Happy Belated Duan Wu Jie.
Recent days I have been so ... hmmm, caught up with my work. At work I usually have to spend long hours starring at the PC monitor. Consequently, when I am back at home after work, opening my laptop and work on it doesn't seem to be a leisure activity to me at all. And so ... I haven't been typing any post, nor hopping to other blogs.
Anyhow, I managed to find some time to make some rice dumplings. The last time I did this was like, 2 years ago. Honestly, I like making rice dumplings. I like seeing the ingredients from scratch, and with my effort, they turned out to be something else. Something I miss with a fond heart.
The ingredients of my lovely dumplings:
Peeled mung beans. Ohh, I absolutely love this.
I managed to get some packaged, pre-cooked chestnut here from my asian grocery store. Since the chestnuts were precooked, I thought they would turn out extremely soft after 2.5 hours of cooking together with other ingredients in my rice dumplings. Surprisingly the hardness remained.
Yes, you don't usually see this in rice dumplings, but I like them. I don't like black-eyed peas, so I opted for these colourful beans instead.
Mushrooms ... how can this ingredient not to be included?
The bamboo leaves. Washed, cooked, and soaked. The strings are actually raffia strings that I bought from a local art store. You don't get these type of strings from grocery stores. I believe people here these days will use hemp strings instead.
All my side ingredients. I was contemplating whether or not to include pork as I don't cook any pork these days. Yet somehow, rice dumplings just don't seem to be complete without any pork. So, I had pork included as part of my rice dumplings. The pork was marinated overnight with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, garlic, garlic powder, and most importantly 5 spice powder.
The main ingredients, glutinous rice with dried shrimps. Glutinous rice was soaked overnight, then fried with lots of garlic, dried shrimps, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, brown sugar ( I don't use any fine sugar these days, only brown sugar) and lots of salt. The saltiness of the rice would lose a great deal during the long hours of cooking. It is okay to make the rice to be more salty at this stage.
Rice dumplings. Making-in-process. Instead of 2 leaves, I would use 3 to make them into pillow shape.
Because I don't get to have the strings to be tied as a bunch, I was not able to make my dumplings into the ordinary multi-pyramid shape. This is how I like it, pillow-shape rice dumplings. In a way, it is easier to make, and I don't run the risk of having the rice leak out from my bamboo leaves.
After making all the dumplings, I put all of them into a giant stock pot, and top it up with hot water and a few tbsp of salt. The dumplings were cooked for 2.5 hours in the pot.
I didn't take any pictures from the dumplings I made this time. Whenever I unwrapped one, I would dig in right away. The end result looked pretty much like this, except I had red & green beans this time, instead of soy beans as shown in the picture.
I really like rice dumplings, and am glad that I actually do know how to make it myself.
So, how was your Duan Wu Jie (Chinese Rice Dumpling Day) on May 31, 2006?
I look forward to sharing your stories. =)