Making a Hoo Kee Bak Chang is nothing short of a labour of love. The bamboo leaf used for wrapping the dumpling has to be individually trimmed, soaked overnight and carefully wiped clean by hand before use.
The ingredients are all top-quality and carefully selected - top grade AA glutinous rice from Thailand, the best cuts of meat, salted duck eggs specially imported from Vietnam or China, plump and moist Shiitake mushrooms.
Preparation takes a long time as the rice has to be meticulously inspected to sieve out unusable grains that will adversely affect the quality of the Bak Chang after it is cooked. After that it has be soaked overnight before it can be fried with garlic, onion, spices and sauces.
The meat too has to be cut to just the right size or else it will be cooked unevenly. Then it has to be marinated for a period of time before it is painstakingly braised to a mouthwatering tenderness.
Then together with the other fillings - chestnuts, salted duck egg yolk, mushrooms - the dumpling is expertly assembled and lovingly wrapped in the soft bamboo leaf before it is cooked to perfection.
Throughout the entire process, everything is done by hand, ensuring an artisan quality that is impossible to achieve with mechanised methods.