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Couple who sell halal rice dumplings say 20% of their customers are Chinese

Couple who sell halal rice dumplings say 20% of their customers are Chinese
Hongjing (left) and Fazlin (right) at their pop-up booth.
PHOTO: Instagram/Thehansdumplings

Bak zhang — or rice dumplings — are rarely Muslim-friendly as they typically contain pork.

But thanks to outfits like The Hans Dumplings, those from the Muslim community can now enjoy this traditional Chinese dish.

The local business is currently run by husband-and-wife duo Nur Fazlin, 38, and Shen Hongjing, 40. 

In an interview with AsiaOne, Fazlin, a Singaporean, shared that they set up a home-based business selling bak zhang after several months of research and development. This was back in 2021.


That same year, her brother-in-law, Han Mingming and his wife Syahiirah set up a business selling steamed dumplings.

Both Hongjing and Mingming are from Harbin, China, and are Muslim converts. On the other hand, Fazlin and Syahiirah are Singaporean Muslims.

Hongjing, who is from China, came to Singapore in 2009. He met Fazlin while working at a local bakery, reported Berita. 

For the Dragon Boat Festival in 2021, the two couples decided to combine their expertise under one business, calling it The Hans Dumplings. 

However, Mingming and Syahiirah decided to relocate to Melbourne that year.

Fazlin and Hongjing then took over the business and they have been running it together since.

They have been operating it purely as a home-based business up until last year, when they started doing pop-ups - they recently did a pop-up at Waterway Point for this year's Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on Monday (June 10). 

Prices for their bak zhang range from $12 to $14 for three. They come in flavours including spicy beef, beef, spicy chicken and chicken. 

On the other hand, their steamed dumplings are priced from $12 to $16 for a box of 15 and they come in flavours like chicken, prawn and beef. 

In an interview with Shin Min Daily News on June 9, the couple shared that they usually make about 100 bak zhangs a day. 

But orders have since gone up due to the increased demand during this Dragon Boat Festival.

"Usually, we prepare about 100 bak zhang a day at most. As the number of orders increases, we need to prepare more. Recently, we need to prepare 300 bak zhangs a day," Fazlin told the Chinese publication.

Support from the Chinese community 

Over the years, their business has also garnered more support from the Chinese community, said the two.

"Initially, our customers were mostly Malay Muslims. Then it became popular among Chinese Muslim reverts," shared Fazlin.

"Now, we have more Chinese community customers." 

Currently, 80 per cent of their patrons are Malay Muslims, while the remaining 20 per cent are Chinese or Chinese Muslims, Shen told 8world in an interview.

The more popular menu items are their steamed chicken dumplings and chicken bak zhangs. 

"These sell more as some Chinese don't eat beef," Fazlin explained to AsiaOne. 

This isn't the couple's first foray into the F&B scene. 

They also own an online bakery called Rotilicious2010, which specialises in customised cakes and desserts.

ALSO READ: Interracial couple selling halal prawn mee opens up about the challenges they have faced

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