The Dragon Boat Festival just slid by. We talked a bit about this Chinese holiday in Chapter 24 of Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes. The special food for this occasion is the glutinous rice dumpling called 粽子 (zòngzi). Glutinous rice is more flavorful than the regular varieties of rice. It has kind of a sweet taste to it. Cooked glutinous rice is also stickier than regular rice. Hence the alternative monikers “sweet rice” and “sticky” rice. The palm leaves used for wrapping the glutinous rice dumplings also impart a distinct appetizing flavor of its own. These dumplings are a favrite with many people. That is why some eateries serve them on a regular basis. I thought it would be fun for you to know how these are prepared.
Bāo zòngzi hěn huā shíjiān.
Making glutinous rice dumplings is time-consuming,
dànshì mán yǒu qùwèi.
but quite a bit of fun.
Xiān bǎ zòng yè xǐshuā gānjìng.
First clean the palm leaves by washing and brushing
zài yòng gǔn shuǐ zhǔ jǐ fēnzhōng.
then cook them in boiling water for a few minutes.
Ránhòu lāo qǐlái fàng zài yībiān.
Then scoop the leaves out of the water and set them aside.
Bǎ nuòmǐ jìn zài shuǐ li sān gè xiǎoshí yǐhòu,
After soaking the glutinous rice in water for three hours,
tóng tiáowèi pǐn jí chǎo hǎo le de xiāmi hùnhé.
mix it with seasoning and pan-fried dried shrimp.
Bǎ zòng yè zé chéng sháozi xíngzhuàng.
Fold the leaves into the shape of a ladle.
Yǎo xiē nuòmǐ fàng jìnqu.
Ladle some of the glutinous rice mixture into it.
Jiā liǎng kuài hóngshāoròu hé xiānggū.
Add two pieces of braised pork and shitake mushrooms.
Zài jiā xiē nuòmǐ zài shàngmiàn.
Then top it off with additional glutinous rice mixture.
Bǎ zòngzi bāo hǎo.
Wrap up the glutinous rice dumpling.
Yòng dàhuǒ zhēng yī gè xiǎoshí jiù wánchéng le.
Steam over high heat for one hour, then it’s done.
Glutinous rice does not contain dietary gluten. However, it is not as digestible as regular rice. My advice is to refrain from eating too much of it at one time, and to chew well.
To see the associated photos and hear some of the above sentences read, click on this link: Glutinous Rice Dumplings. A recipe for 粽子 can be found in the “About” section.