A recent travel highlight was being in Chongqing during the Chinese “Dragon Boat Festival” this year. It was mid June. I stayed in the excellent, highly recommended Green Forest Hostel and they were having a rice leaf dumplings night in the hostel so I joined in of course.
It was great fun. First of all we are shown how to form the shape of the leaf. Green leaves have been washed and prepared for us.
Then we add rice, chilli, dates and nuts. The rice is sticky rice.
After that it’s time to wrap it. It needs to be folded over and wrapped tight, allowing no room for any rice to sneak out the side. It’s harder than it looks and takes a few goes. The Chinese are expert but I got the hang of it.
Once wrapped you get the string and tie it tight, then put a knot in it and it’s ready to go!
My samples were not quite as pretty as the Chinese guys and girls, but I gave it a go and loved making them!
Next stage – once we had all the rice leaf dumplings they are ready to cook and they are put in the oven and steamed.
Then it’s time to eat! I was one of only three foreigners there so as well as chatting to the Chinese guys and girls (some who spoke really good English including Angelina), I also chatted to Richard and Grace, from Australia and USA.
The sticky rice dumplings tasted great. To eat them all you do is unwrap the leaf, dump the sticky rice dumpling onto your plate, add some sugar and spice and devour them. We were also given some duck eggs to eat with them!
They were really nice and I ate a lot of them, as well as trying some Chinese porridge. The Green Forest Hostel is a great place, Chongqing was an absolutely top top city to visit and this was a fantastic thing to make and eat.
As I write this I’m in Beijing again about to head to Pyongyang. I’ll be taking a break from my daily features for the next week or so. Safe travels!
Here are a few videos of me making rice leaf dumplings in Chongqing, China:
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