2011 Boston Dragon Boat Festival

6:16 PM

king of all street food sauces

Things we look forward to in the summer: Sun. Surf. Sand. No school (sometimes). Street festivals. Yup. It's the only time of year I'll brave crowds to sample a variety of morsels out of chafing dishes and sterno. My kinship for this type of event started with my family's booth at the Taste of Hartford during the summers of my childhood. It was at this food festival I got to try everything from Jamaican patties, soul food, pub fare to steamers.

dragon parade to kick-off festivities

I was excited to take the boys to the Dragon Boat Festival earlier this month and introduce them to some "street food," culture and competition. Touted as N. America's longest running dragon boat festival, the Boston Dragon Boat Festival featured 50 race teams, performances, martial arts demonstrations and Asian food vendors on the banks of the Charles.

The festival was just the right size in terms of number of attendees and exhibitors. The only thing I wished there was more of were food vendors. There were less than 10 food vendors limited to typical Chinese-American fare, traditional Chinese "snack" food, Korean, Indian and Thai. Here is a sampling of some of the food we tasted:

bah-chang: Asian Tamale


We started out with Zongzi or bah-chang. Kind of like an Asian tamale, bah-chang is a traditional snack served at Dragon Boat Festivals. Bah-chang is a sticky rick dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves filled with pork, shrimp, chicken, chinese sausage, mushroom, egg and peanuts. We also tried the non-meat bah-chang filled with sweet red bean paste. These were pretty good, but did not hold a candle to my grandmother's. I'm dying to try this recipe from Tiny Urban Kitchen as it seems closest to how my grandmother made hers. 

There was also Mandoo, Kimchee Pancakes and teriyaki sticks grilled on site:

makeshift kitchen by Choi's Food

Koren Food Options

Our best bite of the day was from Harvard Square's Cafe of India. We ended up getting a meat/veggie combo of saag paneer, chicken tikka masala and naan. Man was it good!

Too much yummy-ness to choose from!

samosas

Tandori Chicken

The boys ate very well that day. And even seemed to enjoy the entertainment. We couldn't get close enough to the dragon boat races however. Overall, it was a great way to spend a Sunday. Scoping out the next street fair (click here for a listing). St. Anthony's Feast anyone?

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