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Treats fit for a dragon

By Ye Jun | China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-24 09:33

Many of Beijing's five-star hotels offer a mixture of traditional and innovative versions of zongzi. Sofitel Wanda Beijing, for example, provides zongzi packages in elegant boxes. There are traditional red jujube and mashed bean fillings, along with fresh pork and egg yolk, and five-spice beef stuffing.

Creative combinations include milk and eggs, and shiitake mushrooms with chestnuts. Healthier ones are pearl barley with nuts, five cereals, and alkali with mashed red bean stuffing.

Rice in the dumplings is supplemented with yellow rice, taro and "eight treasures", referring to a mixture of healthy seeds and fruits, such as red jujubes, lotus seeds, pearl barley and wolfberries.

Da Dong restaurant makes a zongzi-shaped morsel, but with Iberian ham as wrapping and glutinous rice inside. Owner Dong Zhenxiang says the dish combines Chinese and Spanish ingredients, and the concept of Japanese sushi.

Even Starbucks has made zongzi products in China - small gems with transparent skins made of tapioca, and stuffing flavors such as macchiato, Earl Grey and strawberry with milk.

Han, meanwhile, is trying to teach her daughter to make zongzi by hand, which she believes will always taste better than those made with machines.

"Traditional food preparation should be passed down," she says.


Din Tai Fung

LG2, Park View Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Lu (Road), Chaoyang district, Beijing. 010-8562-6583

Sofitel Wanda Beijing

Tower C, Wanda Plaza, 93 Jianguo Lu (Road), Chaoyang district, Beijing. 010-8599-6666.


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