Monday, June 06, 2011

Happy Dumpling Festival!

Following the article on the festival in my Starry Starry Blog, I would like to wish the Chinese readers a Happy celebration with yet another Chinese festival which celebrates with food! (which festival doesn't anyway?)

I would have loved to post more photos on the glutinous rice dumplings, but I simply could not find my photos on the dumplings and my best/closest shot that I could find on a rice dumpling is this:
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Pathetic, but I tried searching for the photos, and to no avail.

Anyway, the rice dumpling is a traditional food consumed during the festival above, and it was made popular by the festival anyway, which commemorates the loyalty of a government official and poet, Qu Yuan who committed suicide by jumping into the river after his advice was unheeded by the king, which resulted in the kingdom being usurped by the Qin states after his king formed an alliance with them.

The people loved and respected him for his loyalty and in their bid of honoring him, they made rice dumplings to throw into the river. (read more here)

These rice dumplings evolved into properly wrapped dumplings filled with a mouthful of ingredients, ranging from meat, chicken, nuts, sweet bean paste, dried seafood, and even come in assorted varieties.

The main ingredient of the rice dumpling is the, of course, the rice; which is a sticky glutinous rice cooked by stir-frying along with the ingredients.
The combination would then be wrapped in bamboo leaves in a triangular or tetrahedral shape and tied before it was steamed for a few hours.
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It requires great skills to wrap and tie these babies, and years of experience, as I was told by my aunt and uncle who were in the business.

The traditional zong/zhang (as pronounced in Hokkien) is filled with chunks of red pork and fats, chestnuts, salted egg yolk, dried scallops, dried shrimps and black mushrooms as shown in the first picture (you'd probably have to squint to look at it:) (I am sorry about that)

The photos were taken from this famous stall in Penang, located along Burmah Road, or in exact, Tavoy Road.
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It is not hard to find a Bak Chang (meat rice dumplings), as it is known in Hokkien to most of the locals in Penang and the stall featured above, is the most famous in Penang; A1 Ba Chang stall.

It is also no coincidence that this stall is run by my aunt and uncle :)
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After the busy weeks leading to the festival, they are currently taking their well-deserved break and hopefully when they are back, I could get an exclusive interview with behind-the-scenes and real photos of Zhang/Zong with the special privileged status that I have ;)

*It is not a sponsored post, and I was not stuffed with dumplings to write this post*

Hope you enjoyed the festival! :)

19 comments:

  1. Fun festival! Dumplings are so good!

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  2. I crave for theese.. especially those Hokkien style and Hakka style. Big ones with lot's of meat! :)

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  3. Too bad you didn't get stuffed with dumplings to write that post! That's the kind of bribery I could get into :)

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  4. Yay to rice dumplings! Living at Houston we don't celebrate this holiday much, but eating the dumplings are a must have! My Mom just gave me 2 frozen ones, they are good but definitely not close to the ones you get to eat. Lucky!

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  5. I've never had a rice dumpling before. They sound good.

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  6. Interesting rice dumplings and liked the way they are wrapped and tied :)
    Thanx for the visit to my space..glad to follow u :)

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  7. Happy Dumpling Festival Christy! Oh I enjoyed looking at these pictures so much! I definitely need dumplings to celebrate together! ;-)

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  8. Are these available all year round? Would love to try on my next visit

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  9. Are these available all year round? Would love to try on my next visit

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  10. Hey Christie, thanks for the insight into this Chinese festival and of course, the much celebrated dumplings. I love Chinese cuisine but honestly, I've never tasted dumplings. Reading your post I know I'd love to sample them, soon. And hey thanks for popping over to my page and let me discover yours :)

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  11. Hey yummychunklet, you are a fan, I presume?:)

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  12. Food Glorious Food, not too much meat though..not healthy yea:p

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  13. Parsley Sage, LOL!! No corruption here...ahemmm!:p

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  14. Jeno, but you have other festivals over there where you celebrate with lots of fun and style too...think Thanksgiving;)

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  15. Pam, it's okay, you're not alone..I am not really that big of a fan myself:p

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  16. HI Sobba Shyam, THANK YOU!:)

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  17. Hey Nami, hehehe..go get them or make them!:)

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  18. Three cookies, they are available all year round these days ;)

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  19. Hi Plateful, my pleasure!:D

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