Dragon Boat Festival, Zongzi Festival
Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan is nearly Zongzi Festival, cuz big things in the Festival aren’t just Dragon Boat Tournaments, Zongzis are part of the big things, too! Just Zongzi there are Southern Zong and Northern Zong.
When every time we hit this Festival, we say, Southern Zong is the real one, Northern Zong is just Oil Sticky Rice wrapped up in leaves. Hahah… Treat it as jokes and teases. Both are Zongzi and enjoyed by many throughout the nation.
For the Southern, the rice is softer and has stronger leave flavor.
For the Northern, the rice is chewy and doesn’t have as strong leave flavor. Both are good though.
Ways to Cook
Now it’s the way they are made that makes the rice and leaves flavor different in degree. Southern Zong is made from raw sticky rice with all ingredients wrapped up leaves, then place into boiling water and cook till rice is done. When rice is done, all other ingredients are also done, since rice takes the most time to cook. For Northern Zong, raw sticky rice with all the ingredients are first placed in a pan and stir fry (with no oil) until they are cooked, then wrapped in leaves, placed in a steamer till leave flavor goes into the rice. So Southern Zong is softer with stronger leave flavor since the rice is cooked in boiled water and leaves are in there too, emerged into the water, flavor goes into water, then got into the rice. Northern Zong is done in a steamer and without the help of water being the transmitter that brings the leave flavor into rice, the Zongzi doesn’t have as strong leave flavor.
So How to Choose?
For those who like softer rice, stronger leave flavor, Southern Zong is. For those who like chewy rice, not as strong leave flavor, Northern Zong goes.
How Does Northern Zong Get Referred to Oil Sticky Rice?
Cuz that’s how the South makes Oil Sticky Rice, subtract the leave part, the whole thing done in a steamer after stir fry in a pan.
What else do we do this day? Besides dragon boat fun, Zongzi fights (oh, no, I meant, having Zongzi for food), we also play with raw eggs.
We try to set raw eggs straight up right at noon 12 PM. The longest it stands, it wins.
Photo Credits: besides myself, there are 蔡易餘, Shin Howe Chen and 王威翔 to thank for their public sharing of these yummy and fun things on this day.