Sweet Rice Dumplings with Pork Belly and Mung Beans Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves

Dragon Festival 2018 comes on June 18.  It is not only celebrated by Chinese people, but also some other Asian countries too.  The traditions on this day is to take a bath/ shower with herbal medicine; eat some  sweet rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves; and watch boating completion. 

Among these celebrating events, the dumpling part is most attractive to me.  I used to make dumplings together with my mom when I was really young.  I carry on the tradition to make sweet rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.  And I am hoping someday I can pass it onto my child in the future as a family tradition.  Although we have been living in America for a long time, we still hold on to our cultures and traditions, which I guess is why American cultures are so amazingly diverse and always evolving.  People from all over the world hold on to their origins but also embrace other cultures.

In a way bamboo wrapped sweet rice dumplings are like pasta from Italian families.  Each family has its own family recipes or secret ingredients.

Dumpling ingredients:

2 lbs sweet rice
1 package split mung beans (13.2oz/375g)
1 1/2 cups pinto beans
1 package salted duck egg yolks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt to taste
large bamboo leaves
marinated pork belly

For marinated pork belly:

2 lbs pork belly
2 to 3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
salt to taste


Rinse pork belly under running water.  Pat dry with paper towel and then cut it into I inch cubes. 

Add the pork belly to a medium bowl, along with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, ginger, rice cooking wine, ground white pepper, oyster sauce and salt.  Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or a couple days. 

Stir a couple times in between so that the pork belly could be seasoned more evenly.

Soak sweet rice and pinto beans with seasonings and water for 2 to 3 hours.

Soak dry bamboo leaves in water until well rehydrated.  Rinse well under running water.  Blanch the bamboo leaves in hot boiling water for a few seconds.  Drain and set aside for later use.

Soak the split mung beans with water and a pinch of salt for an hour.  Drain and rinse a few times until the water drained from mung beans is clear.

Salted duck egg yolks can be found in frozen foods section in Asian grocery stores. Cut each of them into small bite size pieces.

All set to go!

old every two bamboo leaves into a cone shape; add a couple tablespoons sweet rice with pinto beans.

Add a tablespoon mung beans, one piece pork belly and one piece of duck egg yolk.

Add another tablespoon sweet rice and pinto beans.

Fold the bamboo leaves on top and wrap it up

Secure with cotton twine

I make about 40 dumplings.  And this large 9 quarts Le Creuset dutch oven comes in handy.  All of the dumplings fit in one pot. 

This was my birthday gift earlier this year.  And my cat beat me to it O(∩_∩)O~

Fill the pot with water

Cook over high heat until it boils.  Cover with lid and reduce the heat to simmer for about 2 1/2 hours.

Drain well and allow the dumplings to cool down

They taste best when they are hot

The sweet rice, beans, pork belly and salted duck egg yolk almost melted together after such a long time simmering.  Pork inside is so tender and flavorful.  Sweet rice on the outside is soft and glutinous in a good way.   And the refreshing scent from bamboo leaves is a nice touch too.