Introduction: Vegan Bacang Rice Dumpling

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Bacang or rice dumpling is a very common dish for Asian people. Although many names appear for rice dumpling, in my old home country, Indonesia, we called it Bacang (or Bachang). Bacang was introduced by Hokkien Chinese. It basically rice that cooks inside the bamboo leaves. For general history, bacang was born by poet Qu Yuan. For detail history of bacang, click here and here.

The filling in Bacang usually contains meat, such as pork, chicken or beef. Due to vegan challenge, I omit the meat ingredient, and change it into vegetables instead. Turn out the result of vegan bacang is as great as meat bacang.



Some dried bamboo leaves

4 cups of rice

Cooking twine

Kitchen towel


Garlic cruncher

Cutting board

Some old newspapers

For fillings:

1 large carrot, cut in dice shape

1 large potato, cut in dice shape

Corn, sliced

1 green onions, minced

White onion, minced

Shallot/ red onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons corn oil

4 tablespoons soy sauce (you can use any soy sauce, but I like Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce most because the taste is the best.)

4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (you can use any sweet soy sauce, but I like Bango the most because its taste is the best.)

4 tablespoons sesame oil (you can use any sesame oil, but I use Maruhon sesame oil, because the taste is best and not bitter.)



2 teaspoon white pepper


Step 1: Prepare the Bamboo Leaves

It is very tricky when you want to make Bacang. First, you must know how many sheet of bamboo leaves you should use. It depends on how much you wanted to make Bacang. To make it easier, we will need 3 sheets of bamboo leaves for making 1 medium-sized of Bacang. In this instructables, I made 10 Bacang, so I used 30 sheets.

Next, because of bamboo leaves are dry and rigid, soak the bamboo leaves for one night with cold water. Make sure all the bamboo leaves soak. It is important to soak the bamboo leaves one night before, to make sure that the bamboo leaves will become flexible (not stiff and hard anymore). The reason is that when we wanted to wrap the rice, it cannot be broken. We do not want to wrap the rice with dry bamboo leaves. That can cause creak and the rice will come out.

After soaking one night, drain the water. The bamboo leaves become soft and flexible. The color of bamboo leaves will change into darker. They are ready to use. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Paste

Take the garlic cruncher. Put the garlic in and crunch it one by one until garlic becomes paste. If you do not have garlic cruncher, you can dice it thinly or punch it with mortar and pestle. Just make the garlic small. Divide the garlic into 2 portions, one for the rice and one for filling.

Step 3: Cooking the Filling (Vegetables Mixture)

In a large wok, add the corn oil over high heat.

Add garlic, white onion, and shallot/red onion. Stir until garlic, white onion, shallot/red onion become yellowish and fragrant.

Add carrots, corn, potato, and green onions. Sauté 2-3 minutes until all the vegetables are almost tender.

Add soy sauce, salt, white pepper, and sugar. Stir it. Lastly, pour sesame oil.

Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Step 4: Prepare the Rice

Wash the rice thoroughly. Set aside.

Step 5: Cook the Rice

In a large wok, add the corn oil over high heat.

Add garlic. Stir until garlic become yellowish and fragrant.

Add rice into the wok. Stir it nicely.

Add soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, salt, white pepper, and sugar. Stir it. Lastly, pour sesame oil.

Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Step 6: Prepare for Wrapping

Cut every edge of the bamboo leaves because the edge is very stiff and make us harder to wrap the food. Dry the leaves using kitchen towel. The leaves are ready to use. Set aside.

Take 3 sheets of bamboo leaves. Pile them nicely.

Step 7: How to Wrap- Base of Wrapping

Fold the bamboo leave's wrapper into the shape of cone.

Step 8: How to Wrap- Put the Rice and Fillings

Put 1-2 tablespoons of rice into the wrapper. It depends how large is the cone-shaped wrapper. If it is large, put 2 tablespoons. If not, put 1 tablespoon only. Push the rice gently and neatly. Make a little bit deeper in the middle for putting the vegetables mixture or filling into it.

Take 1 tablespoon of the vegetables mixture or filling and put on the top the rice. Take 2-3 tablespoon of rice again on the fillings until all the fillings are covered. Push the rice gently and nicely.

Step 9: How to Wrap-Closing the Wrapper

Fold the bamboo leaves wrapper. To see how to fold the wrapper, see closely my video. Do it carefully. It is the hardest part of this recipe. By practicing over and over, you can master it. After all are covered, seal the Bacang by tying it with the cooking twine.

Tie tightly, otherwise the rice will come out and the wrapper will break after boiling. You are finish with one Bacang. Do the rest until rice and filling run out.

Tie the Bacang with the others. Make 10 Bacang into one bond. But, it depends on how big your pot is.

Step 10: Cook the Bacang

Bring to full boiling water in a pot or you can use saucepan, too. After boiling, put one bond of Bacang into the pot. Make sure all the Bacang are soaked in the water.

It is important to do it because the rice that we cook earlier is still considered undercooked. By doing this, it makes the rice softer and also cooks the rice thoroughly. (see the video)

Cook the Bacang until 1 hour with medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Enjoy the Bacang.

Step 11: Result

That is all for my recipe. Here is the result of Bacang. I hope someone can make and share it with me below.

Meat Free Meal Challenge

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Meat Free Meal Challenge