Glutinous Rice Bundles June 12, 2011Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Beef, Pork.
Tags: Dinner, Snacks
Inspired by our recent overseas trip, I’ve been cooking some of the things we ate while travelling. As I mentioned, one of the highlights of eating in Singapore was going to the Maxwell Food Centre, where we ate Hainanese Chicken Rice, fish stew, handmade noodles and rice dumplings. These rice dumplings were from a stall called Joo Chiat Kim Choo Traditional Rice Dumplings, and they served a variety of dumplings with sweet and savoury fillings. They were delicious and we did sample quite a few!
When we got home, I learned that these glutinous rice dumplings are traditionally made for the Dragon Boat Festival, but in Singapore (and some other areas) these dumplings are available all year. I decided to make a savoury form of the dumpling, using glutinous rice and mung beans, with a variety of fillings including pork, marinated beef and pickled duck eggs.
I started the day before, by soaking most of the ingredients to rehydrate them. The dumplings are wrapped in bamboo leaves, which I purchased at my local Asian Supermarket (to the great excitement of the owner when I explained what I wanted them for – she gave me a demonstration on how to fold them up right there in the store!). These need to be soaked, as did the mung beans and the shiitake mushrooms I used as part of the filling.
To make each dumpling, I folded a bamboo leaf into a cone, and then added a few spoonfuls of the rice/mung bean mix. Then I added some of the filling – a few pieces of pork, some slices of duck egg, and so on – before grabbing a second leaf to wrap around the whole parcel, sealing it in.
At this point I was lucky enough to be able to hand each parcel off to H, who tied them with string to ensure they wouldn’t come undone. Then it was just a matter of rinse and repeat until we ran out of mixture!
When they were all prepared, I put them all into a saucepan (OK, there were so many I needed multiple saucepans) and simmered them for about 2 hours. I topped up the water every now and then to ensure they were covered.
To serve them, I simply cut open the packages and pulled the bamboo leaves off, and added a few fresh herbs.
Although they weren’t as good as the ones we ate in Singapore, I really enjoyed these. The combination of the rice and mung beans was more flavoursome than I was expecting, and the fillings were delicious. In particular, I loved the addition of the pickled duck eggs which provided elements of saltiness between the rice.
These were a great experiment and learning experience for me, which I would not have done if we had not eaten the dumplings in Singapore. So I must be thankful not only for visiting Singapore and eating amazing food, but also because it has taught me a new way of preparing this food.