The Dumpling festival (aka 端午节 “Duan Wu Jie”) is almost here and you can start seeing shops hang out dumplings of every possible flavor for sale. There are several legends where this festival was based on, but I am only familiar with 1, since I grew up with that. So here it is:
Qu Yuan was a descendant of the Chu royal house (in the ancient state of Chu, in the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty) and served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance. Qu Yuan was accused of treason. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry, for which he is now remembered. Twenty-eight years later, Qin conquered the capital of Chu. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The local people, who admired him, threw lumps of rice into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat his body.
So there you have it. There are other legends as well, so if you’re interested, go search Wikipedia. But the point of this whole blog is to introduce how to make the dumplings. As mentioned earlier, there are many flavors our there today, but nothing beats the good old “Nonya Dumpling” that my grandmother so painstaking makes each time. This year, I decided that I was going to learn how to make it.
Other raw ingredients: glutinous rice, pandan leaves
Oil, sugared melon, salt, pepper, corinader powder and dark soy sauce
Now that the raw ingredients are ready, it’s time to cook the meat mixture:
First, fry the onions until they turn golden brown
Next, fry the meat, mushrooms, sugar melon and onions with the condiments.
You’re almost half way there =)
Now, let’s clean up the leaves by washing and boiling them
Next, get the pandan essence to add to the rice
You are now 80% done. The last 20% is probably the toughest, but also the most fun! I will take you through it slowly:
Tie it and it’s Done….Finally…
Steam these babies and they’ll be ready in 1 hour. Enjoy =)