Saturday, June 18, 2011

I dare dare try 'Ba-Zang'! (Glutinous rice dumpling)

Zongzi (From Wikipedia)
Zongzi (or zong) (Chinese: 粽子) is a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling.

Zongzi is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (Mandarin: Duanwu; Cantonese: Tuen Ng) which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar (approximately late May to mid-June), commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States period. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors. When the Qin general Bai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan's grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet's body. Another version states that zongzi were given to placate a dragon that lived in the river.
Every year when I goes back to Singapore in June, it is almost always the season of Ba-Zang, Lychee, Mangosteen and Durian! But when my Hubs goes back in October, everything ends, and he has not eaten homemade Ba-Zang for many years! So I mustered all the courage that I have for the last weekend I have here in Dallas and prepare homemade Ba-Zang just for him!

I have no expectation of this experience to be successful, the rate of failure is too high so I daren't put in any hopes! But I just push all doubts aside and do what I can from the various websites reference. But mostly referred to Hakkachan 'cos my mom is 'Hakka'! And her recipe is really very very close to Momsie!

First step; get all Ingredients from Asiaworld Market.
Soak the Bamboo leaves overnight.
There are still many other ingredients that can be used but I have chosen to very basics; another reason I cannot get it here! I would love to have Salted duck egg and dried scallop!
Slice and fry the red onion; my mother has been making me do this since I was 12!
The very precious onion oil.

All the ingredients prepared; Glutinous rice soaked overnight and stir-fry, Pork Belly marinated and fry, mushroom soaked and chopped; dried shrimp washed and soaked.
SET UP neatly!
My mother would NEVER EVER ALLOW me to 'LEARN' from her Ingredients!
I have to SELF LEARN! Usually she will just 'shooooo' me out of the kitchen after I slice and fry all the red onions!
I fumbled through the whole process, tearing lots of bamboo leaves, rices sticking everywhere, rewrapping and rewrapping but still I reach the finale!

Boil for 1-2hours depending on the size of the dumplings.
The 2 hours wait for the dumplings to cook is 'NERVE WRECKING'!
I was afraid the leaves might tear, the strings might melt, the wrapping might loosen, or the rice will not cook; there are 1001 reasons to make me jump!

In the end ...
Not fantastico like my mom's but enough to satisfy our basic craving in farfarwayland - Texas!
Nonya Ba Zang Next?

Basic : 900gram Glutinous Rice,  Pork Belly 750gram

For Reference :

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