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Monday, June 2, 2008

Sticky Rice Dumplings & Dragon Boat Festival - WW

Yummilicious Nonya rice dumplings (meat filling)

These sticky rice dumplings (zong zi) consist of glutinous rice with a sweet meat filling wrapped in bamboo. They are made to honor Qu Yuan (340-278 BC.), a patriotic poet of ancient China. They are eaten at Duan Wu or Dragon Boat Festival.

ingredients used for rice dumplings

Depending on the fillings, there are the sweet or savoury versions of rice dumplings. The sweet ones used bean paste for filling. The savoury ones tend to contain more choices of ingredients. In recent years, many hotels and restaurants try to create new favours by adding roast duck meat, scallops, birds' nest, shark's fin, chocolate, truffle....etc to their rice dumplings. I prefer the traditional pork rice dumpling and the kee dumpling (rice cooked in alkaline water).

wrapping rice dumplings in bamboo leaves

The bamboo leave which form the wrapping, makes the rice dumpling fragrant.

Take your pick!

I still remember helping my mother and aunts to make rice dumplings as a child. My brothers and cousins would hover around the kitchen, we couldn't wait until they were cooked. The rice dumplings were made only once a year several days before May 5th of the Lunar calendar.

But now it is quite different. The rice dumplings are available at any time of the year. If you come to Singapore, you have to try one.

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