A Hong Kong expert divulges the how-tos of a lip-smacking rice dumpling for the Dragon Boat Festival
A couple of weeks before the Dragon Boat Festival during the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, Lui makes over 300 rice dumplings a day. These treats are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. Here, Lui teaches us how to make them.
Fill with uncooked glutinous rice and other beans or peanuts.
Place on top a piece of raw marinated pork belly and a salted duck egg yolk. The pork belly is marinated with Chinese five spice, soy sauce and sesame oil. The fat from the pork belly and the fragrance of duck egg yolk will permeate the whole rice dumpling.
“I don’t like the more modern recipes with chestnuts, mushrooms, seafood and other exotic ingredients. My customers prefer the traditional rice dumpling fillings and the ingredients I use can also keep longer.” At HK$10 per rice dumpling the price is affordable and many customers buy them by the dozen for their family and friends.
Fold the bamboo wrap over the rice filling creating a small pyramid shaped packet. Rice dumplings are wrapped a day before sale and cooked for 2.5 hours before being sold at room temperature.
Each rice dumpling weighs about 300 grams prior to cooking so it is definitely a filling snack or even a meal for some.
Mrs Lui works alone in her stall. She does not want her children to run the stall with her when they grow up as it is hard work and she preferred that they study and got higher paying jobs. She does acknowledge that as her generation approaches retirement, the days of the traditional homemade rice dumplings will disappear from the local wet markets.