The Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Festival) falls on every 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s therefore also known as the ‘double fifth festival’. On the Western calendar, it falls on the 30th of May this year (2017).
If you’re in China, you’ll notice the festival is just around the corner when people start preparing “Zongzi” a type of glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves. It’s a traditional type of food people eat around this time of year. It’s also common for the Chinese to visit relatives and friend and exchange zongzi.
Depends on the regions, Zongzi have different flavours and shapes. Generally speaking, in the North of China, people have the custom of making sweet Zongzi. Whilst in the South, people seem to love savory Zongzi more.
Let’s check out some of the types of Zongzi from different parts of China.
As the representative of northern style Zongzi, Beijing Zongzi are big in size, usually with jujube and sweet red bean sauce as stuffing, some are filled with dried fruits.
Plenty of ingredients and time are used in the making of Cantonese Zongzi. Sticky rice, mung beans, yolk of salted egg, peanuts, pork and lotus seeds are all wrapped in the large bamboo leaves.
Jiaxing is well-known for its delicious Zongzi, The most famous Zongzi brand in China, Wu Fang Zhai, is from Jiaxing. The quality of the ingredients is the key: first-class glutinous rice mixed with finely selected pork. When you eat it, you won’t feel the grease from the pork because it blends perfectly with the rice.
In Xiamen and Quanzhou, there are nicely marinated pork Zongzi. People put stewed pork belly, shelled shrimps, mushrooms, spiced soup and sugar in the sticky rice. They eat the Zongzi with the dipping that’s made of mashed garlic and wasabi, chili sauce and picked turnip and so on, sounds tasty!