The Rice Dumplings Festival or Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month and this year, it happens on 23 June 2012. It is widely celebrated by Chinese all over the world and according to legends, it originated from a popular story to honour the famous Qu Yuan, a famous poet in ancient China. For more details of this story and how the festival came about, check out my feature on Yahoo – please click here.
At Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant, located at the Lobby level of One World Hotel, 3 unique flavours of Rice Dumplings are available for this celebration.
The dumplings are usually made of glutinuous rice with an assortment of fillings wrapped in bamboo and/or lotus leaves. For a traditional take on rice dumplings, there is the Hong Kong-style Rice Dumpling with Preserved Chinese Sausages and Duck (RM25++). Cutting open the huge dumpling, the fillings tumbled out… among them were dried shrimps, goose liver sausage, waxed duck, smoked duck breast, mushrooms, salted eggyolks, lotus seeds and split mungbeans. The waxed meats and sausages impart their smokey robust flavours while all the ingredients complemented each other well in this dumpling. Every bite of the well-flavoured glutinuous rice, when eaten with bits of the fillings, was truly enjoyable.
Like the Hong Kong-style Rice Dumpling, the Zuan Yuan Abalone Herbal 5-Grain Rice Dumplings are wrapped parcel-style with both bamboo and lotus leaves and just as big, in size.
Weighing a hefty 700-800g each, these rice dumplings offer a healthier option. The mixture of glutinuous rice, wild rice, red rice, brown rice and barley results in a speckled-like dumpling. Studded with red beans, lotus seeds, red dates and chestnuts, the dumpling yields a nice bite. Then there are the mushrooms, salted eggyolk, dried shrimps, roast duck, gingko and dried scallops… and to top it all off, there’s also an abalone in it. For a herbal touch, “wai san” (a Chinese tuber known for its healing properties) is also included. Due to the luxe ingredients, this dumpling is a bit pricier… at RM52++ each.
If savoury dumplings are not your preference, try the simpler steamed Sweet Glutinuous Rice Dumplings with Homemade Green Bean Paste (RM8++). Mild in flavour, you can opt to dip this into some sugar crystals for added taste and crunch.
Best paired with soothing Chinese Tea, these dumplings are available for lunch and dinner for dine-in and take-away from 11-23 June 2012.
For reservations or orders, please call Zuan Yuan at 603-7681-1159.
Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant
Lobby Level, One World Hotel
Bandar Utama City Centre
47800 Petaling Jaya