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'Chang' Festival

>> Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Chinese Dumpling Festival falls on the 5th day in the 5th month of the Lunar calander (tomorrow, 19 June 2007). According to my younger sister, who claims that it's according to history, this festival came about because of a general. There was this general who was trapped in an enemy's campsite. The general's daughter wanted to pass him a message (emperor's instructions) to help him escape, so the message was placed in the dumpling called the 'chang' (Hokkien), a triangle-shaped glutinous rice dumpling. In the end, the general's army won over their enemy because of that important message given to the general to free him. Thus, this Chinese Dumpling Festival is held in remembrance of the historical impact that changed the history of China forever :)

This one's made by my aunt, who made a lot of chang for the whole family :P Inside the 'chang' are treasures to devour! Muahaha... there's a piece of 'sam chang bak' (3-layer pork/ pork belly), chestnut, dried shrimp, black mushroom slices, & mung beans. Some ba-chang (meat glutinous rice dumpling) will have the salted egg yoke, which is oolala... :P these chang is usually sold at the wet markets and even at roadside stalls. It is usually non-halal, but the market has already opened its business to cater to those who eat halal food as well :) You can find the halal chang at shops in shopping complexes! I believe inside the chang is chicken or maybe beef instead of pork :) Prices range from RM1.70 to RM3.50 or more, depending on the variety of filling inside the dumpling ;)


My family often take these festive opportunities to gather the entire family together (family plus family friends). Each time, we'll have dinner pot-luck style where each family brings one dish to the host house, which is usually my grandpa's house. I have 4 uncles & 3 aunts, so there'll be around 21 people each time we have dinner together. Not too big a family, but big enough to fill the whole house & give a merry-feeling to its surroundings :) We had the Chang Festival dinner yesterday, Sunday, since everyone is free on weekends.

Each time, we have around 8 dishes, but for yesterday, we had 11 dishes, inclusive of a soup (old cucumber & pork soup*). Here's to share with everyone the dishes that we had for the dinner. The photos may not be of best quality since it's taken with my sister's camera phone, but it does still make one's mouth water :P

1. Mixed vegetables: Red capsicum, brocolli, siew-pak-choy, baby corn, & oyster sauce


2. Dry chicken curry: chicken cooked in curry paste & onions :P yums!


3. Sambal prawns with petai


4. Roast duck


5. Mixed mushroom with brocolli


6. Char yoke: fried pork slices (thick) marinated with red preserved beancurd, black sauce, rice wine (i think), & definately 5-spice powder, & later cooked with black fungus. Best to cook overnight for better flavour! *


7. Char siew (this one's from a famous stall in KL): barbequed pork with honey, dark sauce & spices. *


8. Fried chicken breast meat in bread crumbs


9. Brinjal in chilli paste: steamed brinjal chunks with chilli paste & spices


10. Fried squid rings


* non-halal food

- Ruth


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