Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Eating Zongzi (Sticky Rice Dumpling)

It was the time of the lunar year again when we prepared Zongzi as offerings to the Gods and Deities and not to mention our ancestors as well. Of course to the uninitiated, these Zongzi can also be loosely referred to as sticky rice dumpling which is made of glutinous rice. Of course there are many different types of these Zongzi as you can stuff different fillings into these bundles of rice and then wrap each of them with a few (usually 2) bamboo leaves. Lastly tie them up by using plant stems and then they are steamed or boiled.

The unmistakable Nyonya Zongzi with blue dye. :)

The minced chicken fillings.

Sounds easy right? But then again it is quite difficult and it takes a lot of time. The last time I my late mother made these for us was like a a decade ago. *melancholy* These days we barely have the time to make our own Zongzi, but still they are needed for prayers. Therefore we have to buy them from experts. Usually my family only consumes two types of Zongzi namely the Blue and White Nyonya Zongzi and the yellowish "Abu" Zongzi without any filling. So what is your flavour of Zongzi?

Another all-time favourite is the "empty" Abu Zongzi without any filling. 

You usually savour them with gula Melaka. Yum! Yum!

So why are we-the Chinese, eat this Zongzi during this Dragon Boat Festival? My wife and I explained to little Jordan and Jasmine about its origin earlier today. This was what we said, "You see...once a upon a time there was a patriotic poet by name Qu Yuan, who loved his country so much that it pained him to see people fighting against each other. Qu Yuan then drowned himself on the fifth day of the fifth Lunar month in the Miluo River, hoping that his death could end the war. The locals who soon learnt about his suicide, immediately raced in their Dragon boats to search for his body. Fearing that the fishes in the river would eat the body of Qu Yuan, they threw clumps of sticky rice aka Zongzi into the river to prevent the hungry fishes from feasting on Qu Yuan. And hence this tradition continues." I wonder if they understood what we had said. LOL :D

Watch to understand the history of Dragon Boat Racing & Zongzi.

Thanks to Qu Yuan, we now have delicious Zongzi to savour every single year (no disrespect to him and his patriotism though). This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation and I believe most of us are actually looking forward to eating Zongzi every year besides being an excellent opportunity for family members to gather and hangout. One day, my wife and I should really make our own Zongzi and add whatever fillings that we want. *drooling* :p

My kids really love to eat these sweet sticky rice dumplings. :D