8 rice dumplings that deserve a spot on your Instagram feed

These zong zi are as pretty as they are yummy

These zong zi are as pretty as they are yummy
These zong zi are as pretty as they are yummy
29 May 2019

These zong zi are as pretty as they are yummy

Is it just us, or are chefs starting to create their rice dumplings with Instagram in mind? Typically stuffed with pork, chestnuts and mushrooms, the humble rice dumpling has undergone quite the transformation in recent years, with restaurants upping the ante with unconventional ingredients and colours to tickle our fancy and taste buds.

Sure, the Peranakans have been adding butterfly pea to their Nyonya zong zi to give it its signature blue hue for decades, but none have turned out quite as photogenic as these bak zhang on our list - think marble swirls and dumplings that look like quartz crystals. Here are the rice dumplings that first satisfy the eyes, then the stomach.

Mitzo’s Kurobuta Pork Nyonya Dumpling (S$15)
Mitzo’s Kurobuta Pork Nyonya Dumpling (S$15)
29 May 2019

Mitzo’s Kurobuta Pork Nyonya Dumpling (S$15)

We’ve always loved Mitzo’s creative approach to traditional delights and their zong zi are no exception. A contemporary take on the classic Nyonya dumpling, Executive Chef Nicky Ng’s neon blue-tipped zang combines fragrant Kurobuta pork belly and sliced winter melon for a wonderful blend of flavours with every bite.

Available at Grand Park Orchard till June 9. Email rsvn@mitzo.sg or call 6603 8855 to order.

Peach Blossoms’ Blue Flower Rice Dumpling
Peach Blossoms’ Blue Flower Rice Dumpling
29 May 2019

Peach Blossoms’ Blue Flower Rice Dumpling

We literally squealed with delight when we saw these pretty pastel blue-hued dumplings from Peach Blossoms. Filled with light and smooth Japanese purple sweet potato and egg custard, the Blue Flower Rice Dumpling ($12.80) is not only a feast for the stomach, but also for the eyes. Kinda looks like artsy marble swirls, don’t you think?

Available till June 7. To order, call 6845 1118 or visit www.meritushotels.com.

Crystal Jade’s Mushroom & Chestnut with Black Glutinous Rice
Crystal Jade’s Mushroom & Chestnut with Black Glutinous Rice
29 May 2019

Crystal Jade’s Mushroom & Chestnut with Black Glutinous Rice

Crystal Jade’s “striped” zong zi ($7.28), consisting of a mix of dried and fresh shiitake mushrooms and chestnuts, is perfect for vegetarians. To get the beautiful layered effect, mushrooms are sautéed before being enclosed in black and normal glutinous rice, infusing it with an earthy aroma.

Available till June 7 at https://estore.crystaljade.com.

Cherry Garden’s Black Garlic Glutinous Rice Dumpling
Cherry Garden’s Black Garlic Glutinous Rice Dumpling
29 May 2019

Cherry Garden’s Black Garlic Glutinous Rice Dumpling

If pretty colours are not your cup of tea, go goth with Cherry Garden’s Black Garlic Glutinous Rice Dumpling ($18) which gets its unique hue from bamboo charcoal powder. Packed with black garlic chunks, sea whelk and succulent kurobuta pork belly, this makes for a decadent yet healthful treat. Best of all, you get all the flavour, and none of the bad breath.

Available till June 7. To order, call 6885 3500 or email mosin-dining@mohg.com.

Hai Tien Lo’s Crystal Dumpling with Red Bean and Sago
Hai Tien Lo’s Crystal Dumpling with Red Bean and Sago
29 May 2019

Hai Tien Lo’s Crystal Dumpling with Red Bean and Sago

With its semi-translucent outer layer and deep red core, we couldn’t help but think of a cut-open amethyst geode while looking at the red bean crystal dumpling ($8.80), Hai Tien Lo’s take on the red bean and sago dessert. Instead of glutinous rice, the sago pyramid is filled with sweet red beans, making it a light and delightfully chewy treat.

Available till June 7. To order, call 6826 8240 or visit pacificmarketplace.sg.

Shang Social’s Sweetened Red Bean Paste Dumpling with Tangerine Peel
Shang Social’s Sweetened Red Bean Paste Dumpling with Tangerine Peel
29 May 2019

Shang Social’s Sweetened Red Bean Paste Dumpling with Tangerine Peel

Another Cantonese sweet soup-inspired dumpling is this new creation from Shang Social which looks uncannily like an avocado. Red beans are rendered into a rich, sweet paste, and stewed together with 25-year-aged tangerine peels for a hint of citrus and bitterness.

Shang Social’s Eight Treasures Dumpling
Shang Social’s Eight Treasures Dumpling
29 May 2019

Shang Social’s Eight Treasures Dumpling

For a healthier option, try the Eight Treasures Dumpling where ingredients such as mixed grains, red dates, Cordyceps flowers, wolfberries and organic quinoa are steamed for four hours in a bamboo tube.

Available for takeaway only at Shang Social located at Jewel Changi Airport, Level 1, #01-219 to 222, till June 7.

Forest’s Braised Pork Belly Chestnut Rice Dumpling
Forest’s Braised Pork Belly Chestnut Rice Dumpling
29 May 2019

Forest’s Braised Pork Belly Chestnut Rice Dumpling

For those who enjoy sweet-spicy food, celebrity chef Sam Leong has created this Braised Pork Belly Chestnut Rice Dumpling to tempt your taste buds. Inspired by Peranakan culture, the bak zhang consists of plump slow-braised pork belly, mushrooms and chestnuts stuffed in glutinous rice that has been stir-fried with house-made XO sauce and curry powder.

The rice dumpling is part of Resort World Sentosa’s decadent Dumpling Festival Package ($108), which includes gourmet dumplings from celebrity restaurants Forest 森, Tangerine, Syun, Fengshui Inn and Osia Steak and Seafood Grill.

The Dumpling Festival Package is available for preorder till June 4. Call 6577 6688 or 6577 6599 or email dining@rwsentosa.com.

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