A fan of Oriental cuisine, aren’t we all? Do try this authentic delicacy, that you’ll find wafting in every traditional Chinese kitchen cooked especially during the Dragon Boat Festival Celebration: Bamboo wrapped Sticky Rice called Zòngzi in Mandarin! Though it’s elaborate, treat it as a weekend project and you’ll be pleased with your results. For, once the elaborate Zongzi is ready, the rolls can be stored in the freezer, and steamed whenever you and your family would like a taste of this festival favorite.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 min
Total Time: 3 hours 40 min
Ingredients: (to make approx. 1 dozen Zongzi)
30 – 35 bamboo leaves
3 cups of rice (glutinous)
For the Filling:
1 lb. pork belly / lean pork shoulder
3 Chinese sausages strings
1/2 cup shrimp (dried)
1 cup mushrooms (dried)
1/2 fried shallots (dried)
2 Tbsp. of cane sugar
1 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of five-spice powder
1/4 cup of soy sauce (low sodium)
Step 1: Take Bamboo leaves and wash them thoroughly. Soak the bamboo leaves for two hours in hot water till they are soft. Wipe them clean and presto! They are ready to use. (We recommend starting a day prior to the actual cooking)
Step 2: Stir fry the rice using a little bit of water till it is fragrant yet not sticky.
Step 3: Cook the ingredients of the filling for an hour till the pork is fully cooked.
Step 4: Next, fold the bamboo leaves into a cone shape. Add some sticky rice at the bottom, put in a layer of the filling, and once again top with rice.
Step 5: Fold the leaf so that it is neatly sealed and tie it up together with cotton twine.
Step 6: Steam the bundles in a steamer for an hour and 25 minutes.
Voila, your delicious Zòngzi is ready! Open it and dive right in.
Europe is full of amazing destinations, but it would take you months to be able to check them all out on foot or even by car. So, why not opt for another mode of transport instead? Europe has amazing rail connections, which means that you can embark on train journeys that take you from country to country, up and down famous mountains, over giant lakes and rivers, and past some of the most famous towns and cities in the world. Yes, these are the best train journeys in Europe.
Linha do Douro – Portugal
Those who want to see more of Portugal will love to hop aboard the Linha do Doura. Traveling from Porto to Pocinho, this train ride won’t take too long, but will still give you the chance to check out the stunning Portuguese coastline. You’ll pass impressive cave, and rock formations, golden sands, and rambling wine estates, and the whole journey will look like something out of a movie.
Venice Simplon Orient-Express – England, France and Italy
If you have always wanted to pretend as though you were a character in an Agatha Christie novel, then the Venice Simplon Orient-Express will seriously pull your carriage. This traditional train journey will take you from England to Venice in around 24 hours, and take you along a sophisticated ride at the same time. From a martini bar to lobster-filled restaurants, this is a hotel on wheels.
Glacier Express – Switzerland
Switzerland is known for its snow-capped mountains, and the Glacier Express allows you the chance to see them in all of their glory. The name is pretty deceiving, though, as this train journey is actually pretty slow – but this just gives you the chance to really take in the amazing mountains, the snowy forests, the impressive ski resorts, and picture-perfect bridges.
If you’re looking to take a train journey in Europe, you just have to add these to your bucket list.