Steamed glutinous rice dumplings or 'zongzi' (粽子) is one of the most common Chinese food items. In Malaysia and Singapore, the rice dumplings are popular both as a daily snack item and also for religious festivals such as the Dragon Boat Festival or 'Duānwǔ Jié' (端午節).
In Malaysia, where the Hokkiens are the largest ethnic Chinese group (23.4% of the Chinese populace), glutinous rice dumplings are referred to as 'bakchang' (肉粽).
The best 'bakcang' I'd ever had *anywhere* in Malaysia is undoubtedly from Guan Kee in the town of Ipoh, 125 miles north of KL. I first had a taste of Guan Kee's wonderfully tasty 'bakchang' back in 1982. Yesterday, 30 years later, I tried another one, and it was every bit as good - the glutinous rice grains were of the highest quality, wrapped in bamboo leaves into pyramid shapes and steamed to perfection. the stuffing consisted of marinated pork belly (with a high fat content), dried shrimps, shitake mushrooms, chestnut and duck's egg yolk, marinated with soysauce and Chinese 5-spice. Even the glutinous rice grains were well-flavored by the soysauce/5-spice marinade, and full of flavor.
A must-not-miss on any trip to Ipoh!
Guan Kee Rice Dumplings
Ipoh Central Restaurant
51-53 Jalan Raja Ekram
Perak State, Malaysia
Tel: +6019-557 1107