Monday, September 22, 2008

Halal Malay Bakchang?

How very unusual - Malay bakchang, or meat and glutinous rice dumplings!
These have started poppping up at Geylang Serai market - they look like the Chinese bakchang but are made with chicken (S$1.50) or mutton (S$1.80) to replace the pork. Therefore halal bakchang! I was intrigued. How would they look like or taste?

Malay bakchang, unwrapped
Hmm, when opened they still resemble the Chinese dumplings.

Malay bakchang use mutton and chicken to replace pork
The fillings are almost exactly the same, down to the boiled chestnut and five-spice based seasoning for the meat. However, the chicken and mutton both are quite dry. I now understand why fatty pork is used in Chinese and Nyonya dumplings, but this is a good attempt anyway to bring a halal version for Muslim enjoyment.


  1. Wa! this is interesting. Looks like a lot of fillings also.

  2. With the new concept of international Halal hub, everything's becoming halal...hehehe:)
    Halal bachang is not that drastic..and I do think your pics are fantastic!~

  3. I concur with your views that it does not taste like the good old pork bak chang. Its like those halal carrot cake, no fight at all.

  4. Now some people just being petty. Just because someone stated that you were ignorant in your previous post about Ramadan (which was true), out of nowhere came this post about Halal "bakzhang" being inferior to the real "fatty pork" thing. This is offensive on so many levels!

    Bear in mind that I've seen many of my favorite Halal dishes being ruined by being made into non-halal abominations, pork satay, nasi lemak with pork luncheon meat etc but yet I didn't make a point to announce it publicly being inferior to the "real" thing. There's a difference between opinion and creating dissonance and you're getting pretty close.

    p.s: One last thing, please do not use non-Halal cutlery from other hawker stores when you're eating eating Halal food in hawker centre. Just because we're peace loving and quiet doesn't mean we do not find it offensive!

  5. I love these things. Don't have what they're stuffed with a long as you season them right. Pay no attention to the naysayers. Good food is universal.

  6. Dora: yes, generous fillings!

    Christy: thanks for the compliment! actually I do think it's a good idea for them to make more halal versions of delicious things.

    Anon1: thank you!

    Anon2: OK lah, now I know you are just an oversensitive sniper. I put in my honest opinion because I have non-Muslim readers who may want to try this out too. It is true it is not as tasty. But I did say that it is a good attempt, just that the meat used is a bit dry.

    You know, the Chinese are also free to use chicken or mutton in making bakchang, but they didn't. I think there is good reason for it. The meat type just does not translate that well. Personally I used to dislike the fatty pork in bakchang, and used to pick out the visible fat and throw it away. But now, I understand its function. A little bit of it does make bakchang taste better.

    I am quite happy to agree with you that there are superb Malay dishes made into 'non-halal abominations' (taste-wise). I won't even touch pork satay quite frankly. But I will quite openly say it if I encounter them. Why?

    You have to understand that I'm not stating opinions to spite Muslims. Whatever is, just is.

    Also, to you, those things are "abominations" because of the way you view your religion, not because of having tasted it. How do you know nasi lemak with pork luncheon meat is inferior to the "real thing"? You see, I have tasted both and can make an informed opinion. You have not tasted both (I presume), and only have only an opinion based your distaste of all things non-halal.

    That is why you see discord and dissonance, where the rest see none.

    Lastly, If you find my blog thus offensive, you are welcome to NOT read it, you know.

  7. I find anonymous commentators OFFENSIVE. I'd like to say more but I'd be stooping to your level.

    There are different culture, different race, different religion and we are all different. Deal with it positively.

  8. Well said too, btw, I am Anon1. Your blogs are great, when are you blogging on suckling pigs ?

  9. yum... we call these 'chimaki" in Japanese. We buy them from a Chinese shop that specializes in only these in SF... and they're nom-tastic.

    and wow, you're a spicy one aren't you! how exciting.

  10. the mutton ones sound interesting to me. Too bad they are on the dry side. I miss bakchang in Singapore and Malaysia! Nice photography by the way. :)

  11. Thanks, Ben-G and southernoise.

    Anon1: Suckling pigs! lol maybe when my wallet is fatter.

    ila: Chimaki? Ah I didn't know there was a Japanese version of these dumplings. Thanks, ila!

    Mandy: thanks, you've got a cute blog too!

  12. mutton in bakchang is something new to me. thanks for highlighting ;-)

  13. Bakchang one of the best Chinese meal... In Indonesia it's called Bacang and it's become a common meal for all people (christian, moeslem, hinduism, etc) and we generally dont argue halal or haram for bacang.. Coz, I know that it has been a long time in Indonesia, bacang/bakchang fillings with pork, chicken, beef, salted duck egg, peanuts,banana, etc.. Everyone can get their own bacang!!! :-)

  14. Join to promote halal certified bacang.

  15. Chinese food is GOOD!!! I am Malay Muslim but I loveeee chinese food!! Sooo difficult to find halal versions of Chinese food! Siew Mai, Ban Mian, Bakchang... Yummy!!!
    My hubby loves Indian food but I don't. Somehow we managed to live with each other.

  16. It looks fine. It's very interesting the way it's made in that leafs. I am interested in knowing the recipe. Magazin piese auto


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