I know this is not authentic machang, I don't know its ingredients nor how to cook them. All I remember is it is pyramidal in shape, a little bit sweetish and brown in color. One online site describes them as glutinous rice with mushrooms, pork fat and chestnuts seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and sesame seed oil, wrapped in banana leaves, tied with strings at the top and submerged in boiling water and cooked for 30 minutes. I made a batch yesterday according to that description and was not satisfied with the result. The rice is a bit soggy, the seasoning was not thoroughly absorbed by the rice and maybe was washed away by the boiling method. The photo is on the right. The thing is, the machang was still good, regardless. So I searched in all my Chinese cookbooks for something similar, found one in Martin Yan's cookbook. His recipe has too many ingredients and the rice bundles are wrapped in lotus leaves. Since I prefer the essence of banana leaves and the simplicity of our machang, I adapted Martin Yan's method with the ingredients I used yesterday and the result is very very good.
Filipino Chinese-Style Rice Bundles
2 cups Japanese rice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
4 Chinese sausages, sliced
12 dried mushrooms, softened in warm water and julienned
1 100gm packet roasted chestnuts, broken into chunks
1 small can diced water chestnuts
banana leaves cut into 3 x 7 inch pieces
- Wash rice well, drain and set aside for 30 minutes, add 2 cups water and boil/steam for 25 to 30 minutes. In a large wok, fry the sausages until brown, drain well, remove the rendered fat and return to the wok, add all the ingredients, cook for 1 minute, then add the cooked rice, separating the grains and making sure the meat, mushrooms, chestnuts and the seasoning are evenly distributed. Spoon rice in a small cup, tamp a little bit. Put 2 pieces of banana leaves on a large platter, lay one across the other, invert the cup on the middle and tap until the rice comes out in one piece. Enclose the rice with the first piece of banana leaf then pull the second towards the middle, gather and pinch, tie with twine or thin strips of banana leaf, making sure the rice is not visible and completely covered. Steam in rapidly boiling water for 30 minutes.