Its that time of year again. Most Chinese will know the moment you read the title. For this Banana Man - Chinese nick name for Chinese who dont read or write or even speaks Chinese. If that is the case, I'm half a banana. Yellow on the outside, white beneath.
Anyway, its the Duan Wu Festival. Am I right ?
Zòngzi or 粽子 or more commonly known as Chang or Bak Chang some spelt as Bah Tzang is a traditional Chinese food. According to Wikipedia , it is also known as Chinese Tamale so called by the Hispanic population in California. How they are similar ? Maybe the rice and lard mixture, I guess.
Being health conscious, people nowadays dont use that much lard anymore and I do agree as well, lard will kill me. Having fatty liver is bad enough, I dont my artery to be clog. Indeed, S.E.A. have a lot of variety for this DELISH dish. The Viet version is slightly different and usually wrapped with banana leaves or even lotus leaves.
Mum made some for her usual prayers and for me to EAT.........I cant eat that much glutinous rice dumpling as my digestion system is not that good anymore. For those with gastric, I was up to LOSEC once before.
The origins of rice dumplings are traced to the legend of Qu Yuan, a well-loved poet who drowned himself in a river. To stop the fish from eating his body, people made rice dumplings and threw them into the river. Another version of the legend states that the dumplings were made to placate a dragon that lived in the river. Source from Wikipedia.
This parcel is what mum had made for me and me wife. So far, I had eaten 3 and my wife 2. Five to go.
Unwrapping the bamboo leaves used to wrap the Dumpling. Wish I was at home when she prepare the dumpling. I need to learn from her and I think I will make it next year. That's another 365 days to go. Ouch !
Look at the beautiful shape of the dumpling.
Mum always used the same filling and the taste is ALWAYS the same. Wonder how they do that ? Shiitake, Chestnuts, Streaky Pork and Soy Bean ( Yellow Bean ) for this "HAM ZHONG" or "KIAM TZANG" <--------- salty dumpling. Usually the glutinous rice is soaked and drained. Sauteed with a little oil, light and dark soy sauce. Commercial dumplings will use oyster sauce and MSG. Two pieces of bamboo leaves are use overlapping each other. Form into a cone with one side longer. Glutionous rice are spoon into the cone first follow by other ingredient and then topped again with rice. The longer end leaves are used to hold the parcel and then tied with I dont know what you called them - I think they are called hemp string. Not sure though, can anyone help ? This is really a very hard skill to learn. Too much rice and the parcel will burst once cooked. If you tie them too tight, they will burst too. Mum still use the traditional ways - using a cut off OIL TIN to use as a pot and then place over charcoal stove to slowly boil them till cook.
This is a very interesting dumpling that my colleagues mum did. Notice how the glutinous rice was not sauteed ? The filling is chopped dried shrimp and sauteed with whole bean paste. It does have a very wonderful fragrant. Its so DELISH ............. must ask for the recipe next time I'm there at her home for holiday.
Well, do read up and find out more about this festival and dumpling. I will be seeing some post soon in other epicurean blogs.