The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as the Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China. The usual English name for the holiday, “Dragon Boat Festival,” directly translates into two alternative Chinese names for the holiday, Lóngchuánjié and Lóngzhōujié.
The festival now occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar, the source of its alternative name, the Double Fifth Festival.
Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 20th of June this year! Two more days!
Why Rice Dumplings?
The story best known in modern China holds that the festival commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC) of the ancient state of Chu during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty. A cadet member of the Chu royal house, Qu served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance and even accused of treason. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry. Twenty-eight years later, Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River.
It is said that the local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him or at least retrieve his body. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi.
I’ve been toying with the idea of making some for Mango and the cats (if they would deem it worthy enough to eat) for awhile now, so….. yeah. Also, since we make our own dumplings in our household, why not make some for the pets?
Psst! My grandma makes the best rice dumplings (my entire family’s opinion :P)!
Rice dumplings (or zongzi) are made with glutinous rice stuffed with a filling, wrapped in a bamboo leaf. In my home, we use meat + mushrooms + chestnuts as fillings (using my grandma’s secret recipe).
Ingredients for doggy dumplings are grain free and actually just based on Mango’s normal homecooked food. Just dressed it up in a bamboo leaf!
Doggy Dumplings Recipe
Ingredients (Makes about 20 x 50g mini dumplings)
- 600g meat, minced
- 100g liver, minced
- 300g of vegetables (I used carrots, pumpkin, french beans), chopped/diced
- Bamboo leaves, soaked to soften and cleaned
- Strings in a bundle to tie the dumplings
- Mince/chop/dice all ingredients and mix well.
- Wrap in softened bamboo leaves (I don’t exactly know how to describe the wrapping process, sorry!)
- Tie string around dumplings.
- Boil (or steam) entire bundle for 30 mins.
- Let cool (on papers to absorb the excess water), unwrap and serve!
- Enjoy (or rather your dog/cat will enjoy)!