Sunday, May 31, 2009


I didn’t mention why I was in such hurry going back home.

Well, the answer is in this post.

It’s 端午节 last Wednesday (right?). It’s a day where people make and eat meat dumplings aka ba zhang (in Hokkien). It's a Chinese tradition that has been passed down generations to generations for a few thousand years.

Every year, mom will make ba zhang, but thru out the years, she makes less and less, citing busyness, tiredness....

Well to be honest, I think people nowadays rather buy from outside than to make themselves at home. Save all the trouble ya. But I was kind of insisted that we do it ourselves – the old way.

If mom couldn’t make them, I won’t come back for the weekend anyway…

My first job was to was the leaves

The ingredients to make nice meat dumplings

Making ba zhang the old way means "firing" it with natural energy sources like coal or wood. What is liquid natural gas (LNG) in the old days?

So I set off and wondered around the housing estate for some prey - unwanted or used wood.

This bed frame suits us well!

Dismantle this stool dad made when we were kids

Fire-pit ready!

Of course the mastermind behind every delicious ba zhang is mom's delicated skill, coped by upteenth years of experience.

It's not as easy as it seems!

Luckily I have sisters who are willing to learn some extra co-cu

I set up the fire without much haste, although there was a slight down pour in the morning.

Does any of your gas stoves provides this type of flare and flame?

Tying it right and tight

Future source for ba-zhang? Hope so...

Boiling the ba zhang takes around 3.5 hours.

Before that, you add salt and an onion into the boiling water

Fire looks a little to big right?

Makes the ba zhang taste better

Presenting --->

Home made JB ba zhang!!!

If you want to try some, hurry down to my house and get it from my mom while stocks last! I shared quite a few last night with my form 5 mates and the response was good.

Made some chinese herbs tea, just in case I get too heaty whacking too much

This is one of the occasions that bond the family together. Nowadays, it’s really hard to see the 6 of us at home at the same time. It's even harder to find families that keeps the tradition.

I believe in years to come, making own ba zhang at home will be history.

Anyway, it's a (breakfast of) delicacy for me

Ps: Weekend passed me by just like that. Tomorrow need to work again...


Ivan said...

Dude, I had almost forgotten about the festival totally. Probably because I'm not a big fan of ba zhang and its not my family tradition to make them. :D
Anyway, pretty nice tradition for your family... see if I can join you guys next time..hah
btw, isn't that open air burning? Its illegal and bad for the environment yo... LPG produce cleaner energy... :P

cruSadER said...

Yup, i did think bout the pollution i caused... that's why we planted more trees and plants around the house! (does it work or help?)

Drop by anytime at my place bro, especially when my mom puts on her apron... You're welcomed anytime!

BoOn HeNg said...

i must agree, home food cook's always the best! didn't eat much coz mum didn't make like last time. outside ba zhang being sold reli dun taste gud to me...

see u in penang la... so far richard say he can drive, so only u 3 confirm wif the penang people... ^^

cruSadER said...

ya man... ba zhang outside full with ah-gee-nee-mo-to... not nice at all...

see u in penang!