Sticky Rice Dumplings Recipe (Machang)

There are a million things you can do with rice. If you want to take things to the next level, you definitely have to try machang. You might also know this dish as Zongzi or Bak Chang.  The dish has Chinese origins, and is usually feasted upon during the Dragon Boat Festival. (This blog explains the history of the dish much better, and really goes in-depth.)

You can easily spot machang with its pyramidical shape that’s held together with banana leaves.

Underneath is a sticky, salty, super umami rice dumpling. Part of the experience is unwrapping the banana leaves, which releases all the wonderful savory aromas. The fun part is that you can swap the filling below with other savory fillings you like.

Read more: Filipino Rice Tamales Recipe


How to Make Sticky Rice Dumplings (Machang)

  • Banana leaves for wrapping
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 400 g glutinous rice
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the Pork:

  • 150 g of pork belly
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (half light, half dark)
  • 1/4 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp whole pepper corns
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 birds eye chilies
  • 8 banana leaves
  • 1 cup soaked mung beans (munggo)
  1. In a bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and sugar.
  2. Slice pork belly into cubes and marinade with the sauce. Submerge munggo and rice in separate bowls. Leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. In a pan, sweat onions and garlic. Add in rice and season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
  4. In a separate pan, sweat onion and garlic. Add in marinated pork belly and render fat. Add a few tablespoons of marinade and coconut cream. Add chili and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Lay out banana leaves (singe them beforehand to make it more pliable). Form into a cone (see the video to see how). Stuff with rice, and pork. Seal by tying with twine, no water should be able to enter the wrapper.
  6. Boil in salted water for 3 hours. Let it cool before unwrapping.
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