SINGAPORE - Still best appreciated in their traditional forms, the rice dumpling's perennial popularity continues to lay proof to a familiar axiom: If it ain't broken, don't fix it, said the wise chef to the jaded businessman. And while that would make an apt opening to a modern day Aesop's tale, few fables are actually required to reaffirm the allure of time-honoured recipes and their traditional pairings of flavours.
Dubbed zong zi in Mandarin or bak chang in its more proverbial Hokkien moniker, either way it would admittedly be difficult to feature rice dumplings dressed in anything but the customary glutinous grain.
And while that doesn't stop flagrant innovators from mocking gluttons with exotic sweet fruit pudding alternatives and the likes, it's the ones that have taken clever liberties with the traditionally savoury assortment that are likely to win over the traditionalist masses.
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