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Tantalising taste buds with rice dumpling varieties

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Sticky rice dumplings or “zongzi” may have originated as a seasonal food, but this handy package of glutinous rice and meat has become a year-round favourite in most major cities with a significant Chinese population.

 

By Alpha
https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/2548145612
Rice dumplings are usually wrapped in tetrahedral shapes.


The rice in zongzi cover a filling that can consist of mung beans, mushrooms, chestnuts, fatty pork, salted duck egg yolks and many others. It is commonly wrapped into a tetrahedral shape with pandan or bamboo leaves, although lotus, banana and maize leaves are also often used.

 

These dumplings need to be steamed or boiled for several hours depending on how the rice is pre-prepared. Using induction cooking hobs like the Electrolux EHEC65BS can provide an energy-efficient way to cook the dumplings while keeping the water at a steady boil.

By Alpha
https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/4922604451
Rice dumplings are often stuffed with savoury ingredients such as fatty pork and salted egg yolk.

The most common type of zongzi is savoury, and can be eaten as a light meal. They can also be sweet and eaten for dessert. Fillings vary depending on the region the rice dumpling hails from.

 

Jiaxing zongzi

Named after a city in China, this is a famous dumpling variety which is typically filled with pork and salted duck eggs, although red or mung beans can be used too.

 

Jia zong

This dumpling doesn’t use glutinous rice, but rice flour instead. Its covering is similar to that of mochi, although the fillings remain the same. It is smaller than most of the other varieties and is much stickier.

 

Jianshui zong

The rice for this sweet dessert dumpling is treated with alkaline lye water or potassium carbonate, which gives it a distinctive yellow colour. It contains either no filling or a sweet mixture like bean paste. It is often eaten with sugar or a light syrup.

 

Nonya Bak Chang

These are a Peranakan specialty, with the fillings consisting of minced pork with candied winter melon, ground roasted peanuts and a spice mix. This gives the dumpling a distinctive salty-sweet flavour.

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