Kee Chang – 碱水粽

Dragonboat Festival –  it’s the season for drums, dragonboats and of course, changs of every kind. What started out as simple, plain glutinous rice dumplings now has many variations – some savoury with salted egg yolks and braised meat, and others sweet with red bean or lotus bean pastes.

This week, we’re going to bring you three different chang recipes

Kee Chang, or alkaline rice dumplings, get their distinctive yellow colour and flavour from lye water. Often eaten as a dessert, you can make them plain, or give them a touch of sweetness with some red bean paste. Better yet, make a mix of them in your Kee Chang bunches so you never know what you’re going to get!

We drizzled some pandan-infused gula melaka over our bite-sized Kee Changs to enhance the flavours in both the plain and red bean dumplings. Alternatively, simple sugar or coconut kaya are also great dips that you can eat your Kee Changs with.

Pair these with a nice, mellow Chinese jasmine tea or strong Pu-er, for a satisfying afternoon tea snack or a post-dinner dessert for the Dragonboat festivities!

#themeatmensg #simple #delicious

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  • Servings: 24

  • Time: 3 hrs

  • Skill: Intermediate


  1. 500g glutinous rice

  2. 30g lye rock

  3. 150g gula melaka

  4. 60ml water

  5. ⅛ tsp salt

  6. 2 pandan leaves

  7. 200g red bean filling

  8. 24 kee chang leaves

  9. Hemp strings


  1. Soak bamboo leaves overnight. The next day use a sponge to lightly wipe the dirt of it. Rinse and place in a container.

  2. Using a knife, shave the 30g lye rock. Mix it into 250ml water. Stir until it’s dissolved.

  3. Wash glutinous rice until the water runs clear.

  4. Add enough water to cover the rice by 6cm. Pour in the 250ml rock lye solution.

  5. Soak it overnight.

  6. Drain the the glutinous rice.

  7. To wrap, fold one piece of the bamboo leaf into a cone.

  8. For plain kee chang, fill the cone with the soaked glutinous rice. Wrap over the bamboo leaves to form a pyramid and secure with hemp string. Repeat until half of the rice is used up.

  9. For red bean kee chang, fill the cone with 1 tbsp glutinous rice. Add in 1 tsp of red bean paste. Cover with soaked glutinous rice. Wrap over the bamboo leaves to form a pyramid and secure with hemp string. Repeat until all the remaining glutinous rice is used up.

  10. Boil kee changs fully submerged in water for 2½ to 3 hours.

  11. Once it is done, remove the kee changs from the water. Hang it up to air dry for at least 30 minutes before it is ready to be eaten.

  12. For the gula Melaka syrup, put 150g gula melaka, 40ml water, 2 pandan leaves and ⅛ tsp salt in a pot. Simmer until thick. Strain and set aside.

  13. Serve plain kee changs with either gula Melaka syrup, sugar or even kaya!

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