Sticky rice dumpling, better known as zongzi 粽子 is a traditional Chinese food eaten to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival ( 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar ) which falls on 20th June this year. It is a bamboo leaf wrapped dumpling filled with sticky rice and other ingredients. Generally speaking, there are 2 types of zong zi, namely the sweet and savoury ones. The sweet dumplings are normally filled with red bean paste and the savoury ones are filled with pork, salted eggs mushrooms, dried shrimps or chestnuts. What is so special about our Teochew Sticky Rice Dumplings (Bak Chang / Bak Zhang 肉粽) is that they are savoury as well as sweet as red bean paste is also added together with the pork. My family especially loves the red bean paste in the teochew sticky rice dumplings, without which will not be complete.
The process of making these rice dumplings can be pretty dramatic as the preparation and cooking them take at least a real two whole days, beginning with marinating the pork and preparing other ingredients to the washing of the bamboo leaves. Also wrapping a sticky rice dumpling can be quite a challenge, especially for a beginner. However, with practice, it’s really not that difficult and you can really enjoy a sense of satisfaction after mastering the skill of making such a classic and popular dish.
Lastly, I like to express my appreciation to my sister for this wonderful family passed down recipe. Without her, I may not be able to document and put this recipe together. Thank you Ji Chair for all your guidance.