Before we started, I’ll be honest to you. Bak chang is not Indonesian dishes. It actually traditional Chinese food. BUT in my deffence, i haven’t know about that until i decided to post it in my blog 😛
So, Bacang (or Bak chang), Kwecang (or Kicang, Kucang) and Caicang (or Chai Chang) all looks the same. Elongated-cone shaped, wrapped in bamboo leaves (YES, it do looks exotic). But the differences between the tree of them is the filling.
First, Bacang. Bacang can be found everywhere in Indonesia. It actually my favourite breakfast since it can be eaten on the go and it’s quite filling, and of course, it tasted super delicious. Bacang is made using rice or glutinious rice and then filled with protein such as meat, chicken or pork (never seafood because it need to be cooked for a quite long time).
Then, Caicang. Caichang is vegetarian bacang. It exacly the same as bacang, the only difference is chaicang only using vegetable without protein.
The last one is Kwecang. To be honest, i never tasted kwecang before, just because i can’t find it. So, it’s not as easy to found as bacang. But, this one is interesting, it’s not savoury, but sweet! And also, Kwecang have no filling at all. Kwecang is made using glutonious rice that treated with lye water to make it more alkaline. The rice turns yellow and sweet. Kwecang usually served with sugar syrup. Btw, that’s how kwecang got its name. Kicang – ki means alkaline water in Indonesia.
Bacang, Kwecang and Caicang is actually a Zongzi (粽子) , traditional chinese food made of glutonious rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo, reed, or other large flat leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. In the Western world, they are also known as rice dumplings, or sticky rice dumplings.
In Burmese-speaking area such as Myanmar, Zong zi known as Pya Htote. In Cambodia it called Nom Chang, Khanom Chang in Laos and Thailand. Zongzi filling can vary from mung beans, red bean paste, chinese sausage, salted chicken fat, chinese black mushroom, salted eggs, chestnut, cooked peanut, campoy (dried scallops), yam, etc.
Zongzi are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism, because of the grief, he drowned himself in the Lament River. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent the fish from eating the poet’s body.
p.s originally, bacang, kwecang and caicang are wrapped using bamboo leaf. BUT in Indonesia big bamboo leaves that could be use to wrap is so damn expensive (because it’s imported from China), it cost +/- Rp 50.000,- (or 3.9 USD) per pack. So, in Indonesia, bacang, kwecang and caicang are wrapped using hanjuang/andong leaf (Dracaena leaf). It only cost Rp 9.0000,- (0.7 USD) per pack!