JOHOR BARU: Making glutinous rice dumplings (bak chang) has become slightly costlier this year with the essential dried ingredients seeing an increase of about 5% to 10%.
Checks at several markets showed that dried shrimps, dried mushrooms and salted eggs were among the items whose prices had gone up.
Prices for small dried shrimps varied between RM75 and RM80 per kg, showing an increase from the average RM74 last year while the bigger ones went up to RM85 in some shops.
Glutinous rice was similarly priced, ranging from RM5.50 to RM7.50 per kg while salted eggs saw the usual hike of 10 sen, making it 90 sen each.
Sundry shop owner Jimmy Chan, who has been running his business for over 20 years at the Larkin Market here, said the prices of dumpling ingredients such as small dried prawns went up to RM80 per kg compared to RM74 last year.
“Dried mushrooms, priced from RM80 to RM85 per kg depending on size, have also seen an increase in price by about 5% compared to last year,” he said yesterday.
A sundry shop proprietor at the Tebrau Market, who wanted to be known only as Lee, said shallots had also seen a slight increase to RM15 per kg while chestnuts remained unchanged at RM60 per kg.
“These days, many people are too busy to make their own dumplings. So, they are opting for ready-made ones. It is mostly the older generation who continue the tradition of making the dumplings at home,” she added.
Pork seller Tan See Huat said the price of the meat had also seen a rise with belly parts going for RM27 per kg instead of the usual RM24 to RM25 per kg.
“Lean pork has increased only by RM1 to RM16 per kg, as competition is stiff and there is sufficient supply of the meat,” he added.
The Dumpling Festival is celebrated today.