Steamed rice dumplings are consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place during early summer. It is one of the most popular festivals of the year in Chinese culture.
The Dragon Boat Festival is a Chinese holiday that commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan).
The festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar, which falls on Thursday 9 June in 2016. It is an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
Dragon boat races are held on rivers and lakes during the Dragon Boat Festival throughout Greater China as well as in other parts of the world with large Chinese communities.
It is customary to consume rice dumplings (zongzi), which consist of glutinous rice and some kind of filling. They are wrapped in leaves and steamed.
Steamed rice dumplings can be sweet or savoury. Fillings can include egg, beans, dates, fruit, sweet potato, walnuts, mushrooms, and/or meat.
Steamed rice dumplings go on sale at Chinese restaurants two or three weeks before the festival. They can be consumed on site or taken away.
How to Make Glutinous Rice Dumplings
Lau Yiu Fai, Executive Chef at Yan Toh Heen, the two star Chinese restaurant at the InterContinental Hong Kong, will teach how to Organic Apple and Black Glutinous Rice Dumplings on Saturday June 4, 2016 from 11:45am to 1:45pm.
The class will include a late breakfast featuring dim sum and freshly brewed tea.
Following an introduction to the ingredients and a demonstration on how to make Organic Apple and Black Glutinous Rice Dumplings, participants will have a chance to make rice dumplings of their own.
They will also get to take Whole Abalone Glutinous Rice Dumplings and Wagyu Beef Cheek with Porcini Dumplings.
As souvenirs, they will receive a Whole Abalone Glutinous Rice Dumpling, a bottle of Yan Toh Heen homemade XO chili sauce and, a cooking class apron.
If you don’t want to make rice dumplings yourself, not to worry! The restaurant is taking orders for three kinds of rice dumplings until 8 June 2016. They can be picked up between 1 and 8 June.
Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2313 2323. Hotel Website: InterContinental Hong Kong.
Sichuanese Style Rice Dumplings
Yunyan Sichuan Restaurant in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island will serve two kinds of Sichuanese style rice dumplings this year: Braised Pork Belly and Pickled Chili with Braised Beef Brisket.
The fatty pork belly is braised with star anise and Chinese wine, giving it a creamy texture and flavorsome sauce that penetrates the glutinous rice.
Stewed with homemade pickled chili and ginger, the beef brisket is soft and tender with an appetizing sourness and spiciness that seeps into the glutinous rice.
Yun Yan, Shop 1001B, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2375-0800.
Cantonese Style Rice Dumplings
With three outlets in Kowloon and Hong Kong, Tsui Hang Village will serve three kinds of Cantonese style steamed rice dumplings.
The Premium Conpoy Dumpling Trio consists of a Conpoy Rice Dumpling, a Salty Pork and Peanuts Rice Dumpling, and a Cumquat Sweet Rice Dumpling.
The Deluxe Conpoy Dumpling Duo consists of a Conpoy Rice Dumpling and a Cumquat Sweet Rice Dumpling.
The Conpoy Rice Dumpling has dried scallop, mushrooms, and many other premium ingredients. The Cumquat Sweet Rice Dumpling is best served with our homemade honey cumquat sauce.
The Premium Conpoy Dumpling Duo consists of a Conpoy Rice Dumpling and a Salty Pork and Peanut Rice Dumpling.
Apart from Conpoy Rice Dumping, Salty Pork and Peanuts Rice Dumplings feature premium peanuts and pork belly with an extra soft texture and mouth-watering flavours.
Tsui Heng Village, 5/F, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2376-2882.
Tsui Heng Village, 2/F, New World Tower, 16-18 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong. Telehone: (852) 2524-2012.
Tsui Heng Village, 22/F, Lee Theatre, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2409-4822.
Eight Great Cuisines of China
China is a vast country, and cooking styles vary from place to place.
Cantonese cuisine and Sichuanese cuisine are two of the so-called Eight Great Cuisines of China, which are about as different as cooking styles can get.
Cantonese chefs favour freshness above all else, enhancing rather than masking natural flavours. Their dishes tend to be light.
Sichuanese chefs favour strong flavours, and they have a heavy hand with chilies and with numbing peppers. Their dishes tend to be heavy.
These culinary differences are reflected in the differing flavours of Cantonese and Sichuanese style steamed rice dumplings.