I was sort-of depleted after watching Inception, a total brain workout. When I got home, I checked the refrigerator and found this. It’s a Chinese dish called zongzi, but Chinoys who speak the Hokkien dialect call it machang. It’s like our native suman, except that it is prepared with pork and chicken filling. It’s more like Chinese adobo in taste. Making this sticky rice dish is a laborious process, and the wrapper has to be pandan or bamboo leaves. The dude buys cooked machang in the Ongpin area, from Chinese restaurants or delicatessen shops like Sincerity or Diao Eng Chai. Keeping them in the freezer makes them last longer. It takes one hour, though, to reheat them.
We usually eat ours with Del Monte tomato catsup and chopped garlic. Banana catsup is not a good companion, imo.
Just like suman, there are regional variations. Machang in Singapore is white and tiny. Also in the States. There are all sorts of filling — mushrooms, bean paste, Chinese sausage, salted duck eggs, barbecued pork, etc. The most popular kind in the Philippines is the pork-filled. Several makers in Binondo prefer a combination of pork slices with red beans.
I guess the only restaurant that serves machang in Laoag is Macy’s Diner, if you wish to try.