundles of 6 - 8 strings of 1 arm's length each.

'Shred' each string into 3 - 4 pieces depending on what your string is capable of.

Remove water from rice and add in salt. (Proportions indicated in recipe ingredient list).

Drain the white rice too.

Wrap the rice dumpling!

1)There is a "right"side of the leaves that will not stick to the rice as much as the other side. The main vein of the leaves 'pops' up on the underside of the leaf. Your rice and filling should be on the inside of the cone
2) I used an almost equal proportion of rice to meat filling ratio. 
3) When you tie the rice dumpling, your excess leaf should be '"across" the side you're tying the string rather than running down towards you. 


Don't the rice dumplings look amazing already? (:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add in the rice dumplings and allow to boil. 
For the small dumplings, I boiled them for 2 hours. After an hour, I rotated the dumplings, bringing the dumplings at the bottom to the top and vice versa. For larger dumplings, boil the rice dumplings for 2.5 hours or till' cool thoroughly.

Remove from water and hang to dry for an hour.

So.. enjoy! (: 

I'd love to see the bakes or stuff you've cooked using the blog's recipe! Do share photos of stuff you've baked or cooked using the blog's recipe with me either via FB message to OR OR via email at! I look forward to hearing from you! (: 

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