Alkaline water dumplings, also known as Kee Chang (碱水粽/枧水粽) are made using glutinous rice with alkaline water added. Alkaline water is now readily available in most Asian grocery stores. In making these dumplings, alkaline water gives the dumplings a slightly astringent flavour and changes the colour to a shiny light yellow which is the characteristic of an alkaline water dumpling.
These alkaline water dumplings are often cooked plain with just the glutinous rice and served unwrapped either plain or with sugar, palm sugar or even coconut jam (Kaya). However, I like to make my Kee Chang wrapped with red bean filling.
These Red Bean Alkaline Water Dumplings or Red Bean Kee Chang are actually sweet rice dumplings and they are one of the most basic sweet rice dumplings (Zongzi) made during the Dragon Boat Festival. But these sweet dumplings are no ordinary Kee Chang. What make these sweet rice dumplings so special is they have red bean paste wrapped in them and the red bean paste is also homemade.
A much smaller version of the big and savoury sticky rice dumplings (Zongzi), these sweet rice dumplings are so much easier to prepare and to make. Nevertheless, wrapping each individual dumpling meticulously and cooking them for hours certainly make these sweet and gooey dumplings a labour of love so be sure to ENJOY!