Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to make Chinese Rice Dumpling

Tomorrow is the fifth day, of the fifth month according to the Chinese calendar. It is during this time, all Chinese around the world eat zhang, or better known as rice dumpling.

Like many other Chinese food, the dumpling too has many versions. The one i'm about to write is the Nyonya dumpling. Again, there's many version of it, so don't leave me a comment and say this is not the authentic Nyonya dumpling. :)

The two main leaves that are use are the bamboo leaves and pandan leaves (of the bigger version, not the one you cook your desert with). Pandan leave gives a nice fragrant to the dumpling but because it is thicker, it is harder to wrap with it.

To tie the dumpling, hemp string is used. It's harder to tie with the hemp string tho' so you can use nylon string.

Glutinous rice plays an important role. It must be of a good quality and perfectly flavoured. The glutinous rice is soaked for about an hour, drenched and then fry it on the wok on a low heat. After that, slowly mix in the garlic oil.

For the filling, you'll need chestnuts, chinese shitake mushrooms and pork. The pork musn't be too lean otherwise the filling tends to be too dry once the dumpling is put to cook. Chestnuts are boiled with sugar beforehand and mushrooms are cut into cubes.

Then fry the pork, mushrooms and chestnuts.

When it's about to cook add in the seasonings. Other than the obligatory coriander, add in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and mono sodium glutamate to taste.

It should look more or less like this. Maybe of different colour since some people would be more health concious and would skim on the soy sauce.

I like my dumplings with yam. Because the meat tend to be strongly flavoured and slightly greasy, yam is good to neutralize the taste. The yam is steamed and then mashed. After that, it is fry on the wok. While in the process, add the sugar.

It is actually quite easy to wrap a dumpling. Just start by folding the leaves like the picture below, and you'll know where to continue. Prepare a huge knot of the hemp string beforehand because you're suppose to tie from the knot after you have done wrapping the dumpling.

Then, put to cook in the boiling water. It takes quite a long time to cook - about two hours for 20 dumplings. But if you're not that patient, use the pressure cooker. It'll take about 20 minutes to cook for the same amount of dumpling. Of course, you'll have to substitute the time with the taste - it might not taste as good. ;p

The first picture is wrapped with bamboo leaves while the one below it, pandan leaves is used.

This is the one wrapped with bamboo leaves, without yam.

This is wrapped with pandan leaves, with yam.

I've eaten so much dumpling for the past few days and I doubt i'll eat any of it on the day itself. Hehe. One tips though. Because dumpling is quite a heavy food, greasy and all, do drink chinese tea after eating them. It makes you feel a lot better.

Happy Dragon Boat Festival everyone! :)


Huai Bin said...

It looks so nice! You know how to make dumplings, that's amazing! I've only eaten one this year, got two more on my desk for lunch. :)

Happy Dumpling Festival Mel! :)

OO said...

Wow, you run a great food blog. Nice mouthwatering pics and instructions. Keep it up.

Melanie said...

Huai Bin : Not very good at doing it yet, learning from the mother bear! Hehe. Happy Dumpling Festival to you too!

OO : Thanks! :)

LawrenCe said...

hey, looks nice. How about steaming it instead of boiling?

Melanie said...

Lawrence : i've never tried neither have i heard people steaming it so i cant give you a confirmation on the question. However , it might be because of the duration. Boiling takes about 2 to 3 hours , and steaming would be a lot longer.. so perhaps that is not the method used ? however for reheating purposes, steaming is used.

Rachat de credit said...

Thanks it is a good guide, now to make chinese rice dumpling is definitely very easy with the help of your advice. Thank you