"Zong4 zi (Chinese rice dumplings)" Beijing Restaurant Tip by ntm2322
Beijing Restaurants: 680 reviews and 826 photos
This is a traditional Chinese food made of glutinous rice filled with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling.
The major difference between the zong zi made in the North and the one made in the South is merely the fillings.
Eating zong zi is a several 1000 years traditional custom. The zong zi of the earlier periods didn’t have any relationship with the famous Chinese poet Qu Yuan and it wasn’t related at all with the present custom of eating it around the Dragon Boat Festival.
It is said that eating zong zi might be related with certain activities of ancient people like tasting the millet, holding memorial ceremonies in honor of their ancestors or celebrating a bumper harvest.
As to the version of eating zong zi in memory of Qu Yuan, it appeared in the period of the North and South Dynasties (between 420 and 581) and the next generations granted zong zi its actual fine meaning.
Who was Qu Yuan?
He was a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived between 340-278 BC. during the Warring States period, a patriot who tried to warn his king against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors.
Not only the king banished him to a remote area but also the Chu capital (Yingdu) was later taken (in 278 BC). Impregnated in a deep sorrow, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River. According to legend, rice dumplings were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet's body.
Ingredients you usually find when eating zong4 zi:
- Glutinous rice (no matter what kind of zong4 zi, there is always glutinous rice)
- Mung beans(sweet zong4 zi have red bean paste)
- Barbecue pork
- Chinese sausage
- Black mushroom
- Salted duck egg
- Cooked peanut
- Green bean
- Dried shrimp
Like making jiao4 zi (dumplings), making zong4 zi is also a good family event, a nice opportunity to gather all family members and everyone helping out preparing the ingredients and wrap them.
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