Name a festival celebrated by many but with different stories of its evolution? There are a lot of them and this goes on to prove that though we have different stories, we reach the same end or a beginning, may be. However, in China you call it “Duanwu Festival” AKA The Dragon Boat Festival. Chinese have this ancient thing with Dragons – I guess we all do. According to Chinese mythology, Dragons are evolution ancestor of humans and control Water, Rainfall, Hurricanes and Floods. They are the symbol of power, strength and good luck. If we look closely, we realise that every important thing which can affect our lives is either controlled or represented by Dragons- they do matter a lot. Stories behind Dragon Boat Race fest are quite amusing. One story says, “Qu Yuan”, a poet and minister committed suicide by drowning in river due to a disagreement with the King.
His followers searched for him with their boats – hence the Dragon Boat race- and threw rice dumplings – the food of this blog- so that fishes won’t eat Yuan and go for rice instead. Other one says a girl named “Cao E” jumped in river to save her drowning father but both of them drowned instead. So this day is to remember her sacrifice. I see Duanwu as a festival to celebrate and respect sacrifice. On this day people go for the Dragon Boat race(obviously!), wear perfumed medicine bags, MAKE AN EGG STAND at Noon and eat ZONGZI with realgar wine. Even you should try to make an egg stand at noon and get good luck for the next year! All in all people pray for a healthy and happy life. Chinese food is my all time favorite. Since this festival is in June, let’s try Zongzi for a healthier, safer and a ‘Food Full’ year.
100 gms Abalone,
4 salted Egg Yolks,
4 Japanese Conpoy,
600 gms Green Beans,
600 gms Glutinous Rice,
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce,
280 gms chopped Pork Belly,
1/2 Tablespoon Five-spice Powder,
4 dried round large size Lotus Leaves.
1. Soak rice and green beans for 5 hours. Then drain. Now soak mushrooms and Japanese conpoy for 2 hours. Drain well.
2. Marinate the pork belly with five-spice powder plus soy sauce for 2 hours. Lay down the lotus leaf on table with stem side facing down. Place rice in the centre of the leaf.
3. Add the marinated pork, Japanese conpoy, mushroom, abalone, salted egg yolk and green beans on top of rice. Add glutinous rice until the filling is covered.
4. Carefully wrap four sides of lotus leaf over the filling in a cone shape. Tie tightly with help of a string. Place zongzi in boiling water. Cover and cook for 3 hours. Serve hot!
Enjoy the fest!