Happy Duan Wu Jie! (端午節） I wanted to post a recipe for zongzi (Sticky rice and filling wrapped in bamboo leaves) because today is the Dragon Boat Festival or the DuanWu Festival, but I realized that most people don’t attempt these sorts of intense kitchen projects on a normal basis. I spent the good part of Saturday evening and Sunday morning soaking rice, soaking peanuts, boiling peanuts, soaking bamboo leaves, roasting peanuts, skinning peanuts, crushing peanuts, braising pork, dicing dried shrimp…and wrapping 30+ zongzi, all while fighting the splitting bamboo leaves (which had been soaked for several hours, too!) Whew! Just hearing the list makes me tired again.
(Oh, and zongzi are a traditional food eaten for Duan Wu Jie, which I believe involves dragon boat racing. Beyond that, I don’t know and am not curious to know more; I just take it as an excuse to eat more zongzi! )
Usually, big projects give me a boost of adrenaline, but this time was really tiring, and I feel like it made me burned out and I didn’t feel like anything requiring too much brainpower the whole week..
So, all I have to share with y’all today is a simple recipe for what most people call Dou Sha 豆沙, or red bean paste. Red beans are cooked to an oblivion, then toasted until they are dry, and mixed with fat and sugar to make a smooth paste that is fit for desserts of all kinds. According to a can I saw at the grocery store, this can also be called hong dou sha （紅豆沙），because it specifically uses hong dou, or red beans, as opposed to black beans, which can also be used to make a sweetened bean paste.