Top Rice Dumplings to Try for Dragon Boat Festival 2024 in Singapore

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Singapore Michelin Guide | Photo Source: Singapore Michelin Guide

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duan Wu Jie in Mandarin, is an annual celebration that is eagerly anticipated by many in Singapore. Although it is not a public holiday, the festival holds a significant place in the hearts of Singaporeans, with its rich history and vibrant cultural traditions. 

This year, the Dragon Boat Festival falls on June 10, and families across the city are preparing to feast on delicious sticky rice dumplings or bak zhang. In this article, we will explore the best places to order these delightful treats, from traditional recipes to innovative modern recreations, and delve into the festive activities that make this event special.

The Best Rice Dumplings to Try for Dragon Boat Festival 2024

From luxurious ingredients to unique flavours, here are the top rice dumplings you must try at this Dragon Boat Festival.

Jade at The Fullerton Hotel

Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore returns this year with its renowned Jade Classics Rice Dumpling Collection, featuring a special twist—liquor-infused dumplings. The standout creation is the Moutai pork and dried scallop rice dumpling, which costs $24. This delectable treat is filled with 48-hour Moutai-infused pork belly, offering a tender and smoky flavour. 

Other premium options include the traditional Hong Kong-style abalone rice dumpling ($58), ideal for sharing, and the vegetarian truffle five-grain rice dumpling ($20). For those who prefer classic flavours, the blue pea Nyonya ($18) and Hokkien salted egg yolk ($18) rice dumplings are also available, continuing to be popular choices. These dumplings are available for pick-up and delivery until June 6.

Joo Chiat Kim Choo

Starting as a humble stall at 34 Joo Chiat Place, Joo Chiat Kim Choo has grown into a household name, beloved for its time-honoured rice dumpling recipes. Each dumpling is tied with coloured strings representing different flavours. For instance, the Cantonese bean rice dumpling ($7.80) is wrapped in bamboo leaves and yellow string, while the Nyonya zhang ($7.50) comes with pandan leaves and a red string. 

Other variations include the Hakka pork belly with preserved vegetables ($8.80), pulut hitam Nyonya rice dumpling ($8.80), and the sweet kee zhang ($3) made with alkaline glutinous rice. These are available for pick-up and delivery until June 17.

Yi by Jereme Leung

At Yi by Jereme Leung, located in Raffles Hotel Singapore, you can enjoy a trio of handcrafted dumplings. This year’s offerings include the Eight Treasure 12-Head Abalone rice dumpling ($49), perfect for sharing, and the bak kut teh and salted egg yolk rice dumpling ($22), which has a mild peppery kick. 

For a subtle twist, try the Yunnan rose petal kee zhang ($28), which has a faint rose flavour and is best enjoyed with Raffles Signature Kaya. These dumplings are available for pick-up and delivery until June 10.

Thye Moh Chan

For a traditional Teochew experience, Thye Moh Chan offers classic bak zhang, available at selected Breadtalk, Toast Box, and Thye Moh Chan stores. You can also order these dumplings via Grabfood, Foodpanda, and Deliveroo. 

The Teochew Double Delight and salted egg bak zhang ($7.20 each) are infused with the fragrant aroma of pandan leaves. The former features pork belly, shiitake mushrooms, chestnuts, and mung beans, while the latter contains fried dried shrimp and salted egg. These are available for pick-up and delivery until June 10.

Yan Ting at St Regis

Yan Ting at St Regis offers a selection of three classic bak zhangs for this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. Indulge in premium glutinous rice dumplings with abalone and golden dried scallops ($41) or pork belly and salted egg yolk ($24). There is also a vegetarian option featuring monkey head mushrooms and preserved vegetables ($21). 

For a special touch, purchase the dumplings as a set of three ($80), which come nicely packaged in a St Regis bag, ideal for gifting. These dumplings are available for pick-up and delivery until June 10.

Summer Palace at Conrad Singapore Orchard

The one-Michelin-starred Summer Palace at Conrad Singapore Orchard offers four of its best-selling rice dumplings for the Dragon Boat Festival. For a luxurious treat, try the steamed abalone rice dumpling ($82), packed with premium ingredients like abalone, kurobuta pork, and roast duck. 

Health-conscious individuals can opt for the steamed morel mushroom five-grain dumpling ($38), which features a medley of mushrooms and truffle mixed with lotus seeds, bamboo piths, oats, barley, sweet corn, and green beans. For something different, try the steamed lotus paste rice dumplings. These are available for pick-up and delivery from May 27 to June 10.

Golden Peony at Conrad Centennial Singapore

Golden Peony at Conrad Centennial Singapore is known for its unique dumpling flavours. This year, the restaurant offers a Hong Kong-style rice dumpling ($38.80), as well as inventive creations like the Singapore Black Pepper Chilli Crab dumpling ($36.80) and a multigrain rice dumpling with kimchi sauce ($24.80). 

For a twist on the traditional kee zhang, try the Thai mango sticky rice dumpling with coconut milk ($18.80). To sample all five dumplings, get the Golden Peony Luxury Bundle ($188), which includes a bottle of the restaurant’s homemade XO chilli sauce. These are available for pick-up and delivery until June 10.

Kuriya Japanese Market

Kuriya Japanese Market offers a unique take on bak zhang with its ‘zong-nigiri’—onigiri-inspired rice dumplings wrapped in seaweed. These mini dumplings start at $4 each and come in six flavours, including pork, Nyonya chicken, chestnut mushroom, XO dried scallop, and abalone unagi. 

Simply heat them in the microwave for 40 seconds or steam them for 15 minutes to enjoy them piping hot. These dumplings are available for pick-up and delivery until June 23.

Paradise Group

Paradise Group presents five rice dumplings inspired by classic dishes for this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. The dumplings are prepared Hong Kong-style and come in flavours like abalone with salted pork belly ($17.80) and slow-cooked braised pork belly with mui choy ($14.80). For a sweet option, try the osmanthus gula melaka red bean paste rice dumpling ($6.80), which features floral notes from osmanthus petals. 

The rice dumpling gift set ($69.80) includes all five dumplings, with two exclusive flavours—braised pork belly with XO sauce and Chinese sausage with conpoy and mushroom rice. These are available for pick-up and delivery until June 10.

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant at Marriott Singapore Tang Plaza

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant offers Cantonese-style rice dumplings with luxurious ingredients for the Dragon Boat Festival. The crab meat dumpling with XO conpoy sauce features generous portions of Sri Lankan crab meat mixed with salted egg yolk and black bean. 

For a more extravagant option, try the five-head abalone with karasumi, scallops, and Iberico pork ($38). These dumplings are available for pick-up and delivery until June 10.

Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival in Singapore

The Dragon Boat Festival has its origins in ancient China, where it was celebrated to commemorate the Zhou dynasty poet Qu Yuan. In Singapore, the festival is marked by various customs and practises, including dragon boat racing and the consumption of rice dumplings.

Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon boat racing is a major highlight of the festival, symbolising the efforts to rescue Qu Yuan from drowning. The sport has grown significantly in Singapore, attracting both local and international participants.

Singapore Dragon Boat Festival (SDBF) 2024

The Singapore Dragon Boat Festival (SDBF) is one of the oldest dragon boat races in the country. Organised in collaboration with the People’s Association (PA), the event will take place on June 22 and 23, 2024, at PAssion Wave @ Bedok Reservoir Park. The festival features various categories, including the prestigious 1,000m Prime Ministers Cup, and a commemorative race for the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Conclusion

As you prepare to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival this year, be sure to indulge in the best rice dumplings Singapore has to offer. Whether you prefer traditional flavours or modern twists, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Embrace the festive spirit by participating in or attending the dragon boat races, and make this year’s celebration a memorable one with your loved ones.

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