Chinese enjoy traditional snack to celebrate Qingming Festival
Web Editor:International daily
People across China are enjoying Qingtuan, a traditional snack for the Qingming Festival.
Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, which fell on Sunday this year, is a Chinese festival when people pay tribute to the dead and worship their ancestors by visiting tombs and making offerings.
Qingtuan, or green sticky rice balls, is a traditional and seasonal snack with a history of over 1,000 years and is commonly consumed around the Qingming Festival.
It was originally a sacrificial offering when visiting tombs, which evolved into a seasonal street snack. Qingtuan originated in east China and can be found in different parts of the country now.
The main ingredients for making Qingtuan include mugwort leaves, different kinds of stuffing, like custard and a mixture of egg yolk and meat floss, as well as glutinous rice flour, sugar, flour and oil.
Mugwort leaves which are frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine, are a very important ingredient in Qingtuan making. It's where the green color of Qingtuan comes from. The leaves are edible when young and fresh, only at the beginning of spring. That's why the snack is a seasonal food.
Making Qingtuan is a very fun process.
The first step is crushing Mugwort leaves for the juice. In the old days, this step was labor-intensive, but machines make it easy now.
Next comes the dumpling skin, which is made of the mixture of glutinous rice flour and the leaves’ juice.
The original filling was sweetened red bean paste, but now different fillings have been developed and become popular.
After that, knead the dough hard to make the dough smooth and push the stuffing hard into it. Squeeze out the air and slowly wrap the skin around the stuffing. Following it, remove the extra dough and knead it again slightly.
Steam these raw Qingtuan for eight minutes, and they will become soft and more delicate after steaming.
Finally, the delicious Qingtuan is ready to be consumed.