My Glasgow Kitchen

My Little Corner of the World

Nowadays not many households make it as is quite time consuming. Let’s see… It took me a total of 10 hours total. 2 hours the night before, 2 hours prepping, 2 hours wrapping, 3 hours boiling and 2 hours draining then 1 hour of cleaning and storing …

This recipe is adapted from my grandmother’s and mother’s recipe. My grandmother’s recipe was a lot simpler with rice, chestnut, meat, mushroom and it did not have dried shrimp or beans.

I can actually count the number of times I make bak chang. I have made it only 4 times. My first attempt 10 years ago was quite messy. Rice was leaking out of the bak chang even before I started boiling it.  Since I hardly make it, I thought it would be best to write down a recipe since I will not be able to recall it.

This year I made a healthier version of bak chang. Adding white glutinous rice in is still a must as I wanted to have the typical flavour and texture. Surprisingly, I could not taste the addition of multigrain and it was still flavourful. The addition of pearl barley, black glutinous rice and quinoa is optional. 

I also added mixed beans: black beans, mung bean and black eye peas. The flavour blended quite well and visually it looked quite interesting. Chestnut was omitted this round.

Bak Chang Recipe

Makes 24 Bak Chang


Bamboo leaves 60-70 leaves

600g pork belly

1kg Multigrain Rice: White glutinous rice 600g, black glutinous rice 100g, Barley 100g, Quinoa 200g

400g Mixed beans: Mung beans 200g, black eye peas 100g, black bean 100g

Mushroom: 24 big Shiitake mushroom & Cordyceps Militaris mushroom

Condiments: Dark soy sauce, Light soy sauce, Cooking wine

Aromatics: 1 medium garlic bulb, 150g shallots, 5 spice powder


75g dried prawn

90cm X24 string


The night before: Overnight Soak

  1. Soak bamboo leaves (make sure that it is about 60-70 although you will use only 48-50 of them as some leaves will need to be thrown away)
  2. Soak multigrain rice separately except quinoa and barley  
  3. Soak mixed beans separately
  4. Soak mushroom except cordyceps
  5. Cut pork into 48 pieces and marinate it with 4 tablespoons of dark soy sauce and 2 tablepoons of 5 spice powder. Keep it in fridge overnight.

The following day:

i. Preparation

(a) General prep

  • Bamboo leaves: Wash the bamboo leaves with a sponge and wipe it using a clothBin the ones with torn leaves. There are two sides so stack it right-side(top side) up. The top side is shiny. 
  • Black glutinous rice: Boil black glutinous rice for 20 minutes or until it is semi cooked and drain. 
  • Pearl Barley: Boil for 20 minutes or until it is semi cooked and drain
  • Quinoa: Boil for 15 minutes and drain
  • Black bean: Boil for 20 minutes and drain
  • Black eye peas: Boil for 20 minutes and drain
  • Mung bean: Add a pinch of salt into mung bean
  • Shiitake mushroom: Cut it into halves if it is big
  • Cordyceps mushroom: Soak for 30 minutes and drain
  • Garlic and shallot: Chop up garlic bulb and shallots

(b) Rice prep

  1. Heat oil
  2. Brown shallots
  3. Saute  garlic 
  4. Add in white glutinous rice, 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce,2 tbsp of light soy sauce, ½ tsp of 5 spice powder
  5. Stir it until mixed evenly
  6. Add in pearl barley, black glutinous rice and quinoa. And add salt to taste

(c) Meat prep

  1. Heat oil
  2. Brown shallots
  3. Saute garlic
  4. Add marinated pork
  5. Add in mushroom
  6. Cover the pot lid and simmer for 30 mins or until there is hardly any gravy left. Add dark soy or salt to taste

(d) Dried shrimp prep

  1. Fry dried shrimp in oil

ii. Wrapping

There are two ways to wrap bak chang

  1. Leaves overlapping side by side
  2. Leaves overlapping top and bottom

iii. Boiling

  1. Boil water and put bak chang in when water is boiling. Ensure that all the bak chang is submerged in water.
  2. Add salt to taste
  3. Boil for 3 hours

iv. Drain

  1. Cool and drain bak chang

It will last in fridge for 1 week and freezer for a few months

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