Dumpling Festival 2023, also known as Dragonboat Festival or Duan Wu Jie (端午节) in Chinese, will occur on the 22nd of June 2023 – the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Although the Dumpling Festival is not a public holiday in Singapore, this is the time that families and friends come together to enjoy exquisitely handmade sticky rice dumplings or zongzi (粽子) or bak chang in the Hokkien dialect. Traditionally, there are 3 types of rice dumplings:
- Nyonya – Often has a blue tip. The interior features minced meat.
- Hokkien – Juicier than the Nyonya rice dumpling due to the presence of pork belly brimming with fat. The juices get absorbed by the rice.
- Sweet – Filled with various beans, nuts, dates or simply just the sticky rice and nothing else. Also called kee chang. Vegetarian-friendly.
If you were to choose to buy your rice dumplings from hotels and Chinese restaurants, expect luxurious ingredients such as scallops, abalone and even duck. This year, a couple of outlets have introduced some unique flavors. Many of the bak chang listed below for Dumpling Festival 2023 are available not just for takeaway but also for delivery. Here is a list of the best rice dumplings being sold this year.
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Conrad Singapore Orchard
*Michelin-Star Pick* Michelin-starred Summer Palace at Conrad Singapore Orchard sticks to tradition for Rice Dumpling Festival 2023, employing premium ingredients to stand out from the crowd. Flavors this year include the Abalone Rice Dumpling with Kurobuta (S$78) featuring fine ingredients like abalone, kurobuta pork, roast duck, conpoy, salted egg yolk, and more; Kurobuta Rice Dumpling (S$48), Vegetarian 5-Grain Rice Dumpling (S$36) and Lotus Paste Dumpling with Osmanthus Honey (S$26).
Exclusive for I Wander readers, get 2x Abalone Rice Dumpling with Kurobuta from Summer Palace for S$138 (UP: S$156). Until stocks last.
Dates: Now until 22nd June 2023
Order here (exclusive bundle for I Wander readers at 11% discount)
Kim Choo Kueh Chang
Kim Choo Kueh Chang (金珠肉粽) is one of the most popular places to shop for rice dumplings. They sell bak chang year-round in their main store at East Coast Road in Katong. Their products can be categorized roughly into Nyonya Chang where they have pork, vegetarian and chicken while their Salty Chang comes in salty egg, XO traditional and chili.
Order here (up to 12% off)
Yuen Chen Siang
Those craving for rice dumplings from Malaysia – particularly Southern Malaysia – can now order them online for delivery straight to your doorstep. One of the popular brands that offer this service is Yuen Chen Siang (源珍香) which originates from Muar in Johor. Popular flavors include the Traditional Rice Dumpling (S$24.83 for 3), Red Bean Rice Dumpling (S$13.5) and Vegan Rice Dumpling (S$12.42 for 2). Those who have ordered the traditional dumpling in particular have noted the leaner cut of meat used.
As these rice dumplings come from Malaysia, deliveries take about 1 to 2 weeks to arrive so plan ahead if you want it to reach you by Dumpling Festival.
Order here (free delivery with minimum order of S$15)
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay
This year’s selection from Peach Blossom at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay features four mouth-watering options – Premium XO Cantonese Rice Dumpling (S$47.04) featuring abalone, conpoy, and Kurobuta pork belly; Vegetarian Rice Dumpling (S$39.04) with flavorful vegetables and herbs, including black truffle, cordyceps flower and morel mushroom; Traditional ‘Hakka’ Kurobuta Pork Belly Rice Dumpling (S$23.04) with fermented bean curd, Japanese flower mushroom, dried shrimp, chestnut, and salted egg yolk; and Hokkaido Sweet ‘Lava’ Rice Dumpling (S$16.64) with Hokkaido sweet potato custard in butterfly blue pea rice.
Dates: Now until 22nd June 2023
Order here (20% off)
Hock Wong presents 4 different flavors of bak chang for Rice Dumpling Festival 2023. This includes the Hokkien Bak Chang, Red Bean Bak Chang, Kee Chang and Salted Egg Hokkien Bak Chang. They dumplings are individually vacuum sealed and Hock Wong promises no MSG, preservatives or artificial flavors for their bak chang.
Order here (free delivery with minimum order of S$50)
Tung Lok is rolling out 4 types of rice dumplings for Dragon Boat Festival 2022. Highlights include their healthful Oat Rice Dumplings with Mushrooms (S$55.50 per bundle of 7), the sweet Honey Date Rice Dumplings (S$27 per bundle of 7), Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables Rice Dumplings (S$55.50 per bundle of 7) and XO Dumplings (S$48 per bundle of 7). Their rice dumplings are delivered frozen. They currrently have a promotion of buy 6 get 1 free. The quantities stated in the price are already inclusive of the 1 free dumpling per bundle.
Dates: Now until 22nd June 2023
Order here (free delivery with minimum order of S$100, S$8 delivery fee otherwise)
Joo Chiat Kim Choo
Joo Chiat Kim Choo traces its humble beginnings from a stall at 34 Joo Chiat Place in Katong, the epicenter of Nyonya culture in Singapore. The brand has now grown to become one of the top rice dumpling names in Singapore with its products selling briskly even outside the Dragonboat Festival. Its top sellers include the Rice Dumpling Bundle (from S$52.92 for 10pcs) which already includes mix and match of Nyonya, Salted, Salted with Egg Yolk and Cantonese Bean dumplings. For those who prefer the Nyonya style of dumplings, Joo Chiat Kim Choo also sells Nonya Rice Dumpling Bundle (from S$54 for 10).
Order here (S$8 delivery fee, free delivery with minimum spend of S$60)
Love Dumplings is a home-based business primarily selling rice dumplings. Having been financially affected by the pandemic, they started the business in mid-2020 to positive reviews, with customers coming back for repeat orders. Aside from their Kiam Bak Chang (starts from S$60 for 10pcs), they are also selling Mini Kee Chang (from S$20 for 10pcs).
Order here (S$8 delivery fee, free delivery with min S$150 order)
Xiang Ye started over a decade ago with a modest store in Chai Chee and has now grown into one of the most popular outlets for rice dumplings or bak chang. They are known for their value-for-money proposition with a set of 10pcs going for as low as S$19.99 with choices such as Nyonya, Hokkien and Salted Egg. Customers can also mix and match up to 2 kinds (i.e. 5 pcs of each flavor for a set of 10).
Order here (S$4.99 delivery fee)
SMH Food Group
SMH has been a long time supplier of Chinese snack items, particularly dimsum, to major supermarkets, hotels and convenience stores the past few decades. Those who shop in Fairprice or Sheng Shiong supermarkets in the heartlands might have encountered their roadshows. They are known for their frozen siu mai, bao and gyoza among others. For Dumpling Festival 2021, they are rolling out the Lotus Leaf Chicken Dumpling with Purple Rice (S$10.80 for 4pcs), Lotus Leaf Nyonya Chicken Dumpling (S$10.60 for 4pcs) and Lotus Leaf Red Bean Dumpling (S$9.80 for 4pcs). The rice dumplings from SMH Food Group are delivered in frozen form where they have a shelf life of up to 12 months.
Order here (free delivery with minimum order of S$80)
Yong Le Dumplings
Yong Le is a food manufacturer based in Jurong that specializes in various types of dumplings. For dragonboat festival, they are offering Salted Egg Yolk and Pork Dumplings (S$11 per bundle) which are delivered frozen. Each bundle consists of 2 pieces of dumplings and each dumpling weighs approximately 180 grams.
Order here (free delivery with minimum S$45 order)
Noted baker Gin Thye is also offering rice dumplings for dragonboat festival 2022. They are selling the dumplings in bundles of 8 pieces with 2 different flavors to choose from – Salty Bak Chang (S$39.90) and Nyonya Chang (S$39.90). The dumplings are delivered frozen.
Popular Chinese restaurant Gim Tim is selling its rice dumplings frozen with two flavors to choose from. The Gim Tim Traditional Conpoy Rice Dumpling (S$5.63) comes with conpoy, salted egg, dried oyster, chestnut, dried shrimps, mushroom and pork. The Gim Tim Traditional Nyonya Rice Dumpling (S$5.63) comes with mushroom, candied melon and minced pork. Orders are available for delivery or pick-up at the restaurant located in Ang Mo Kio.
Order here (delivery from S$5 per location)
For Dragon Boat Festival 2023, Shangri-la Singapore presents a collection of rice dumplings comprising new flavors as well as bestsellers from previous years. Taking center stage this year is the 20-year Tangerine Peel Red Bean Lava Rock Rice Dumpling (S$17.90). Treasured 20-year tangerine peel is combined with velvety sweet red bean paste and wrapped in a thin and chewy mochi dough which is in turn enveloped in glutinous rice. The flowy lava from the red bean paste oozes out when the dumpling is cut.
Other notable flavors include the Shang Palace Signature Barbecued Pork Rice Dumpling with Yunnan Ham and Conpoy (S$29.90), Traditional Nyonya Rice Dumpling (S$19.90) and the Truffle Pork Rice Dumpling with Salted Egg (S$21.90). These flavors are also available together as a set. The Shang Palace Rice Dumpling Gift Set (S$89.90) includes an assortment of 4 dumplings along with a tin of the Shang Palace tea.
Order here (15% off until 4th June)
*TOP PICK* Man Fu Yuan at InterContinental Singapore ushers in Dumpling Festival 2023 with a number of new flavors of rice dumplings including gift bundles encased in limited edition dumpling carriers. A new variation this year is the Cured Kurobuta Pork with Sambal Dried Shrimp Dumpling (S$24.80). Weighing 300g, this dumpling is brimming with chunks of kurobuta pork, dried shrimps and trumpet mushrooms. Another interesting creation is the Smoked Duck with Yunnan Black Gold Garlic Rice Dumpling ($22.80). This round dumpling features signature smoked duck and is shaped like garlic to symbolize the prized garlic within the dumpling. For traditionalists, their bestseller – Traditional Hokkien Dumpling (S$22.80 for 300g) and XO Nonya Style Rice Dumpling (S$22.80 for 300g) work well as gifts or for self-consumption.
Dates: Now until 22nd June 2023
Raffles Hotel Singapore
yi by Jereme Leung celebrates Dragon Boat Festival with a trio of flavors – including one new – of rice dumplings. Making a return are the Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Vegetables Rice Dumpling (S$22) that comes with preserved mustard vegetables along with the customary pork belly for a refreshing depth of flavors; and the Butterfly Pea Flower Kee Chang with Raffles Signature Kaya Jam (S$28 for 5). This is yì by Jereme Leung’s new variation of kee chang with the delicate, earthly notes of butterfly pea flower. Each pack comes with the crowd favorite – Raffles Signature Kaya Jam. A new flavor this year is the Traditional 12-Head Abalone and Preserved Meats Glutinous Rice Dumpling (S$49). Boasting an assortment of carefully created ingredients, this exquisitely crafted dumpling is enfolded together with 12-head abalone, Sakura Ebi shrimp, salted egg yolk, chestnut, lotus seeds and more.
Dates: 22nd May to 22nd June 2023