Did you miss the Duan Wu Festival in KK? (Hakka: Zhong Qiu Jet Guozhong Jet). If you completely missed it, you’ll probably find it hard to get better quality Guozhong made for the festival. Guozhong (粽子/ Mandarin: Zongzi/ Hokkien: Ba Chang) is a traditional Chinese food made since 278 BC to honor the poet Qu Yuan, but today many people eat it because it is delicious. It is a glutinous rice dumpling with meat filling that is wrapped in bamboo leaves and steamed to a soft and chewy texture.
Unless you’re in that special groupie of elite housewives that are in the know, it’s really hard to get a hold of good Guozhong. It’s usually for the festival that most Chinese housewives get busy making special-grade dumplings. A good Guozhong has to be tasty, sticky, moist and soft while maintaining its structure when the wrapping is removed. Unfortunately, most of Guozhong that you get around town throughout the year are often small, dry and not tasty.
That is, until you got to know KKMOI! *laff*
WHERE TO GET SOME HALF-DECENT ONES
This lady called Shirley Kok makes a softer variety of Guozhong which would be especially popular with the Chinese elderly. I do personally prefer a dumpling with more structure, but it is one of the better-tasting ones that you can get in town.
Shirley makes bespoke Guozhong to order all year round (minimum 10 pieces). Moreover, she can custom-make your dumplings by adding ingredients such as chestnuts, pork belly or scallops. However, the price will reflect the ingredients used so remember to agree on a price before ordering some.
Her regular stock of rice dumplings go for RM3.00 – RM4.50 per dumpling. Among the varieties she regularly makes are:-
- Pork with Shitake Mushrooms and Salted Duck Egg
- Pork with Black-eyed Peas and Salted Duck Egg
- Pork with Ground Nuts
- Ground Nuts Dumpling
You can find Shirley or her husband Richard at Damai in front of Strawberry Cakehouse during the evenings, where they have a stall selling fruits and vegetables. Alternately, you can call Richard at 016-830-0824 or Shirley at 016-831-0824. I’m not sure whether they speak English or not, but if they don’t, you can ask a Chinese friend to order on your behalf.
While we are on the subject of Duan Wu, the 26th Sabah Dragon Boat Race will be held on the 18th and 18th of June in Kota Kinabalu. On top of the exciting spirit of competition you’ll be witnessing, you might be able to get some good Guozhong at the event. For more information on the event, please go to http://dragonboat.sabahtourism.com/2011/.
Yummify your life!