Monday, June 6, 2011

Duan Wu Jie (aka Dragon Boat Festival)


Well, the last time I wrote about these was in 2009, and when I went home this weekend to help make zongzi, my mom said "What, you need to take pictures again??" Well yes, yes I do! So here is another post on one of my favorite foods ever!


I always refer to these as sticky rice dumplings, but I don't know if that's really an accurate name. At any rate, they are parcels of sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, and either filled with pork or sweet red bean paste. The fillings vary by region (and by family) but in our family, we make them Shanghai style (so my mom says) filled only with pork. Other styles may include salted egg yolks or chestnuts or pure giant chunks of pork fat etc. But I like them our way the best.


Both the pork and the rice are marinated first in soy sauce (and other seasonings). The bamboo leaves come dried, so you have to soak them, boil them, and scrub them before they can be used. Fortunately, all of that hard work was handled by my mom, and I was just needed for the actual wrapping.


So you make a cone out of the bamboo leaves, add a spoonful of rice to the bottom, a big chunk of pork, and then top it all off with more rice, as my mom is demonstrating here.


You then fold the extra leaves down and to the side to seal in all the goodies, and then tie the whole thing shut and end up with...


This! A nice, neat bundle of deliciousness. This is one of my mom's--you can tell because she's tucked all the extra leaf away neatly.


And this is one of mine, after cooking. As you can see, I like to leave my extra leaf bits stick up--I think it looks nicer this way. And personally (and I said this last time too, haha) I think mine look better ;) But the really important thing is the taste, and that is always flawless, thanks to my mom's preparation.


Mmmm, sticky rice and pork....we made a mere 66 this year (plus another 20 sweet ones, filled with red bean paste) which means I will have to eat them sparingly to make them last. But I think I will go have one for breakfast, it is the day of the actual festival, after all....


square kitchen said...

I love those sticky rice packages. I had them allways round and I love your triangle version as it is much more decorative.

Megg said...

Those look fantastic! Great photos too.. the first one looks like a bouquet of deliciousness.. hehe..

tofugirl said...

Hey Square Kitchen :) I think the round ones are the type that are wrapped with lotus leaves, but the insides are certainly pretty similar! I like the triangular version better too :)

Megg, thanks! I'm rationing them out to make them last longer..haha.