Sharing Chinese culture - Knowing various Zongzi in Hainan
The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Jie (端午节), is a traditional Chinese festival and Taoist holiday that falls on fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It is also known as “Double Fifth Day.” This year, the Dragon Boat Festival falls on May 30th.
For the Chinese, it is time again to make and eat the seasonal glutinous rice dumpling known as zongzi. The origin of zongzi — rice dumplings wrapped in leaves — is most often linked to Qu Yuan, a poet and a patriot who lived during the turbulent Warring States Period (475 to 221 B.C.). When the kingdom of Qin occupied his home in the kingdom of Chu, Qu threw himself into the Miluo River in protest.
The types of zongzi eaten in China are as varied as the country’s regional cuisines. They come in different shapes and with different fillings — although they are almost always made of sticky or glutinous rice.
In Hainan, zongzi are wrapped in banana leaves, while dumplings on the mainland are wrapped in either bamboo or reed leaves.
The most well known Zongzi varieties in Hainan are Ding’an Black Pork Zongzi, Danzhou Luoji Zongzi, Chengmai Ruixi Zongzi, Haikou Vanilla Zongzi, Qionghai Dalu Zongzi, Wanning Hele Zongzi, and the Li ethnic minority’s Three-Color Zongzi.
Other popular zongzi brands are Sanya Danjia Zongzi, Lingao Xinying Zongzi, and Wenchang Zongzi.
The Li People’s Three-Color Zongzi 黎家三色粽
The Li People in central Hainan’s Wuzhishan and Qiongzhong use leaves, fruits, and flower petals to extract colorful juices with which to dye the creamy-white glutinous rice. The result is rice in three proportions colored with black, red, and yellow separately. The dumplings are stuffed with preserved pork.
Ding’an Zongzi 定安黑猪肉粽
Ding’an Zongzi, which come from Ding’ an County, are filled with pork from Hainan’s famous organic Hainan black pigs, which are fed with natural food, giving them a chewier texture and a stronger flavor. The wrapping method of this type of zongzi is quite unique, making Ding’an Zongzi delicious and aesthetically pleasing.
Danzhou Zongzi 儋州洛基粽
Danzhou Zongzi come in a variety of flavors of filling, including sea salt, red snapper, and more. This type of zongzi has one distinctive feature — all flavors of Danzhou Zongzi are always tender, flavorful, and made with high-quality rice and plenty of filling.
Chengmai Ruixi Zongzi 澄迈瑞溪粽
Chengmai Ruixi Zongzi are produced by the Zeng Family in Ruixi Township in Chengmai County. The Zeng Family has made and sold zongzi for more than 70 years. Their zongzi are much bigger than other zongzi varieties, with a variety of fillings.
Haikou Vanilla Zongzi 海口香草粽
Haikou Vanilla Zongzi is a variant of Hainan Pork Zongzi. This recipe uses fresh vanilla in lieu of other traditional mixed spices, giving this zongzi a unique vanilla flavor.
Wanning Hele Zongzi 万宁和乐粽
Wanning Hele Zongzi are filled with black pork and salted duck eggs, which give the dumpling a special aroma.
Qionghai Dalu Zongzi 琼海大路乐粽
Originated from Qionghai’s Dalu Township, Qionghai Dalu Zongzi have been gaining in popularity in recent years. Though smaller than other Zongzi varieties, they are more aesthetically appealing and have a stronger flavor.
Other popular Zongzi brands:
Sanya Danjia Zongzi 三亚疍家粽
Lingao Xinying Zongzi 临高新盈粽
Wenchang Zongzi 文昌粽