Tomorrow is the Dragon Boat Festival.
Unless you live under a rock, by now, you would have seen, if not eaten, at least one bak zhang or rice dumpling in your lifetime.
Last year, I made a valiant attempt at making rice dumplings, cooking the ingredients from scratch, and enduring the torment of wrapping them.
Oh, and there was the hellish suspense of hoping that the dumplings would not explode in the boiling water. Rowing a dragon boat would have been more relaxing.
So this year, I decided, why not combine everything in one big fat glutinous rice parcel?
Think of it as making a communal rice dumpling for shared enjoyment.
Just like you can't row a dragon boat by yourself, you can't eat it alone. Not unless you want to feel like a dumpling afterwards.
I used lotus leaves as wrappers but lined them with bamboo leaves - it is quite difficult to get undamaged, lotus leaves. The two types of leaves combine to give a wonderful tea-like aroma to the rice.
It is still a tad tedious to prepare the ingredients, but less time-consuming than having to create individual dumplings.
This article was first published on June 1, 2014.
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