Thursday, May 28, 2009

Missing the rice dumpling

Today is the Dragon boat festival, during which the Chinese community prays with bak zhang (rice dumpling in Hokkien) and organizes dragon boat competition. Some people believe that this festival is aimed to remember a famous Chinese poet, who killed himself during the Zhou Dynasty when his country fell into the enemy's hand. People who love him prepared rice dumplings and throw them into the river so that fishes won't eat his dead body. Some people were riding on boats to look for his body thus come the Dragon boat festival.

It has been years I haven't tasted a real bak zhang. Last time I ate some homemade one was back in 2002. Hubby was with me in Malaysia and he immediately fell in love with these mouthwatering dumplings. It requires long hours of preparation and usually we will eat them as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Neighbors exchange bak zhang as every family may have different fillings inside the bak zhang. My favorite remains the one with salty egg yolk with lots of chestnut and dried shrimps.

Austin has a huge Chinese community so during my days there I managed to find some bakzhang (with very different tastes) to ease my craving. Me and hubby even volunteered for the Dragon boat festival by transporting the boats through the Travis lake during the training seasons. Beside the Dragon boat competition, some groups were playing traditional Chinese musics, presenting Chinese art crafts and of course some festive foods.

I have asked the Chinese shop in my area whether they sell rice dumpling during the festival and the answer is no. They said I have to order from Paris. I have not heard of any community organizing anything about this festival. Probably one day when the Chinese community is growing, we are going to have Dragon boat festival on the Erdre river. Let's just hope. :-)


  1. Yummy yummy. This year I have only 2 dumpling. :(
    My mum din cook.

  2. My mom makes nonya dumplings and it is my favourite. She learns how to make from my grandma. :) I hope to learn it one day to make them myself. It's a family recipe so I have to note it down.

  3. Hello :) do you know where to order it in Paris? I miss it soo badly :( thanks in advance :)