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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dumpling Festival / Dragon Boat Festival (端午节)

Happy Dumpling / Dragon Boat Festival to all!

Photo source: http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Qu-Yuan-221x300.jpg

To share a little history, this festival (also known as Solar Maximus Festival) a day to commemorate the sacrifice Chinese poet Qu Yuan's sacrifice. He jumped into the Miluo River , ending his life in protest against the rulers and corruption in the 278 B.C.

Dragon boat came about as the people rowed out in search of him, but their efforts at rescuing him were futile.  Hence till today, many countries celebrate this festival by organising and participating in dragon boat races.

Anyway, despaired that they could not find Qu Yuan, the people accepted that he has perished in the womb of Miluo River. To prevent the hungry fish from eating up his body, the people tossed rice dumplings (glutinuous rice wrapped with different fillings and wrapped with reed / bamboo leaves) into the river for them to feed on.

Hence, eating rice dumplings is another way of people celebrating this festival. I used to dislike rice dumplings because of the stickiness, greasiness and heavy taste of spices. Now, if I do buy dumplings from outside, I only eat the Black Pepper Chicken ones from Eastern Dumplings (Dong Yuan) - spicy and flavorful, and they use lean chicken meat.

But I only really started to enjoy rice dumplings officially when my Mom began making her own. I tried to help out, but it is no easy feat, so I help to shop for the ingredients - bamboo leaves, mung beans, glutinuous rice, mushrooms, chestnuts, beans, spices, salted eggs, dried oysters and roast pork (yes, her very own recipe).

I love her dumplings because they are not greasy, they taste good and they are small enough I could eat one by myself. In the past when she had more time, she used to pound her own chilli padi and put some in - making it even more sumptuous. 

After indulging in rice dumplings, remember to drink green tea to "wash down" the oils and all.

Have a good celebration!

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