Zongzi – Glutinous Rice Dumplings for Dragon Boat Festival

粽子 (zòngzi)

粽子 (zòngzi)

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.

包粽子很花时间,
Bāo zòngzi hěn huā shíjiān.
Making glutinous rice dumplings is time-consuming,

但是蛮有趣味.
dànshì mán yǒu qùwèi.
but quite a bit of fun.

先把粽叶洗刷干净,
Xiān bǎ zòng yè xǐshuā gānjìng.
First clean the palm leaves by washing and brushing

再用滚水煮几分钟.
zài yòng gǔn shuǐ zhǔ jǐ fēnzhōng.
then cook them in boiling water for a few minutes.

然后捞起来, 放在一边.
Ránhòu lāo qǐlái fàng zài yībiān.
Then scoop the leaves out of the water and set them aside.

把糯米浸在水里三个小时以后,
Bǎ nuòmǐ jìn zài shuǐ li sān gè xiǎoshí yǐhòu,
After soaking the glutinous rice in water for three hours,

同调味品及炒好了的虾米混合.
tóng tiáowèi pǐn jí chǎo hǎo le de xiāmi hùnhé.
mix it with seasoning and pan-fried dried shrimp.

把粽叶摺成勺子形状.
Bǎ zòng yè zé chéng sháozi xíngzhuàng.
Fold the leaves into the shape of a ladle.

舀些糯米放进去.
Yǎo xiē nuòmǐ fàng jìnqu.
Ladle some of the glutinous rice mixture into it.

加两块红烧肉和香菇.
Jiā liǎng kuài hóngshāoròu hé xiānggū.
Add two pieces of braised pork and shitake mushrooms.

再加些糯米在上面.
Zài jiā xiē nuòmǐ zài shàngmiàn.
Then top it off with additional glutinous rice mixture.

把粽子包好,
Bǎ zòngzi bāo hǎo.
Wrap up the glutinous rice dumpling.

用大火蒸一个小时就完成了.
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.

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