Today marks a fortnight since the start of the Chinese New Year, also the end of the formal celebrations of the festive period, a day called yuan xiao (‘元宵’) sometimes dubbed as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’. In ancient times, this was the day when young people would meet in public to solve riddles written on lanterns, so this day is occasionally referred to as ‘Lantern festival’. Being the 15th day of the lunar month, tonight is when the moon is in full for the first time in the New Year.
On this evening, families would get together and eat dumplings for unity (see previous post here). We made some pumpkin ones earlier using this recipe – and an incredibly fun way to get everyone’s fingers working!
1/2 pumpkin (yields about 300g flesh)
400g glutinous flour
Prepare steamer. Remove seeds from pumpkin. Place pumpkin inside steamer and steam for around 20 minutes – ensure enough water to avoid burning it! Steaming retains more micronutrients than boiling.
When the pumpkin flesh softens, remove from steamer. Spoon pumpkin to bowl, allow to cool. Stir in glutinous flour and water slowly to form smooth consistency. Knead into small balls.
Steam or place in boiling water to cook for around 10 minutes.
These are great in savoury broths or ‘sweet soup’. If shaped into tiny balls, these would also be a good alternative to pasta.
Per 100g/serving: Energy 191kcal 808kJ | Fat 0.6g of which saturates 0.04g | Carbohydrate 42g of which sugars 0.6g | Fibre 1.7g | Protein 3.8g | Salt 0g