Dumplings festival coming soon


Two days ago, my sister-in-law gave me these home made rice dumplings or ham yuk chung. This reminds me that the festival is coming soon. Usually, this Chinese annual festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, which is on 11th June, 2005.

There are several varieties of dumplings made this way. Bamboo leaves are used to wrap the rice inside and then, tied with raffia strings. Depending on the recipe, the dumplings will either be boiled for several hours or some are steamed.

The above is made from rice, meat, salted eggs, chestnut, mushroom, peanuts, white beans and other delicious Chinese ingredients like dried oysters, dried shrimps or anything people fancies.

I have one photo of the dumpling at this URL. This is a non-halal, pork version.
(I do not show photos of recipes which contain pork on this website as an understanding to my Muslims surfers/visitors. However, the photo will be available at Flickr and one need to visit Flickr for the photo.)

Beside meat dumplings, the Chinese also made plain glutinous rice dumpling that had been soaked in lye water. The rice will turn yellow and when boiled, it has a wobbly, shiny yellow effect. This dumpling is called ‘kee chang’ in Hokkien. The dumpling will then be dipped in gula melaka syrup very much like the ee nya kueh, a type of sweet, cold dessert.

There are so many different varieties of dumplings which comes from the different dialects of the Chinese. I hope to be able to get hold of the different varieties and share some photos here when they are available in the market.

I found some history related to this dumpling festival. Though it is not religious based, most Chinese observes this day and offer dumplings in prayers to their ancestors.

The dumpling festival commemorates Qu-Yuan, one of China’s greatest poets and patriots, who protested against a corrupt government. Wrongfully dismissed, he protested against the injustice and drowned himself in a river, They sought to recover his body from the river he drowned in, but it was never found.

So that his body wouldn’t be eaten by fish, the people then threw dumplings made of rice into the water for fish to eat instead of his remains and boats raced throughout the expanse of the river to find him.

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