The Dragon boat festival delights

Last modified date

When we talk about dragon boats, many people would think of Glutinous Rice dumplings and Patriotic poet Qu Yuan. Dumplings are wrapped with bamboo leaves in chubby pentagon shaped.

“If you haven’t eaten dragon boat dumplings in month of May; winter clothes are not ready in the closet”. Many locals should have heard about this sayings. People called “Poisoned May Month”; May weather starts to get hot; yin yang unbalanced; which led to virus and diseases growing. Believers use wrapped dumplings worship their ancestral gods praying for a safe year. Every year between chinese summer calendar month and dragon boat seasons, the two solar festivals have become one and evolved into a rice dumpling food “must eat” customs.

Needless to say more about historic patriotic Qu Yuan story, let’s talk about how to eat a perfect rice dumpling today!

When it comes to eat the bests flavored rice dumpling, I personally agree to use the most traditional way to eat its best tastes. Green beans, Purple glutinous Rice and bacon dumplings are my best favorite options.

Canton style made dumplings are Macau’s signatures. Fillings are extremely rich and full, inseparable from these types such as: fatty pork, ham, roasted pork belly, salted egg yolk, chestnuts, green bean paste, mushrooms, scallops, etc.

During the making of rice dumplings, each steps tied up the wrapping needs to manage very well, not only just using water grass robe air tight well is the key, the rice ingredient handling are also extremely important.

The ratio of mixing new and old rice portion does take some attention to it. Usually portion goes to three portion of new rice versus seven portion oldies, can only make the rice texture fluffy and bouncy when chewing; each bite takes years of cooking experience by the master chefs enriching the meat texture excellence, enhance the taste’s level. Wrappings uses bamboo leaves; All in one go – using few pieces of bamboo leave pieces in cup shape holding all ingredients; that can’t be too loose, or too tight; When boiling in water, the dumplings that got too tight will became raw rice; On the contrary, if dumplings wrapped up too loose; boiling water will leak into the rice make it too soft, and became mushy. At the end, all these negligence unable to make the just right, hot rice dumplings.

When mixing with uncooked rice, in additional to adding a little bit of salt, premium soy sauce and other seasonal flavors, the most important thing is the add-in of “fried oil” stir evenly. Those are oil leftovers from fried chicken and/or pork; making the rice more aromatic before adding any seasonings. Nowadays a lot of people add fat pork in the dumplings to make the taste better.

Today would like to introduce Tou Wing Kei, a historical restaurant in Macau that lasts sixty years over; The second generation taking over the business operating currently. Hundreds of dumplings could barely remain, almost sold out before the main day. Pre-orders were hand up on the ceiling waiting for pick ups. Lotus seeds sticky rice dumpling is also an option. Marinates stuffed in full; fat but not greasy at all, moderately salty. After fatty pork is cooked, all lards is spilled from the meat, dripped and mixed into the glutinous rice evenly. The biting layers are definitely different from other normal stores that sells.

Best store highlights: whole egg yolk purple glutinous rice dumplings, whole yolk pork dumplings is the store’s best selling monsters in town.

Also worth a try their congee and rice rolls during other times. Particularly their chinese fried donuts and (resembling) ox tongue pastry is my childhood’s best favorite neighboring restaurant; a must visit place after shopping with my mum.

Another worth mentioning store is the mini store next to the bird’s paradise market. The store was there since thirty years ago. Firstly they opened as a grocery store.  The rice dumplings are all neighborhood’s must buy every year. The best famous selling point is the egg yolk they use, it brings out another different taste. Green bean pork dumpling is also their best buys. In addition, you can also try their home made sour pork knuckle with ginger, sweet and sour taste are just right.

At present, all dumplings varieties available in the hotel and local markets are encompassing. Vegetarian style healthy ingredients, Luxurious abalone and scallops, bird’s nests, double egg yolk and four egg yolks, and even domineering black truffle non-vegetarian Buddha jumping over wall ingredients are all available for sale.

A rice dumpling can really contribute few thousands of calories that goes to our stomach. Nutritiously rich, it definitely exceed the daily absorption measures! Please do eat less, taste better. When eating, don’t eat too much. Wishing all a healthy summer coming up.

Angela Fung