Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend Food Tour: Sticky Rice Dumplings

Glutinous Rice Dumplings
Happy Dragon Boat Festival!
The Dragon Boat Festival or  Duānwǔ Jié (端午節) for 2010 falls on June 16, Wednesday and it's public holiday. In tradition, Chinese make Sticky (Glutinous) Rice Dumplings to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. In Taipei, the theme is "Health and Happiness at Taipei’s Riverside: The 2010 Taipei Dragon Boat Festival".The Taipei's International Dragon Boat Competition has been going on. I've been living in Taiwan for almost 8 years, but I never watch the race ever since. As far as I remember, the day of the championship is always raining, maybe a coincidence or I'm just too lazy to go out! :)

What is the relevance of Glutinous Rice Dumplings to Dragon Boat Festival?
There are many stories behind the Dragon Boat Festival and Glutinous Rice Dumplings but I would only re-tell what my Chinese teacher told us when I was still studying Mandarin Language. Long time ago, Qu Yuan, a 37 years old, famous Chinese Scholar drowned himself in a river by clasping a heavy stone on his chest. Since people knew that his a righteous man, they desperately searched the river in their boats but unsuccessfully, they didn't find him. Then people started throwing cooked rice in the river for Qu Yuan. However, one fisherman dream that Qu Yan did not get any cooked rice, instead the fish were the only eating the rice. So, they decided to make zong zi (粽子) or Glutinous Rice Dumplings to sink into the river hoping to reach Qu Yuan's body. That's how the wrapping of glutinous rice in bamboo leaves and racing of boat started.

Captured photos in a place where I live (Xizhi) Taipei County

Ingredients available, only for the Festival

June2010 083
Selling all over the place

Local Taiwanese, wrapping Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Making Zong Zi (Sticky Rice Dumplings)

Westerner called this Rice Dumplings or Chinese Tamales, since the main ingredient is glutinous rice. Added by pork, black mushroom, dry shrimps, and preserved egg yolk. Others added dried chestnuts or peanuts, and yam. The seasoning are soy sauce, sugar, pepper, spice oil, and five-spice powder.


For simple cooking, the pork is marinated in soysauce, sugar, and pepper, then fry it until golden brown or stew it. The shallot, shrimps, mushroom are sauteed. Then added to glutinous rice, mix well and cook. (Others cook rice separately). The yam or chestnuts or peanuts are boiled. Soak the leaves, rinse and dry.

Wrapping Zong Zi (Glutinous Rice Dumplings)

Fold leaves of bamboo put 1/2 glutinous rice at the center, then add mushroom, shrimps, pork, yolk on the rice; then take another 1/2 rice to cover them. Finally, packed well and tie with string. Put rice dumpings in the steamer to steam for an hour.
Some Zong Zi available in Convenient Stores in Taiwan

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11 comments:

Lani said...

Yum! but the calories, whew!

Lalaine said...

i love sticky rice but yes, can't take too much of it for 'diet' purposes..:)

My Yummy Sunday entry is up too!

Manang Kim said...

Oh my that is so delish looking dish. Happy Sunday.


Sandwich

Belle said...

Looks yummy and I also like the way it is prepared. Super unique. Have a delicious weekend!

Belle

tatess said...

that is so yummy sticky rice dumplings

Bogie said...

I think I'm gonna like this. Looks yummy and I like the idea that it is wrapped with leaves.

chubskulit said...

That's my weakness!

spice Up Your Life

girlichef said...

Well, these sound really good...and thanks for the info!!

Debinhawaii said...

They look great--I am a fan of sticky rice in all its forms. ;-)

Tina said...

That looks very yummy! :) LgTina

Anonymous said...

I bought some of these at supermarket here in the U.S. They are frozen and precooked. How do I cook them?

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