Festival Foods (and Recipes)

Chinese dishes
Dragon Boat Foods

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We know you missed Dragon Boat Festival this year. We are all diligently working towards a safe return to Dragon Boat for the 2021 season. 

This year has kept us from the thrill of the races, the feeling of flying through the water and festivities with our friends.  

This perplexing year has given us a chance to explore our other Dragon Boat talents, though.

Cooking Festival food.

We have some of your top foods right here; you just need to cook them yourself!

Zong Zi

Those sweet and savoury little bundles of rice. There are so many variations to try, the possibilities are endless.

Saucy Zong Zi

What you absolutely need to make Zong Zi:

Glutinous Rice (or sticky rice). You can purchase this at many specialty stores or learn to make your own sticky rice for that extra special experience.

Bamboo Leaves. For best results, you should soak the leaves prior to wrapping your rice mixture.

A heavy pot small/big enough to keep the bundles snuggled together. 

Get creative with your Zong Zi. Experiment with mix-ins, break away from those stuffy recipes!

If you want to follow a recipe for the first few times, we found one for you.   

Ricefield Eel

Can you guess what's in this dish? You can make this delicacy from rice, tofu, mushrooms and of course, eel. 

Have you tried this before? Let us know how you made it! 

Da Gao

Ready for dessert? Of course you are!

This is a great dessert option for that authentic Festival experience.

Rice and cinnamon

What you need:

Glutinous rice (or sticky rice)

Soybean flour

Coconut milk (optional if you like it a bit sweeter)

Honey or Canadian this dessert up with some maple syrup!

Some dessert variations include mugwort, if you’re not sure about using this plant, we suggest skipping it.

If you are interested in making this dessert, we found a mugwort free recipe for you. Let us know if you kept it traditional with honey or added your own sweet flare with maple syrup, jam or something completely different!

Tea Eggs & Garlic Eggs

Simply put, tea eggs are chicken or duck eggs boiled in tea instead of water. Traditionally thought to ward off bad luck, the eggs would be hung around children’s necks. 

You could also try eating them.

Garlic eggs are the breakfast of champions! Usually eaten on race days; garlic eggs were believed to repel poisonous bugs.

These eggs makes for a delicious savoury breakfast – you’re too fast for bugs to catch anyways!


You might be thinking back to those Saturday mornings when your family would indulge in this sweet breakfast. Festival pancakes resemble what Canadians call crepes – thin pastry that you can wrap around a variety of sweet or savoury flavours.

Wrapping a variety of flavours into these pastries can give you the opportunity to share with your team the flavours you grew up with.

Eggs and chives? Strawberries and clotted cream? Broccoli and tofu?

Don’t stifle your creativity, just make sure your stuffing is small enough to be wrapped in the delicate pastry. Think cannoli not burrito. 

Savoury pancake

Realgar Wine

Realgar wine is made from yellow wine and powdered realgar (an arsenic sulphide mineral). The drink is left to warm at room temperature for several hours. The wine is painted on children, sprinkled around the house and consumed. 

All in the name of warding off evil spirits and poison.

If you want to consume this beverage, we recommend speaking with a healthcare practitioner first, as it does contain an arsenic.

If you are looking for an alternative to Realgar wine, drink regular wine at room temperature!

Otherwise, end your Dragon Boat Festival Food experience with cold brews and your crew.

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