Rice Dumpling/ZongZi

Rice dumplings (or zòngzi, ròuzòng or bah-chàng) is almost synonymous to the Dragon Boat Festival (or duan wu festival). An iconic dish the festival has a story behind it and a long process in making it.

Story

The story of the zongzhi begins with the story of the festival and a beloved and famed Chu poet Qu Yuan. Following Qu Yuan death, the villagers would throw rice, packed in bamboo, into the river to prevent the fishes, crabs and river dwellers from eating the body of Qu Yuan. This eventually evolved to be rice packed in bamboo leaves instead.

How to Make ZongZi

Here is a video from Angel Won’s Kitchen along with recipe for it.

Different kinds of ZongZi

While the boiled and steamed version of the ZongZi are most prevalent and well-known, in Taiwan, there are many version of it. Also to note, this is a “dumpling” so anyone could get adventurous and put in any type of filling.

35344543_1002560136580494_511518256922624000_n

Southern Style

34478748_193486431485638_485040973248724992_n

The key difference between the Southern style zongzi and others is that the Southern style is boiled. The filling is first cooked, but the rice is uncooked, then boiled. This allows zongzi to have a soft texture and a light scent of the bamboo leaves.

Northern Style

34616840_469165976845865_7911336450791047168_n

Unlike the Southern style, Northern style would not just cook the filling, but also fry the rice first.

Hakka Style

34078478_804513006419597_2406375587884040192_n

Think a very big savory mochi. Unlike the others when you can see the individual grains of rice, the Hakka style has the sticky rice mushed together which allows for a unique and Q texture.

HuZhou Style

34189100_441729726253043_2501818007538368512_n

From the HuZhou city, marinating the rice and filling in soy sause, the HuZhou style zongzi has a heavier taste.

Vegetarian Style

33794025_2047413388846255_491105080523620352_n

With Taiwan’s culture based around Buhhist religoin, naturally there is a vegetarian version. While in the north, they would simply remove the meat, in the south, the vegetarian zongzi would only have peanuts.

Sweet Style

34441443_229435121119361_2178030043819671552_n

Why stop at savory? Soaking the rice in sugar water, this sweet dessert is perfect for the summer to cool down.

Ice Dumpling

33992176_390913521408847_3416806385600430080_n

Speaking of cooling down is another sweet version. The ice dumpling has a gelatin casing for the filling. Usually a sweet paste like red bean, the ice dumpling is a modern invention for this culture of desserts.

Cinavu (NOT a ZongZi, but looks like one)

34333778_776879456033938_4255762340600872960_n

Again not a zongzi, but the cinavu’s shape is very similar to zongzi. Cinavu is from the Paiwan tribe in Taiwan. Since DuanWu festival was brought over from China, the Taiwanese aboriginals do not celebrate DuanWu festival.

Resource:

Island Folklore

President Tsai Instagram

Angel Wong’s Kitchen

YTower Blog

2 thoughts on “Rice Dumpling/ZongZi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s