The Dumpling Festival is here again! Held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar; 2 June this year, it is a festival to honour a famous poet, Qu Yuan (屈原) for his patriotism. Here’s how we celebrated the Dumpling Festival last year.
I had planned to try cooking the glutinous rice dumplings (otherwise known as “Zong Zi” 粽子). But after browsing through the recipes, I had second thoughts. It takes approximately 2-3 hours to prepare the fillings and make the dumplings, and another 2-3 hours to cook the dumplings. Learning to wrap the dumplings is an art altogether. If the dumplings are not wrapped properly, the fillings will fall out. I decided to execute plan B: buy a ready-made dumpling.
I chanced upon these frozen glutinous rice dumplings (粽子) at Sheng Siong Supermarket last week. The supermarket had a section selling the ingredients for making dumplings, cooked dumplings, together with these frozen ones. The brand, “Joo Chiat Kim Choo” supposedly makes tasty rice dumplings. So we decided to give it a shot. There were salted and Nonya dumplings. Usually, we’d prefer the latter but my husband decided to try the salted ones today.
Overall, the glutinous rice dumplings were not too bad. Just a tad too salty for my liking. I generally don’t take much salt in my food. My husband found the taste alright. Well, to each his own. We’d try the Nonya dumplings next time.
We borrowed this book, “不是方的，不是圆的” (translates: it’s not square, it’s not round) by 郑春华 from the library. Through a simple story about a mouse family, young readers learn about the Dumpling Festival. It doesn’t mention about the origin of the festival, rather it shares what the dumpling is made of and the joy of celebrating the festival as a family.
I find that this book makes a good introduction or opening before discussing the meaning behind the celebration with your children.
We plan to head down to Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall this weekend to celebrate Dumpling Festival. The Children’s Season 2014 is happening at the same time too. There are craft workshops, dumpling making sessions, guided tours and interactive story-telling put together by students of ITE College Central.
Join in the fun with us!