I went to Hualian for the weekend to visit my favorite family and see their daughter's graduation recital (see upcoming post), and part of the fun was making rice dumplings, or zhongzi with some of their friends. These are one of the many foods that I didn't really like at first, but have now really grown on me, especially if they're homemade and filled with yummy stuff! There are actually a lot of steps to take in order to make them, and a lot of different ways to do it as well.
1. Soak the bamboo leaves and cook the rice
2. Cook the meat
3. Stir fry the mushrooms, dried shrimp etc
3. Fry the rice with peanuts
Then comes the part I was involved with: assembly! 4. Take 2 bamboo leaves and fold them
5. Put some rice in the bottom
6. Add the filling
7. Cover with more rice
8. Shape and finish wrapping
9. Tie up with string
The wrapping part is the most difficult, and I admittedly, needed quite a bit of help, but it was fun, and then we got to the best part
10. Steam the dumplings
They are quite filling, but I managed to eat two. I have another 5 left for the freezer!!
After that I went to watch a few dragon boat races with my friend Libeck, I didn't take any pictures there, but it was fun.... also HOT. According to Chinese wisdom (tradition?) Dragon Boat Festival marks the true beginning of summer, and this year, that may be the case, since we have had a wonderfully mild spring...let the sweating begin!