Fragrant, flavorful sticky rice wrapped with fresh turmeric leaves and steamed. This turmeric rice dumpling is aromatic, floral and unusual. It’s a awesome snack and easy to carry around.
Wild ginger fills the riversides of Taiwan, they have beautiful and flavorful white flowers that you can smell from miles away when the wind blows. The Hakkas have a way of making the best use of what nature has to offer, and they ground up the roots of wild ginger, added it to rice then wrapped in ginger leaves. That’s the origin and inspiration of the recipe I’m sharing with you today.
粽子 (zong4 zi), sticky rice dumpling is more often seen wrapped in bamboo leaves, turmeric rice dumplings are very special and very regional. Instead of the flavors of the bamboo, it is floral and citrusy from the leaves of the turmeric and fresh ginger. It’s delicious.
Since Minnesota is way too cold for ginger to grow in the wild, I was surprised to find ginger and turmeric at Rochester Downtown Farmers Market where Whitewater Gardens Farm grow their very own ginger in their green house! When I saw the beautiful turmeric leaves, I knew I had to make this dish.
The flavor of the turmeric leaf is identical to the wild ginger leaves!
Folding the Dumplings
Wrapping the rice with fresh tender turmeric leaves can be tricky and might take some practice, since they rip easily. Try practicing with dried bamboo leaves first! (Soak the dried bamboo leaves in warm fater for 30 mins to soften.)
Here’s a video of how it’s done:
Tips on folding:
- Remove the hard center of the leaf, then if your leaf if big enough, slice it into two then stack them on top of each other.
- Shiny side faces up, ends up hugging the rice.
- 8 Fresh Turmeric Leaves
- 2 C Long Grain Sticky Rice
- 1/2 C Pearl Barley You can omit this if you don’t have any
- 4 Dried Shitake Mushrooms
- 3 Shallots About the size of fat garlic cloves
- 1/4 C Vegetable Oil
- 3 TBsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Ground FRESH Turmeric fresh turmeric makes all the difference
- 2 tsp Ground FRESH Ginger
- Salt to taste
- 8 2′ Cotton Twines
- Drain the rice, slice the shitake mushrooms into thin pieces.
- Peel and slice shallots into thin pieces.
- Add 1/4C oil to a pot and add shallots to the oil. Turn the heat on medium, slowly cook and fry the shallots until crispy and golden.
- Add the mushroom pieces to the oil and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the soaked rice to the oil and stir in 1/2C of water, 3TBsp of Soy Sauce, turn the heat on high and stir constantly. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed and rice is a bit translucent and al dante.
- Add the ground turmeric, ginger and salt to taste. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Fold the leaves and fill them with rice mixture. Tie and secure the dumplings. (Watch the video on how to fold)
- Steam the dumplings on high heat for 40 minutes then serve.