Just two days ago, it was the Dragon Boat Festival back in Malaysia. Through Facebook, I saw many friends back home posting about it, some even shared about them making the dumplings itself while other were sharing about themselves enjoying it 😆. It didn't hit me that I would miss this festival until the actual day itself. I guess when I was back in Malaysia, having dumplings is such a common thing that I took it for granted.
In China, this day is also best known as the Dragon Boat Festival, a traditional holiday and occurs near the summer solstice. This festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar, which is the source of the festival's alternative name, the Double Fifth Festival. Among Malaysian, Singaporean, and Taiwanese Hokkien speakers, the festival is also known as the Fifth Month Festival, the Fifth Day Festival and the Dumpling Festival.
Dumpling is a broad classification for a dish that consists of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling, or of dough with no filling. The dough can be based on bread, flour or potatoes, and may be filled with meat, fish, cheese, vegetables, fruits or sweets. Dumplings may be prepared using a variety of methods, including baking, boiling, frying, simmering or steaming and are found in many world cuisines.
On this day we would prepare a specific type of Chinese dumpling, that is made with glutinous rice. Usually, the glutinous rice dumplings, zongzi (粽子), are triangle or cone shaped, can be filled with red bean paste, Chinese dates or cured meat depending on region. The ones I have here are from Vietnam; my first ever zongzi that I've ever had in this country. The fillings inside are minced pork meat with white bean paste and salted egg yoke. The size is rather large as compared to the ones back home and cost VND70,000 = USD3.01 = MYR12.92. A bit on the expensive side if you ask me but for the size, it can fill the stomach for 2 meals at least.
Thanks to the owner of this restaurant who invited us over to his place, I was able to enjoy good company, celebrate the Dumpling Festival, feast on both roast duck and pork along with this homemade dumpling. I guess there's always a reason to gather and enjoy a few drinks with both new friends and more new friends 😉