For most Hongkongers, Tuen Ng Festival, aka dragon boat festival, is all about glutinous rice dumplings (zongzi). We may watch or participate in a dragon boat contest, but at the end of the day, what we look forward to the most is a steaming glutinous rice dumpling stuffed with fatty pork, salted egg yolk and beans.
This is then followed by a sweet glutinous rice dumpling, usually with a red bean filling, that you dip in a sticky sugary syrup. Sounds good? Here’re some of the best places where you can get some festive rice dumplings in Hong Kong.
Hang Heung Cake Shop
A traditional cakes and pastries shop known for its handmade wife cakes and egg rolls, Hang Heung makes its rice dumplings by hand and in Hong Kong. Other than the most popular savory Chinese ham with egg yolk, Hang Heung also sells a vegetarian 10-grain glutinous rice dumpling. Its sweet offerings include one with a traditional filling of lotus paste and another with red bean and tangerine peel.
Available from now until June 14 at Hang Heung’s various retail shops including Yuen Long, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Telford Plaza and Kwun Tong and online at hangheung.com.hk
Xia Fei Society
Apart from the triangular rice dumplings, you’ll also notice longer and thinner cone-shaped rice dumplings in shops and markets — that’s the Shanghai-ese variety. It’s softer and more intense in flavor, as the sticky rice is soaked first in soy sauce and no mung beans are included.
Xia Fei Society’s Shanghai Sticky Rice Dumpling with Egg Yolks and Soy Sauce Stewed Pork uses meat marinated in a secret soy sauce recipe. If you like extra intense flavors, go for the Shanghai Sticky Rice Dumpling with Ham and Egg Yolks, which features cured ham from China’s Jinhua region. For a classic Shanghai sweet treat, the Sweet Rice Dumpling with Osmanthus and Red Bean Paste is refreshingly floral.
Available from now until June 15 at Xia Fei Society (13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, 2522-7611)
Soil to Soul
Soil to Soul, a contemporary Korean vegetarian cuisine inspired by Korean temple food, is joining in the fun on Dragon Boat Festival and presenting their own green spin on the traditional rice dumplings. There are two savory and one sweet options — Fried Kimchi Sticky Rice Dumpling, Sesame Sticky Rice Dumpling, and Yakgwa Sweet Sticky Rice Dumpling — all made from vegan ingredients.
Available from now until June 14; for orders, please call the restaurant at 2389-9588
The Legacy House
Rosewood Hong Kong’s Canton-style restaurant The Legacy House is launching rice dumplings crafted by Executive Chef Li Chi-wai. The savory Steamed Rice Dumpling with Abalone, Pork and Mushroom uses the auspicious “eight treatures” ingredients including abalone, pork belly, chestnut, conpoy, porcini, and shiitake. The sweet option uses chestnut and lotus seed for a nostalgic combination of flavors. Also, the dumplings are prepared fresh daily at the restaurant!
Available from now until June 11 at The Legacy House restaurant (5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui) and online at rosewoodhkshop.com; orders must be placed three days in advanced
Kee Wah Bakery
The traditional bakery chain puts out fresh flavors of the sticky rice dumpling every year, on top of their classic line-up. You’ve got the conventional dumplings with ham, conpoy and egg yolks, or for this year: the more adventurous flavor of chestnut and Dongpo pork. There’s also a vegetarian dumpling with eight types of grains and beans, perfect for those on a meatless diet.
Available from now until June 14 at Kee Wah’s Bakery various locations: keewah.com
Saint Honore Cake Shop
Another popular local bakery, Saint Honore offers a range of classic and premium glutinous rice dumplings. From the Deluxe Rice Dumpling with Scallop and Chinese ham, to Shanghai-style rice dumplings and sweet dumplings with osmanthus and red bean, Saint Honore has a great line-up of dumplings for those looking to sample a wide range of flavors.
Available from now until June 14 at various locations of Saint Honore Cake Shop: sthonore.com