Occurring on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, this year the Dragon Boat Festival, or Duan Wu Jie, falls on 14 June. The best way to celebrate the occasion is to dig into a tightly-wrapped glutinous rice dumpling, also known as bak chang. These sumptuous hand-wrapped parcels contain delectable morsels encased in rice. They are a perfect gift for friends and family, especially during these challenging times.
These days, exotic flavours and fascinating ingredients are par for the course, with hotels and restaurants vying to outdo each other on creativity. Below, check out some note-worthy dumplings you should taste this year.
If you like your bak chang to come with a spicy kick followed by a satisfying mouth-numbing sensation, this new offering from Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium’s Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant will hit all the right spots. Enjoy mala-infused chicken meat that’s made even more flavourful with mushroom, slivers of dried scallop and a salted egg yolk nestled in aromatic glutinous rice. At a generous 380g, a size bigger than average, it’s hefty enough to serve as a proper meal. Available until 12 June 2021.
Inspired by the sweet dessert made of black glutinous rice and coconut milk, Joo Chiat Kim Choo is offering a twist to the classic dumpling. Using black glutinous rice, the glistening purple grains add a textured crunch and a mild nutty fragrance. It all blends perfectly with the brand’s signature sweet, soft rice. Available until 14 June 2021.
For something truly out of this world, try a sweet dumpling inspired by Thailand’s iconic sticky rice dessert. The Siamese Jade Dumpling was created by chef Surangkana “Aae” Sub-Anan, Chef de Cuisine of Resorts World Sentosa. The pale white pyramid dumpling features glutinous rice with fresh coconut milk, palm sugar, lotus seed and a creamy taro filling. It’s enveloped in banana leaves and then slow-roasted over low heat for a beautiful aroma. The perfect sweet treat after a meal. Available until 16 June 2021.
This gorgeous dumpling from Peach Blossoms is a standout, thanks to the beautiful shade of blue. Infused with butterfly pea flower extract, the rice is filled with creamy purple and orange Hokkaido sweet potato custard. When warm, the custard oozes like lava once you’ve cut into it. Available until 14 June 2021.
Instead of the typical pyramid shape, this unique parcel from Man Fu Yuan comes in a circle, with the bamboo leaves secured at the top like a pretty gift. Created with the restaurant’s Signature Duroc Pork Char Siew, this dumpling marries the sweetness of the char siew with the earthy aroma of the black gold garlic, presenting a complex mouthfeel that’s sure to have you wanting more. Available until 14 June 2021.
The comforting herb-infused pork rib soup has been transformed into a dumpling in this new creation by Cantonese restaurant Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. The glutinous rice has been steeped in a special blend of herbs, spices and garlic to impart the dish’s signature herbal and peppery notes and then infused with green dye extracted from spring onions. It comes with marinated pork belly, red bean, black mushroom and salted egg yolk for texture and colour. It is served with black sauce and red chilli, just like its hawker counterpart. Available until 14 June 2021.
Another standout is this bright pink rectangular dumpling from chef Goh Wee Meng, the Executive Sous Chef of Resorts World Sentosa. The pink shade is achieved by infusing the glutinous rice with Japanese hoshi ebi (dried shrimp) overnight for a rich umami flavour. It is then filled with delights such as responsibly harvested sea whelk from France, chai po (sweet preserved radish), salted egg yolk, chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms and Japanese Hokkaido dried scallops. Available under 16 June 2021.