As spring arrives, green mugwort leaves begin to sprout. It is at its best for the leaves taste fresh and tender. The delicious glutinous rice cakes made by hardworking housewives with mugwort leaves is the most popular seasonal food in spring.
Early in the morning, a villager Hu Suping picked mugwort leaves in the farmland. In order to maintain the taste, only the tips of young mugwort leaves are left while the branches are removed.
She introduced that edible mugwort leaves look round with white back, and can be gently picked off.
The smell of mugwort leaves which are just picked from the farmland is always the strongest. The washed mugwort leaves should be put into the boiling water and fished out after 20 minutes.
Hu Suping told reporters that we should add four spoons of mugwort leaves and four spoons of white sugar into five kilograms of glutinous rice flour and three kilograms of rice flour, and then knead them into a paste.
Kneading dough is quite labor consuming, especially for the wrist. When the surface becomes smooth, the making of dough has been done and we can move to next step, preparing the fillings.
In addition to sesame and peanut candy, Hu Suping also prepared a variety of fillings such as dried bamboo shoots, lean meat and fried pork with black beans. To separate the different fillings, Hu Suping wrapped the dough into strips, triangles and other shapes. Attention should be paid to the wrapping techniques or they would easily fall apart during cooking.
After steamed in the pot for 15 minutes, delicious Mugwort Ciba can be served on the table. Besides, the traditional method of cooking food on the wood-fired oven can increase the flagrance of mugwort leaves and glutinous rice. Some people like to fry it in hot oil for a few minutes, by which the salty flavor of lean meat and the aroma of mugwort can be fully released.
Mugwort, a perennial herbaceous plant with strong aroma, can be used as medicine or food for its effects in getting rid of the humidity and reducing inflammation. The peak season for the growth of Mugwort leaves falls on March and April.
During this period, Hu Suping’s family will work from five in the morning to six in the evening. They can sell hundreds of Mugwort Ciba a day at most. Hu Suping said that their stall has a history of over 10 years. Although making and selling mugwort ciba is a tough job, her family all enjoy it.
As a gift from nature, mugwort is an important ingredient for those tasty seasonal food in spring. Mugwort Ciba is a snack that can never be missed for those who like it.