Today is Chinese Dumpling Festival (Duan Wu Jie) day. It was on June 13th 2013 that I wrote a short post on the origin of the Chinese Dumpling Festival and shared some photos, does not seem that long ago at first thought thinking about it, until I start recollecting and reminiscing on some of the events that transpired between then and now, it then sinks in, time flies. Frankly speaking, when I started, I did not expect to have the stamina to be blogging until now, but when I look back at the material or content which I have documented here, I am happy I have accomplished them and learned along the way, and that keeps me going. Anyway, enough of reminiscing … and back to the lovely dumplings ….
It was two years ago Agnes last made dumplings to celebrate the occasion, so when she went about making some over the weekend, I was only too happy to take some photos to document the activity. All in, she wrapped forty dumplings within a span of 4 hours with additional work the night before preparing the ingredients; so, now you know why people these days tend to buy dumplings, and not make them – it takes a whole lot of time and effort to make.
But by making them yourself, you have full control on the quality of the ingredients which goes into a dumpling, which affects the end result significantly – the taste. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, the higher quality the ingredients are, the better the taste ; of course, with the caveat the cook knows how to work the ingredients.
Dumplings can be broadly categorised into two types, sweet or savoury. Agnes tend to make the savoury type as we prefer them more. Once all the ingredients are prepared and she is ready to go, all the ingredients will be laid and arranged on the work area (our dining table) accordingly for easy reach. She will start by taking a couple of bamboo leaves and fold them to form a pocket, partially fill the pocket with fried glutinous rice, add in the accompanying ingredients which consists of a whole salted egg yolk, some dried shrimps, a couple of small dried scallops, one or two skinned dried chestnuts, a mushroom, some skinned mung beans; then top it with additional fried glutinous rice to pack all the ingredients in, complete wrapping the leaves in a manner it forms a tight ‘pyramid’ which holds all the ingredients within with no visible leaks, and tie it with a length of straw strings.
Once done with the tedious and labour intensive wrapping task, the dumplings are bunched together and cooked for about 20-30 mins in a pot of boiling water. Then they are ready to be savoured :). After giving away some to family and friends, we still have enough left to enjoy for a few more days … mmm … nice. Bravo, Agnes! and Happy Chinese Dumpling Festival to all celebrants!
All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF35mm