Pearl of the Orient

This blog is inspired by the rich cluture and food found in Penang, an island in Malaysia known as the Pearl of the Orient. The author of this blog is Japanese influenced and she enjoys travelling, cooking and ofcourse, eating.

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Location: Penang, Malaysia

I'm a little plump rabbit who lives in Penang. I hop around with a camera round my neck snapping photos of Penang and foodstuffs. If you meet a rabbit like that in Penang, that should be me ; )

Saturday, November 12, 2005

'Chang' Shop at Cintra Street, Penang

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‘Bak chang’ or ‘chang’ is basically a triangular shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice, with filling of pork, shiitake mushrooms, chestnut and salted duck egg yolk all wrapped in bamboo leaves. Depending on style of cooking from one place to another, the filling may sometimes include additional goodies like dried shrimps, split mung beans and ‘rempah’ (spicy coconut filling).

There is also an interesting story behind it as well. It was believed to be eaten in remembrance of the death of China’s well-known poet, Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the Miluo river (central Hunan Province) in 221 B.C. after falling under the influence of corrupt ministers. The locals at that time dropped ‘chang’ into the river to prevent fishes from eating his body. Hence, this was made into a festival, known as the Dumpling Festival and celebrated by Chinese on every 5th day of the 5th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. During this festival, chang is being sold and eaten extensively by Chinese people.

Today, chang has become a popular food and to be eaten not only during the festival but at anytime. You can easily find it at Chinese kuih stalls in Penang throughout the year. Chang is also a very convenient one course meal. One can eat it without using any utensils. The bamboo leaves is to prevent the dumpling from sticking to your fingers. This dumpling kind of reminds me of the Japanese ‘onigiri’ or rice balls with filling wrapped in seaweed, which is also eaten with bare hands. Don’t you agree?

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Cintra Food Corner at Cintra Street, Penang

There is a certain shop at Cintra Street, Penang, by the name of Cintra Food Corner, which is famous for ‘bak chang’ and Cantonese ‘tau chang’. Tau chang is literally translated as bean dumpling (‘tau’ means beans). In tau chang, split mung beans are added into the glutinous rice. The result is a pale looking dumpling with a rich and creamy taste of beans. The filling of tau chang is a standard fare consisting of pork, mushroom, chestnut and salted duck egg yolk.

Nowadays it is very hard to find tau chang because people don’t make them anymore – I wonder why? Some don’t even know that tau chang ever exist. In my knowledge, so far in Penang, tau chang is only available at Cintra Street. So, please share with me if you happen to know of any other places besides Cintra Street that sells tau chang!

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'Or kueh' or savoury steamed yam cakes ready to be cut and sold

Apart from chang, Cintra Food Corner also sells nice ‘or kueh’ (steamed yam cakes). For those who are interested to visit this place, Cintra Street is located in town area (Georgetown) not far away from KOMTAR. It is a very well known street with pre-war and old time shop houses. Just ask around for directions and you'll get there.

Oops! Almost forgot to mention (thanks Doc for reminding me!), this place also sells huge RM 5 bak chang with double yolk (and additional filling) to satisfy your big bak chang cravings as well as red bean dessert for your little sweet tooth. Dr Chen's from Ramblings also visited Cintra Food Corner not too long ago and she has some scrumptious photos to share. So, head over to her site to have a look!


Blogger Chen said...

Rabbit visit this place as well? :)
I visited the same shop few months ago and write a simple post on this as well :D

Did u try their huge bak chang with double egg yolk?

Saturday, 12 November, 2005  
Blogger Jellyfish said...

ini macam ka.

next time come pg, chen bring me there

den hor...
can ask rabbit to come ot as well,

i treat u all for those bak changs oso nvm

Saturday, 12 November, 2005  
Blogger glutton rabbit said...

Aiya, I forgot to mention about the RM 5 giant bak chang. I will add a link to your page. Great photos Doc! Thanks for reminding me ;)...

Haha very funny. This is the first time I heard of Jelly fish eat bak chang...

Saturday, 12 November, 2005  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

alamak.... i dunno Penang dat well, so gua tak toh mana lar.

Saturday, 12 November, 2005  
Blogger boo_licious said...

No place in tummy for bak chang when I go Penang - usually it's filled up with assam laksa, char kuay teow, ice kacang and etc.

How I wish I lived in Penang like you, the hawker food is so nice.

Sunday, 13 November, 2005  
Blogger rokh said...

might find time to drop by there when i go penang. thanks for the tips

Sunday, 13 November, 2005  
Blogger Tibbar de Gniw said...

Glutton rabbit, somehow your blog has a flair for making me hungry.
Next time I go to Penang, I am definitely going to Cintra Street...

Sunday, 13 November, 2005  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

boo_, cant say we dont have good food in Klang Valley.....loads of it and all within a 30km radius ??

Sunday, 13 November, 2005  
Blogger Jellyfish said...

i ate one yesterday :P
but local one la, not penang

Monday, 14 November, 2005  
Blogger glutton rabbit said...

You can always ask for directions. Penang is not that big, you'll be able to find it ; ).

Yeah, KL is rich with yummy foods too! I must agree on that!

I really love hawker food. It's hard to choose what to eat... I'm now craving for cha koay teow ;p~

If you're big fan of bak chang, this should be the place for you!

Great, do drop by! Cintra Food Corner should pay me for advertising for them ;p

Yoh... jellyfish can also eat bak chang. Next time I'll remember to throw some into the sea if I take the ferry...;p

Tuesday, 15 November, 2005  
Blogger day-dreamer said...

People throw bak chang into the sea for 屈原, but we throw into the sea for Jellyfish!! Wakakakaka!

Anyway, I prefer the Or Kuih to bak chang. Hehe!

Thursday, 17 November, 2005  
Blogger glutton rabbit said...


Sometimes it's nice to be a fish or jellyfish. Just swim around and do nothing but get bak chang to eat liao ;p

I adore Or Kueh too.. especially the one from Swatow Lane

Friday, 18 November, 2005  

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