This Sambal Hebi Bak Chang is adapted from Grandma’s Hokkien Bak Chang, the spicy dried shrimp sambal has given the dumplings another distinct flavour. This recipe uses steaming method to cook the dumplings as steaming will help preserving the fragrant of sambal hebi better as compared to cooking in water.

CHINESE VERSION: 香辣叁巴虾米(Sambal虾米)咸肉粽


Sambal Hebi (Sambal Dried Shrimp) Bak Chang | MyKitchen101en

Yields: 15

Ingredients for pork & mushroom:

  • 350 g skinless pork (cut into pieces)
  • 30 g mushroom (soaked, cut into 15)
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp fine sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps dark soy sauce

Ingredients for sambal hebi:

  • 200 g dried shrimp (soaked & pounded)
  • 220 ml cooking oil
  • 30 g garlic
  • 45 g dried chilies (seeded, rinsed & drained)
  • 65 g red chili (seeded)
  • 130 g shallot
  • 5 1/2 tbsps fine sugar
  • 1 tsp fine salt

Ingredients for glutinous rice:

  • 500 g glutinous rice (soak for at least 4 hours, drained)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 25 g shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 350 ml dried shrimp soaking water

Other ingredients:

  • 1 can (170 g) braised peanuts
  • 90 g fried shallot

Preparing the ingredients:

1 Pork & mushroom: Add ingredients for marinade to pork and mushroom, mix well. Keep refrigerated to marinate for 1 hour.


2 Sambal hebi: Blend together garlic and cooking oil, then add dried chilies in 3 batches, blend until smooth. Add in red chili, followed by shallot, blend until smooth. Cook chili paste over medium heat until fragrant, discard excess chili oil. Add in sugar and salt, mix well. Add in dried shrimp, cook over medium heat until fragrant.

3 Glutinous rice: Preheat cooking oil, cook shallot until fragrant. Add in glutinous rice, cook for 1 minute. Add salt, five spice powder and dark soy sauce to dried shrimp soaking water (top up with mushroom soaking water if not enough), mix well. Add to glutinous rice gradually, stir-fry until liquid has dried up. (Reminder: The soaking time for different types of glutinous rice might be different, adjust the soaking time according to the type of glutinous rice you use.)

4 Divide pork filling and glutinous rice into 15 portions.


Making dumplings:

1 Rinse bamboo string with water (to prevent it from breaking easily).

2 Fold 2 pieces of bamboo leaves into cup shape. Wet the palm, put 1/2 of glutinous rice into bamboo leaf cup, add in 1 tablespoon of sambal hebi, add in other ingredients, add in another tablespoon of sambal hebi, then top with the remaining glutinous rice.

3 Wet the palm again, press the glutinous rice until firm, wrap the dumpling properly, then tie with bamboo string.

4 Put dumplings into steamer rack.

5 Bring water of steamer to the boil, put in dumplings, steam over medium-high heat for 1 hour. (Reminder: Top up the hot water for steamer if necessary. Change the position for dumplings, top down bottom up, after 30 minutes of steaming.)

6 Put the cook dumplings on kitchen towels to absorb any excess oil. (Reminder: Since no borax is added, the cooled dumplings should be refrigerated to maintain the freshness. I usually freeze the dumplings and consume with 3 months.)