Enjoying Rice Dumplings Safely during the Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is around the corner and we all look forward to exciting dragon boat races and delicious rice dumplings. According to the legend, this traditional Chinese food was made and thrown into Milou River by villagers to prevent fish from eating the body of the great poet Qu Yuan who had drowned himself for his country. Originally, rice dumplings were made of glutinous rice only. Later, people used different ingredients such as pork, mung beans, salted eggs, chestnut, mushroom and bean paste as fillings and we can now enjoy a wide selection of rice dumplings.
In the hectic modern life, many people choose ready-made rice dumplings. As a result, a great variety of rice dumplings flourished in different types of food premises and supermarkets.
When you buy rice dumplings, you should purchase from reliable retailer shops instead of illegal hawkers and choose those that are properly packed. Do not buy rice dumplings with unnaturally bright-green wrapping leaves, chemical smells or damaged surface that may lead to leaking. For rice dumplings in vacuum packages, never choose those that bulge or with leaked packing. You should also pay attention to the storage instructions and expiry date on the label of pre-packaged rice dumplings. Never buy those that are improperly stored or expired.
After purchase, you should eat rice dumplings as soon as possible or keep them in refrigerator at 4℃ or below. Before consumption, thoroughly reheat them to temperature at 75℃ or above. Discard leftover rice dumplings or those that have been kept at room temperature for over two hours.
Remember to maintain a balanced diet and avoid over-indulgence in rice dumplings with salted egg yolk and fat meat. According to the Nutrient Information Inquiry System in the CFS website, a piece of medium-sized salted meat rice dumpling at about 250g provides approximately 450 kcal of energy, 17g of fat and 88mg of cholesterol. Hence, it is better for you to buy small rice dumplings or share a big one with your family or friends when you enjoy this festive food.