Bakzhang (肉粽)

I call this is the ‘editable handicraft’. With the elaborate long preparation and the tedious wrapping, this is really NOT for the faint hearted. I will definitely think twice before attempting this again!

Bakzhang itself is a handicraft….you need a certain way of holding the leaves while filling the rice, and a certain technique to wrap the leaves and everything in it into the shapeof a pyramid. Not to mention the biggest trial is to tie them in such a way that they are secure enough to survive through 1 – 1.5 hours of boiling.

I am glad that Pa and Mom taught me how to make bakzhang just days before I left for London. And now i can make this anytime I want to :)

Little house elf felt quite frustrated for not being able to master the skill of tying bakzhang. I don’t blame him, coz I think this is for people who are good in handicraft!

This is by far the longest post that have ever appeared in Bake with me! Just take a quick scroll down the page, and you can see there are so many ingredients and so many steps involved! Just reading it makes you feel tired, doesn’t it? :P
This blog could have been longer if I didn’t omit a few ingredients like dried shrimp and mung beans!

Recipe below is adapted from Rosamund Wo and Kuali


  • 1 big packet of zhang leaves & hemp string
  • 500g of pork
  • 1kg glutinous rice
  • 30 pieces of chesnut
  • 15 pieces of mushroon
  • 5 nos of salted egg yolk
  • 5 garlic
  • 300g shallots

Zhang leaf 荷叶 and hemp string 荷叶绳

  • Soak leaf overnight (shortcut: soak in hot water for a shorter duration, ie: 2 -3 hours)
  • Just wipe with wet cloth to remove dirt
  • Dry leaf with wet cloth when ready to use

Chestnut 栗子

  • Soak for 3 hours
  • Boil chestnut till half cook & remove skin
  • Add oil to wok and stir fry with garlic till fragrant

Chinese mushroom 冬菇

  • Soak until mushroom becomes soft (soak overnight if needed)
  • Remove stem and slice to desired size
  • Add oil to wok and stir fry with garlic till fragrant

Salted Eggyolk 咸淡黄

  • Break salted egg yolk
  • cut egg yolk to half

Marinated pork 花肉

  • 500gm pork (original recipe calls for pork belly, but i cringe at the fact of eating animal fat! So i replace it with lean pork ;))
  • Cut port into small pieces
  • Add 4 tbsp of five spice powder, dilute in a little bit of water
  • 3 – 4 tsp of white pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of dark sauce
  • pinch of chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • Mix ingredients in a bowl and marinate pork overnight in the fridge
  • When ready, fry port till cook and fragrant.

Glutinous Rice 糯米

  • Soak 1kg glutinous rice overnight to make bak zhang
  • add black sauce
  • 3 tbsp of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of five spice powder, dilute in a little water
  • 3 tbsp shallots
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper
  • In a wok, heat up oil, stir fry garlic, shallots until fragrant
  • Add rice, continue to fry for 5-7mins
  • Add black sauce, five spice powder and continue to stir fry
  • Continue to fry till rice is dry, oily and fragrant
  • Mix in chicken stock for better flavour
  • Taste it before you wrap to ensure that it is flavourful enough.


  1. When all ingredients are ready, you are now ready to wrap the zhang.
  2. Use 2 zhang leaf and shape into a cone.
  3. Fill bottom and side with rice and make a hollow at the center of the zhang.
  4. Place stuffing in the well you have just created, place pork, mushroom, salted egg yolk and etc
  5. Cover with a little more rice at the top.
  6. Press and compact the cone and fold the remaining leaf.
  7. Secure with a string.
  8. Boil zhang for 45 minutes (or more) in a pot.

Here’s an example of a bakzhang which didn’t ‘meet the mark’. It came lose in the pot and i had to fish it out immediately before the content fall out and mess up the pot of other bakzhang. In total, i think there were 3 or 4 of these failed zhangs. I’m not disappointed, in fact I think i am doing quite well for a beginner! hahah.

3 comment(s) to this post

PTL! What a legacy of tradition and culinary art! The original ‘author’ of the process is here and she is most pleased to see the pics online.


#1Serene Tee  ::  12 June 2011, 20:36  ::  #

Thanks Aun Serene. Yes, it’s indeed too previous a tradition and too good a recipe to be lost. :)
Thanks to grandma for teaching all of us how to make zhang :)

#2meisin  ::  17 June 2011, 14:07  ::  #

I’ve move my recipe to
Those string couldn’t tied is securely, i think i’ts best to use this instead

#3Rosamundwo  ::  1 January 2013, 20:17  ::  #

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