Thursday, June 21, 2007

Duan Wu

As part of my program to make all my non-Chinese friends celebrate Chinese holidays (aka Mei-lin'gs Chinese Assimilation Program), I had some people over for Duan Wu Festival also known as Dragon Boat Festival. As this was mere days post my BarBersQ gorging, I wasn't (and still am not) at a point where I could stand the idea of heavy food. As zhong zi are mounds of swticky rice with meat and such and not exactly known for their lightness, I decided to have simple veggies on the side.

Here's the Chinese broccoli I sauteed up with a bit of coarse salt and lots of crushed garlic.
I bought at Ranch 99 some marinated mustard greens with edamame and dreid tofu.

And also some seaweed salad.

I had briefly toyed with idea of making my own zhong zi. But was glad I decided to go the lazy route and buy pre-made. I can't begin to imagine making these when under Kobe Cow Bloating disease. I had gotten two kinds - Taiwanese and Cantonese, both savoury. The Taiwanese had pork, peanuts, mushroom. The Catonese had pork, duck egg yolk, and sausage.
Here's a closeup of the inside of the Taiwanese kind.
The Taiwanese style had more flavour and darker colouring of the rice. It also had more contrast in flavour and texture between the meat, mushroom, and peanut. This is not to say that we didn't enjoy Cantonese version. But I think if push comes to shove, we agreed we'd take the Taiwanese. And it wasn't biased because I'm Taiwanese.

The most shocking part of the meal came when I presented my guests with... dessert! Yes, you heard right. I, Miss Anti-Dessert, bought dessert for this occasion. On my way out of Ranch 99, I saw the display case at Sogo and was intrigued. I ended up buying a slice of their tiramisu and a slice of their mango mousse. I have a pre-conceived biased against zhong zi as being one dimensional and heavy so I think I wanted to introduce some other flavours in the coursing of the dinner.
Both dessert were light and airy. Pretty damn good for being a dessert! I do like how pretty they looked with their striped foil wrapping.

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