Friday, June 22, 2007

Tsong Tsu Time of the Year

It is Tsong Tsu time (May 5 of the Lunar calender, and 6/19 of 2007)again. Originally associated with the "Poet's Day", Tsong Tsu was first made by kind village dwellers to keep the fish from devouring the body of an ancient patriotic Chinese poet Chui-Yuen, who depressively gave up his life by suicidally jumping into a river. After days and nights of futile search for the body, the village people decided to wrap rice in bamboo leaves to feed the underwater creatures, assuming that food can keep the dead body from being attacked.

Mom made these wonderful Tsong Tsus that were extremely tasty. The ingredients included black mushrooms, chestnuts, lotus nuts, pork and sweet rice. Oh, the fried red onions added so much to the flavor. Here are two photos of the freshly cooked beauties:

And the aroma filled the whole house:

The nude one:

With yummy sweet and hot sauce:
And Finally, Li-chi for dessert!!

I am not sure if Chui-Yuen's body was ever found, but the Tsong Tsu tradition certainly brings some festivity to this hot lunar May day.


  1. On a side note: You are not supposed to eat too many Li-chi because it is considered to bring "fire" to the bodies, according to the Chinese foodology. Well, too bad, I just finished a bunch of them and need to go work out to shed the "fire" and excessive calories.

  2. Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

  3. Oh MW! My mouth is watering looking at your pictures! Li-chi's... I haven't had fresh Li-chi's for YEARS!!!
    Enjoy extras for me, please!

  4. Homemade food is always the best, Jeff.

    Agradecimentos Rodrigo para visitar meu local. Eu estou contente que você gosta d. Eu visitarei seu blog. Obrigado.

    MIT, I know how you feel. Don't worry, I have already done that for you. Did you eat any Tsong Tsus this year? The Cantonese-made ones shouldn't be all that bad from Philly.

  5. dzong dz are one of my favourite Taiwanese snacks! Thanks for sharing and making me hungry!
    Oh, and thanks for dropping into my blog the other day.

  6. You are welcome and sounds like you really did have a taste of Taiwan while you were here, Roger. I am glad you like these. You know, not everyone can take them.

  7. Yes, I think it's the look of them. The sticky rice and oily bamboo leaves might be too foreign for some foreigners...

    But I love them. Especially the chestnuts and egg yolk inside! The best one I ever had was from a 7-11 out in Gu Guan, just North of Taichung.

  8. Roger, you must be really hungry and cold then to like the one you had from the convenience store so much. Or, maybe I should get one from the store and find out.

  9. I love mushrooms--I order them with everything. Chestnuts sound good too.

  10. Cool. Have you tried dried black mushrooms?

  11. Dried black mushrooms? me think. Dried ones. I have tried black ones. Little black ones and big black ones. Dried? Humm...never thought of it before. Never had that q b4. Are they good?

  12. Curt, in Taiwan, black mushrooms are dried to brew the flavor before being soaked tender for dishes. One classic is "black mushroom and chicken broth". Unfortunately, I don't eat chicken anymore...

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