Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail 🇸🇬 Dairy of Singapore active senior. Best years of food, travel, lifestyle

What is Chaoshan Teochew Pig Head Dumpling? 猪头粽


In old China, food is often scarce, so nothing is wasted. Almost every part of the pig is eaten or turned into a dish. Pig Head Dumpling 猪头粽 is one such dish from Chaoshan district in Guangdong province. Oh.. PHD it is not a rice dumpling.

Meat, skin, fat and soft tissue are scraped from the pig head and the shreds of meat are stir fried in a large wok with soy sauce and spices such as Chinese 5-spice, ginger, peppercorn etc. Leftover meat from meals are also thrown into the wok.

Oil and fluids are drained, and the cooked meat wrapped in cotton cloth is packed into a perforated steel tray (like a mould). A heavy weight usually a block of stone or wood is put on top of the cooked meat in the tray to compact it. This squeezes out excess oil and grease from the meat and presses it into a dense meat block. The pressing step takes one day.

The meat block is served cut in slices like bak kwa.

Eating Pig Head Dumpling is a Chinese New Year tradition, especially in the Teochew community.


Pig Head Dumpling is rarely found in Singapore restaurants and never in hawker centre nowadays. The only place I've tasted Pig Head Dumpling is at Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee in RELC building, level 2. 


Pig Head Dumpling tastes savoury sweet, a bit like Singapore bak kwa but not as sweet and has no smokey taste as PHD is stir fried instead of char grilled. The chewy texture is also similar especially with bak kwa made with minced meat.

The French have a form of "pig head dumpling" known as Tete De Porc Farcie.

1 comment:

  1. You can get it in Bangkok Chinatown. Not common in HK though


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