7 Bak Zhang With Both Traditional & Trendy Singaporean Flavours

Feast on delectable dumplings inspired by both local and Asian cuisines.

By Mandy Lim Beitler        30 May 2022

Put a local spin on this Dragon Boat Festival with delicious glutinous rice dumplings inspired by classic and modern local and Asian cuisines. True-blue Singaporean foodies won’t be able to get enough of these! Unless otherwise mentioned, they are available till 3 June or while stocks last.

Bak Kut Teh Dumpling & Laksa Dumpling with Sambal Chilli – Min Jiang

This year, the dim sum chefs at Goodwood Park Hotel’s Cantonese and Sichuan restaurant Min Jiang have creatively wrapped not one, but two Singaporean favourites into dumpling form. An ode to the popular dish at the hotel’s Coffee Lounge, the Bak Kut Teh Dumpling carries similar subtle peppery notes, thanks to the use of whole peppercorns, fried garlic, and Chinese herbs used when braising the pork belly and shiitake mushrooms.

The piquant flavours of the familiar spicy coconut gravy come to the fore in the Laksa Dumpling, as shredded chicken and sakura ebi are seasoned with a traditional spice mix of chillies, lemongrass and of course, laksa leaves. Just like a good bowl of laksa, it’s best enjoyed with a dollop of the accompanying house-made sambal chilli.

SAFRA members also enjoy 15% off the a la carte menu when dining in at Min Jiang and other Goodwood Park Hotel restaurants; more info at safra.sg/promotions/goodwood-park-hotel-dining

From $32 nett for 2 pieces; more info at goodwoodparkhotel.com

Blazing Pig Trotter Rice Dumpling – Peach Blossoms

Looking for a bak zhang that’s dressed to impress even your fussiest grandaunt? Take her – and another two guests – to Peach Blossoms at Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Singapore. The Blazing Pig Trotter Rice Dumpling serves four, and is exclusively available for dine-in. Encased in clay and baked to retain the moisture and flavour of the ingredients, the rice dumpling is packed with juicy pig trotter marinated in fermented beancurd – inspired by the comfort food many Cantonese and Hakka folk grew up with.

You’ll also be treated to a memorable dining experience as a chef breaks the clay rock open tableside, revealing the mouthwatering package within. Aside from chunks of pig trotter, expect to find abalone, conpoy, Japanese flower mushroom and chestnuts for different textures and tastes in every mouthful.

SAFRA members also enjoy 15% off the total bill at selected Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay restaurants; more info at safra.sg/promotions/parkroyal-marinabay-fnb

$128++; more info at panpacific.co/marinabay

Hainanese Grandma Rice Dumpling – The Hainan Story

Harking back to a time when our grandmas and mums would be hunched over in the kitchen painstakingly wrapping bundles of love, The Hainan Story’s aptly named Hainanese Grandma Rice Dumpling is prepared using an age-old recipe. Along with chestnuts, peanuts, mushrooms and salted egg yolk, each dumpling packs a generous chunk of tender pork belly, the result of hours of braising over low heat. Last but not least, cuttlefish lightly fried with dried shrimps and shallots add a surprising fragrance and texture. Perfect for a heartwarming family celebration, they come in a box of four, along with a bottle of Hainanese Sambal Chilli.

$50+ per box from The Hainan Story locations at Hillion Mall and Hotel Boss 

Specialty Truffle Char Siew Rice Dumpling – Paradise Group

Okay, truffles aren’t exactly local, but given how popular the truffle trend has been over the past few years, it’s surely joined the ranks of modern Singaporean favourites. And when slices of black truffle are combined with char siew made with marbled Spanish Duroc pork, tossed together with dried shrimp, mushroom, pork belly, chestnut, and salted egg yolk in truffle sauce, and finally wrapped in glutinous rice tinged in truffle oil, the result is an umami-rich dumpling bomb that’s quite addictive. This and other bak zhang varieties are available for pre-order and takeaway at various Paradise Group restaurant concepts.

$12.80+ per piece from Paradise Group restaurants at Ion Orchard, VivoCity, Junction 8, Marina Bay Sands and more

Oat Rice Dumpling with Mushrooms – TungLok Group

Riding the wave of another trend that has hit our shores in a big way lately, TungLok Group delivers a meatless option that is no less delectable than its traditional bak-some counterparts. Health-conscious Singaporeans can indulge in the Oat Rice Dumpling with Mushrooms without packing on the guilt. It features nameko pearl mushrooms and fresh king oyster mushrooms for a rich source of vitamins and minerals, encased in glutinous rice studded with heart-healthy oats. Buy six and get one free in a limited-edition emerald carrier at all TungLok restaurants.

$6.80+ per piece; order at homefiesta.tunglok.com

Fiesta Bak Zhang Onigiri – Kuriya Japanese Market

From sushi to ramen, Japanese fare is a mainstay in Singapore, especially among the post-Merdeka generations. And given how glutinous rice is also used in traditional Japanese delicacies, it isn’t such a huge jump to see the fusion of two cuisines. In this case, Fiesta has premiered a series of ‘zong-nigiri’, with iconic bak zhang ingredients and glutinous rice wrapped in seaweed onigiri-style. Available at Kuriya Japanese Market outlets islandwide till 30 June, choices include XO Dried Scallop, Classic Pork, Nyonya Pork, Nyonya Chicken, meat-free Chestnut Mushroom, and a dessert option, Azuki Bean with Sweet Chestnut.

From $3.50 per piece; order at order.kuriyajapanesemarket.com.sg

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