Chestnuts and black-eyed peas

Chestnuts and black-eyed peas

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So I was at a ‘highly overrated popular coffee shop’ buying lunch on a weekend. On a weekend! I must be nuts. The place is a freakin’ beehive, parking is a ‘beech’ and navigating the place is a nightmare for so many reasons. Coffee shops are like smaller, crammier versions of food courts. Not a fan, much less of dining in one.

Whenever I do lunch takeout at a coffee shop, I make sure someone else hops down while I wait in the car. On this occasion though, I had to physically venture in myself. Bummer! Between the filthy floors and impossible walkways, the OCD in me was on full alert, trying to avoid bumping into people, trash bins and pails, or looking around too much in case I see things that will make me lose my appetite 😆 .

After doing battle inside, I re-emerged into the sunshine, victorious, clutching my spicy shrimp noodles and veggie wraps. Across the road was a man selling jackfruit fritters and glutinous rice dumplings from a food cart. Omg, jackfruit fritters!! *drools* Haven’t had them in ages. Sign me up for 5 please 😀 !

While rummaging through my wallet for change, I asked about the glutinous rice dumplings and ended up buying two. I would’ve settled for one. But then recalling that I’d seen this man once with his 3 or 4 little children clambering to help out at his food cart and how my heart had gone soft then, I decided to buy two.

Most glutinous rice dumplings are about two-thirds the size of an average person’s palm. This makes sense because to wrap this, you’d have to cup the leaves in your palm before adding the glutinous rice and fillings (mushrooms, chunks of pork, salted egg yolk and chestnuts/black-eyed peas), shaping it into a pyramid and securing it with kitchen twine. It sounds easy but it’s not, trust me 😆 !

Chestnuts and black-eyed peas

If the dumpling isn’t wrapped or tied right (not too tight, not too loose), it’ll come undone during the cooking process. Not a pretty sight, I tell ya. Once or twice, I decided to get in on the action when we used to make these at home. Ultimate fail! I’m obviously not cut out for this. So I’m resolved to eating the finished product and leaving the impossible craftwork to the pro’s 😛 .

Anyways, as rice dumplings go, this one is large, the size of my entire palm or larger. Judging from how well this dumpling is holding its shape, whoever wrapped this must be a pro too. This is a solid piece of work!

Chestnuts and black-eyed peas

Okay, here’s the one with chestnuts. The other one, which I didn’t take a picture of, had black-eyed peas instead. On slicing this dumpling open, it was the white bits that jumped out at me, a telltale sign that there’s lotsa fat in there 🙁 . Hmm!

Chestnuts and black-eyed peas

Some people like it with the fat, I don’t. It scares me to see so much fat and oil *grimaces*. So there was the extra work of picking out the fat before I could even dig in. After all the fat was removed, I was left with more glutinous rice than filling 🙁 . Hmm!

Chestnuts and black-eyed peas

That said, these dumplings were actually pretty good with a flavor more intense than most. Personally, I would’ve preferred much less fat and rice, and lots more filling but… I know I’m only dreaming. Am I being too picky? Who, me? Nah!

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