Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Duan Wu Jie aka Rice Dumpling Festival

Well, tomorrow is the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese Lunar calendar which indicates that it is "Duan Wu Jie" aka Rice Dumpling Festival.

From the name, it is obvious that Rice Dumplings or "Zong Zi" are eaten during this festival. That is why it is called the Rice Dumpling Festival. Well, there is quite an interesting story behind the festival of which I have already posted last year in the post titled "HAPPY RICE DUMPLING FESTIVAL aka DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL". Go read and be enlightened.

So, now you know the story. Intriguing huh?

Anyway, BenardCometh Revelations are going to show all of you how to make the Rice Dumpling aka "Zong Zi" yourself. D.I.Y yo.

Before that, I need to clarify that I am not the one who makes the rice dumplings. Todays How-To is a courtesy of my grandmother. She makes the best food I ever tasted, not to mention the best rice dumplings.
(Well, I would know how to D.I.Y rice dumplings after this. Same goes for all of you.)

Alright, lets get started. First of all lets have a look at the ingredients. The ingredients needed to make rice dumplings are:

Bamboo LeavesBamboo Leaves
(the bigger the better)

Dried ShrimpDried Shrimp




Glutinous RiceGlutinous Rice


The ingredients depend on preferences. You can always add whatever ingredients that you want. For example, chicken, prawn, fish, and etc. However, traditionally it is made using the ingredients mentioned above. Sort of.

Cleaned Bamboo LeavesWash and Clean
(you will need to have some nylon strings to tie the wrapped dumplings)

The first step is to prepare the ingredients. Wash the bamboo leaves and the glutinous rice. Then stir-fry the glutinous rice in a pan with some soy sauce and pepper.

Stir fry glutinous ricestir-fry the glutinous rice

Then, cut the pork and mushroom into smaller pieces. After that, slice the onion and stir-fry it in a pan with a little bit of oil. Mix the dried shrimp, pork, mushroom, and nut together with the onion in the pan. Stir-fry a bit then add in some soy sauce and pepper. Basically, just season to your liking.

Ingredient MixIngredient mixture

Up to this stage, you are almost done. The only thing left is to wrap the rice dumplings and the ingredients with the bamboo leaves.

There are some techniques required in order to get a properly wrapped rice dumplings.

First of all, get two bamboo leaves and align them in a way that the half portion of the leave is on top of the half portion of the other bamboo leave. This is so that there will be enough space to contain the ingredients.

Aligning Bamboo LeavesAligning the bamboo leaves

After that fold the leaves in cone-like manner where you will get a pocket-like hole with the pointy edge pointing away from you. Use fingers to make sure the hole is closed off or formed properly.

Making a pocketTesting the hole pocket

When you are satisfied with the pocket, start to fill a portion of the pocket with glutinous rice.

Fill in ingredientsStarting to fill the pocket

Fill it with enough glutinous rice as a base for the main ingredients. The base should look something like the following.

Rice Dumplings in processbase

When that is done, put some of the mixed ingredients on top of the glutinous rice as the fillings. Make sure it can contain the fillings.

Rice Dumpling Fillingsfillings

After that, put some more glutinous rice on top of the fillings to cover it.

Rice Dumpling Covering the fillings
Covering the fillings

Almost there, you see the long jutting side of the leave? Push the leave to cover the ingredients in order to wrap it. It might be difficult at first but with practice, nothing is impossible. The wrapping steps are like the followings:

Rice Dumplings1Rice Dumplings 2Rice Dumplings 3Rice Dumplings 4Rice Dumpling Wrapping StepsWrapping steps

After giving the final light squeeze, tie it up with the nylon strings prepared earlier and you will get the uncooked wrapped rice dumplings.

Rice Dumplings uncookedUncooked rice dumplings

The final phase is to cook or the accurate word should be boil the rice dumplings. Prepare a big enough pot. Put sufficient water and let it boil. After it boils, put in the rice dumplings and close the lid.

Boiling Rice Dumpling
Boil away

Rice Dumpling Cooking ProcessCooking process

After the rice dumplings are cooked, you will have fresh hot delicious rice dumplings for consumption.

Rice Dumplings DeliciousTasty Rice DumplingsYum Yum

That is it. Not that difficult to make right? Enjoy your "Zong Zi" aka Rice Dumplings.

Happy "Duan Wu Jie"


Rice Dumpling Festival


  1. ooh.. YUMMY rice dumpling. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Please compliment your grandma that she made beautiful and yummy looking zongzi :)

  3. Wha...looks like a pretty complicated process to me.
    Ahaha, i guess i'm not meant for cooking.

  4. You've really write a good post about the process of making rice dumpling.. Great!


  5. Nice post on making rice dumplings.

  6. ..i don't get it..what's the connection of the dumplings and the shemonkey and the dragon boats? sorry bit blur

  7. km: Sure, not a problem. Thanks for reading. =p

    criz_lai: Sure. She does makes the best foods.

    3point8: Not really if you try to do it yourself.

    curryegg: Thanks to my grandma that is. =p

    z: Yeah.... thanks.

    宝茹: Yep, with intention to make all of you fat. Eat eat eat.

    Mariposa: Actually the dumplings are thrown into the sea so that the fish would not eat the flesh of the shemonkey.

    And for the dragonboat, that is another way where they use longboats with big drums and as they row out, they hit the drum to make noise in order to scare the fish away.

    Hope that clears up. =p

  8. perhaps you should try a bigger size of dumplings too which is called "pillow dumplings". it's nice too :P

  9. Thanks. Now I know how the dumplings are made.

  10. Kudos for the nice post.

    Keep it up.

  11. esprato: Hmmm, pillow dumplings. Is it the rectangular type?

    Mariposa: You are welcomed.

    Zack: No prob. =)

    Kath: Thanks for the visit. =)


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