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Recipe for Nonya Dumpling for the Dragon Boat Festival

Updated: Jun 15

✦ We love festivals, especially when there is good food to go with it! Check out this authentically traditional recipe from My Blue Tea.

June 10, 2024 is the Dragon Boat Festival and in celebration of it, we bring you this delicious recipe for nonya dumplings! Nonya is a type of Singaporean cuisine combining Malay and Chinese ingredients and techniques of cooking.

Recipe for Nonya Dumpling

These dumplings are also known as 'zong zi' (in Mandarin) or 'bak chang' (in Hokkien) i.e. 'meat dumpling'. It is a sticky rice dumpling. My Blue Tea has added pandan to give it an irresistible flavour.

Remember to use our BRILLIANT15 code for any non-promotional purchase from My Blue Tea!


Filling A:

  • 5 tbsp oil

  • 150g chopped shallot

  • 50 g chopped garlic

  • 60 g chopped cekur root or sand ginger (scientific name Kaempferia galangal)

  • 2 tbsp ketumbar powder (coriander powder)

Filling B:

  • 8 black mushrooms soaked and cut

  • Half 600 gram breast meat, shredded

Filling C:

  • 150g candied winter melon

  • Chopped 100g ground toasted peanuts

  • 3 pieces cekur leaf, shredded


  • 1 tbsp pepper

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce


  • About 60 pieces chang/dumpling leaves and 30 pieces hemp string, soaked overnight, washed and drained well.


  1. Combine soaked glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt. Put into steaming tray and steam for 20 minutes. Remove, mix well and fluff up the rice. Return to heat and continue to steam for another 25 minutes till well cooked. Remove from heat.

  2. Separate rice into 2 portions of glutinous rice, each 500 g – Add in Butterfly Pea Powder (dilute with water) and Pandan Powder (or Pandan Liquid) in each part of rice and mix well. Cover the rice and set aside.

  3. Heat up and saute filling A till fragrant. Add in filling B and stir-fry till aromatic. Add in seasoning and stir well. Add in filling C, stir well and dish up.

  4. Fold 2 pieces chang/dumpling leaves into a cone shape. Spoon ½ tbsp blue glutinous rice and follow by 1 tbsp white glutinous rice. Make a hole in the centre and stuff in a 1 ½ tbsp filling. Cover the filling with ½ tbsp green glutinous rice. Shape into “chang” dumpling triangle shape and secure with hemp string. Repeat the same method to finish all the ingredients.

  5. Steam the Nyonya Chang/Dumpling for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Types of dumplings

If you are a foodie you'd be excited to know there are many different types of dumplings. There are northern and southern styles and many regional varieties as well. Some are pyramid shaped, pillow shaped and others look more like elongated cones. You'll find a variety of ingredients as savouring stuffing e.g. salted egg yolk, pork, shiitake mushrooms, mung beans, taro, chicken and there are also the sweet stuffing variety too.

Cantonese-style dumpling

The most common version in Hong Kong, this version has a rich, decadent filling of marinated pork belly or duck, mushrooms, dried scallops and salted egg yolk.

Hakka-style dumpling

Most dumplings are served hot, but this one is actually eaten cold. It is packed with shallot, dried mushrooms, dried baby shrimps and minced pork.

Beijing-style dumpling

This is for those with a sweet tooth, and comes across more like a dessert as it is filled with red dates and red bean paste and eaten cold.

Shanghai-style dumpling

The rice is marinated in both light and dark soy sauces to intensify the flavour and colour. The savoury version is with salted ham and pork while the sweet version is usually with red bean paste.

We're getting hungry, are you? Try out this recipe and share your photos with us!


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