The Simple Complexity Of A Rice Dumpling


Rice Dumplings. An article about rice dumplings in the middle of September when the Mooncake Festival is here? Well, its not that I got the date wrong, instead it is quite delightful that rice dumplings can be enjoyed anytime of the year!

My mum’s side of the family and especially my Aunt Florence has a penchant for crafting traditional cuisine out of nowhere. And yes, I was determined to learn how to wrap a dumpling. The ingredients are very easy (I will list down a basic one later), but as I tried to wrap it all up, thats when the hard part begins.


To form a beautifully shaped dumplings with the ingredients all nice and compact on the inside, takes a form of skillful craft with just the right amount of pressure to keep it all in while generously filling the shell with rice, pork belly, salted egg yolk, chestnuts and mushrooms.

I shall not keep you waiting on how to wrap that first dumpling of yours. Let the video show you.

Here are the basic ingredients and steps. You can always substitute portions and amounts here and there to fit your liking.

Makes 20 dumplings

40 large bamboo leaves, 2 for each dumpling.
1 kg glutinous rice
2 kg pork belly, sliced into chunky pieces
10 salted duck’s egg yolks, halved
40 small dried shitake mushrooms
20 dried chestnuts, soaked in water for 30 minutes
100 g very small dried shrimp
Vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon five spice powder


  1. Stir-fry pork for a few minutes. Add chestnuts, soy sauce, ground pepper, 1 teaspoon of sugar, star anise and five spice powder, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove pork and chestnuts from liquid and set aside.
  2. Soak mushrooms until soft for about 1 hour. Cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Stir-fry with a little liquid from pork stew.
  3. Halve the salted egg yolks..
  4. Stir-fry shrimp for a few minutes.
  5. To a large hot wok, add rice, dried shrimp, 2 tablespoons of oil and some of the sauce from the pork stew. Mix well.

Wrapping and cooking the dumplings

  1. Follow the video.
  2. Tie up each dumpling tightly with a double knot.
  3. In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil the bundle of rice dumplings for 1.5 hours.