The Best Rice Dumplings in Singapore To Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival 2020
We can’t help but look forward to the Dragon Boat Festival every year, especially when the occasion (which falls on June 25) is commemorated with the traditional rice dumpling (zongzi) and brings the whole family together over a hearty meal.
Of course, while these steamed parcels are often made with time-honoured ingredients of glutinous rice and a variety of fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves, the fact hasn't stopped chefs from getting creative in the kitchen with more indulgent and fanciful variations.
1/13 Crystal Jade
Guaranteed to be a hit among vegetarians is the Eight Treasure quinoa rice dumpling, a new addition to the restaurant's array of sumptuous offerings. This fragrant construction is made with purple quinoa and a medley of sweet and savoury ingredients, including preserved salted radish (chai poh), Japanese Nameko mushrooms, black-eyed and red beans, dried shiitake mushrooms and chestnut. Every ingredient imparts a unique flavour and texture that combine nicely to make this a definite must-try. Available at all Crystal Jade outlets from May 1 to June 25. Click here to order.
2/13 Hai Tien Lo
You can’t go wrong with executive chef Ben Zeng and dim sum chef Ho Kam Fai’s signature traditional rice dumpling, which is perfect for sharing. The jumbo-sized dumpling is filled to the brim with classic ingredients, such as succulent pork belly, salted egg yolk, chestnuts, green beans and lotus seeds, encased within premium glutinous rice that make it worth the calories. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
3/13 Resorts World Sentosa
The five-piece dumpling set by five of Resorts World Sentosa’s speciality restaurants is a must-have. Feng Shui Inn, Forest, Tangerine, Syun and Malaysian Food Street have each come up with a dumpling inspired by their respective cuisine style. One particular standout is Syun’s chimaki (dumpling) with sawara, takenoko (crisp young bamboo shoots) and yuzu. This is crafted with seasonal ingredients from Japan, such as the aforementioned white-fleshed mackerel that's harvested just off the coast of Japan, encased within Japanese glutinous rice perfumed with the fragrant zest of the yuzu. Available until June 22. Click here to order.
(Related: Founder Bak Kut Teh's New Menu is a Tribute to Mum)
4/13 Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Executive Chinese chef Chung Yiu Ming tapped into his childhood memories, particularly of his mum's heart-warming Teochew family meals, to create this new addition to the restaurant's staple offerings. A satisfying and hearty meal in itself, this hearty dumpling is stuffed with the likes of braised Irish duck, pork belly, beancurd, salted egg yolk, Chinese mushrooms, chestnut, peanut and conpoy. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
5/13 Peach Blossoms
The classic XO Cantonese rice dumpling is packed to the core with abalone, Iberico pork belly, dried oyster, conpoy and Japanese flower mushroom. And for extra hit of flavours, the chef perfectly complements the various tastes and textures with his homemade XO sauce. Each makes for a delicious treat for four persons. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
6/13 Man Fu Yuan
While there are even more varieties on offer, one particular standout is the kimchi five-grain rice dumplings that perfectly marries Chinese and Korean flavours. Each parcel is packed with oat, barley, rice, red wheat and buckwheat grains, complemented with the sweetness of Chinese sausage and the spiciness of the kimchi. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
7/13 Shang Palace
Executive Chef Mok Kit Keung injects some contemporary influences into the traditional rice dumpling with a novel option that combines black truffle and organic French chicken with the classic Cantonese Buddha Jumps Over The Wall dish. This balance of healthy and tasty flavours is made for indulging, created with an array of 20 key Asian and Western ingredients, including four-head abalone, foie gras, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried scallop, Parma ham, morel mushroom, wolfberries and organic quinoa. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
8/13 Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Promising an explosion of flavours, this beauty boasts fragrant glutinous rice studded with chunks of Chinese sausage, chestnuts, conpoy, chicken and 10-head abalone. The lattermost adds a boost of umami flavours, as it has been double-boiled in superior broth for three hours. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
9/13 Yan Ting
Traditionalists will find comfort in this perennial favourite that shines with its robust pairing of luscious salted egg yolk and chunks of tender pork belly braised in spices, and enhanced by the addition of dried scallops, shiitake mushrooms, beans and chestnuts. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
10/13 Taste Paradise
Packing a distinct umami punch, this Teochew style rice dumpling is chockfull of savoury ingredients, such as braised duck, pork belly, braised tau pok, braised peanut, dried shrimp, chestnut, lotus seed, salted egg yolk and mung bean. The glutinous rice is also seasoned with sesame oil, which not only rounds off the flavour profile but also lends the delicacy a nutty finish. Available until June 25. Click here to order.
11/13 Si Chuan Dou Hua
The culinary team is all about classic combinations this year; such is the homemade rice dumpling consisting of glutinous rice studded with roast pork, mushroom, salted egg yolk, lotus seeds, dried shrimps and Chinese sausage. The addition of crushed peanuts not only give it texture but also extra nuttiness to every bite. Available until June 30. Click here to order.
12/13 藝 yì by Jereme Leung
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy chef Jereme Leung’s speciality Yunnan rose red bean dumpling. It’s a delightful combination of fresh Yunnan rose petals, hand-made red bean paste and nutritious Phonenix eye. But for something more traditional, have a go at the savoury rice dumpling which is a delicious marriage of Phoenix Eye, Japanese dried scallops, pork belly, mushroom, salted duck’s egg and sakura ebi. Click here to order.
13/13 Hua Ting
Health enthusiasts who can’t get enough of rice dumplings will enjoy the pork bone cartilage and homemade XO sauce, a new addition to this year’s extensive menu. Each bundle is rich in calcium and collagen and packed with pork bone cartilage infused with chef Lap Fai’s homemade XO sauce. Click here to order.