zongzi 粽子

粽子, mandarin pinyin as “zong zi”, its an authentic Chinese food thats eaten over our Dragon Boat Festival – 端午節, this food was actually invented based on the story below (extract from wikipedia);

“Zongzi (also known as rice dumpling) is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival(Mandarin: Duanwu; Cantonese: Tuen Ng) which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar (approximately early- to mid-June), commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States period. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors. When the Qin Dynasty general Bai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan’s grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet’s body.”

Its been three years since i last made it..   life seem to be busier each year, i almost forgot how to wrap them. Which means i went back to online study again, just digging out receipes, videos on how to wrap etc..  Originally, i was aiming to do 4 leaves wrapping method, i did half a dozen and then i got fed up, thinking this is too long. So to speed up, i adopt the one leaf wrapping method.. lalala~~~ within hours or two i have already made loads…. and ready to boil my first batch of zongzi. =)

粽子 – mades around 50-60 via one leaf wrapping method (but the quantity also depends on how big your leaves are)

糯米 Glutinous Rice 2 kg
去皮綠荳 Skinned green beans (Mung dal) 500g
開邊眉豆 Splited black eye beans 500g
竹葉 Bamboo leaves (get from See woo supermarket) 1 pack. approximately 100-120 leaves. 一包﹐大概100-120葉
五花腩 Pork Belly 450g or so, slice and cut into appropriate strips. (so really depends how much filling you like)
鹹蛋黃 Salted duck egg, 25 – 30.  25至30個 (this is really optional, its far too difficult to find and expensive to buy this many, I make my own at home)

五花腩的調味料 Seasoning for the pork belly
五香粉 1.5 茶匙 Chinese five spice powder 1.5 teaspoon
砂糖 1 茶匙 sugar 1 teaspoon
鹽 1-2 茶匙 salt 1-2 teaspoon
油 1 茶匙 oil 1 teaspoon

Cotton thread, no colour

Pork belly skinned, cut into slices of appropriate size. Mix in the seasoning, and marinate over night or at least an hour or two.
Soaked the bamboo leaves in hot water for at least an hour, or till its soften and when you can feel its soft enough. Once its soften, you may trim both ends.
Water and soak the rice overnight, or at least two hours.
Splited black eye beans/ skinned green beans, water and soak overnight, or at least two hours.
Once okay, drained all the water on the rices and beans.
Now, we need to marinade the rice by adding salt 4 teaspoons and 4 tablespoon of sunflower oils. mixed well. (i combined a few receipes i found together, and once i cook my zongzi, i realised the rice don’t have enough taste.. so you need to adjust it to your taste, if i m doing it again, i would add to 6 teaspoons.)
pick two leaves up, you will realised one side is smooth and glossy while the other side is a bit rough. You need to have the glossy side facing you, two leaves pile together but make sure the ends are opposite each other (so 1st leaf is pointy bit up, while the 2nd leaf above it, the pointy bit its down). and here we go…
video demonstration by Eupho Cafe. i was hoping to do a video myself, but wrapping zongzi alone is not doable….
So…. shaped the leaves –> rice –> green beans –> piece of meat, yolk –> green beans –> rice, then close the dumpling.
to make black eye beans version, you simply replace green beans with black eye beans and keep everything same.
Once wrapped, you can cook it via boiling method, with such one leaf method one hour cooking time is enough.
Once cooked, you may eat with soy sauce or sugar (yes, your eyes ain’t funny, we do eat it with sugar… kakaka… it taste nicer! hence why the rice should have enough salt to balance.. =))

this is wrapped via 4 leaves method..

Other references (apology as its in Chinese…)
Taiwanese style roast pork zongzi
My learning points
– its always 1:1 ratio of rice and beans. so if you want to make a few only 1kg rice vs 500g beans should be perfectly enough. unless you love beans more.
– you can make variation to it by wrapping unsalted rice to red bean paste. but on the rice, people tend to add a few drops of alkline water. personally, i don’t like it.
– fillings.. its totally upto you!!!
– the meat belly might sound fat, but without it you won’t have the aroma of zongzi.
– no laziness can do any good food. zongzi requires a lot of prep, and even wrapping it… i certainly enjoy wrapping them 60 zongzi alone haha~


5 thoughts on “zongzi 粽子

  1. Pingback: 粽子 zongzi
    • Suzie says:

      hey Helen,
      this certainly is time consuming… i gave 2/3 away to my aunt and dad’s friends. but its certainly yummy… esp keeping it to the traditional =D
      you should fine time to make it, even get your mother.. kekeke…you can make a vegetarian version by mixing the rice with red beans, green beans, black eye beans and sweetcorn. soak the rice and beans as usual, and wrap some soaked mung dal.. this can be made for your hubby =)

  2. Chiman says:

    Love your zongzi. I myself a HKBC as well love zongzi! One of my many favourites(As if there is any food I don’t like in HK) for breakfast, lunch or dinner is a big fat zongzi, congee and fried noodle. I love all kinds, sweet or savoury. Anyhow, do you know where in London I can get some decent zongzi? Thanks! Keep up the tradition!!!

    • Suzie says:

      oops Chiman, sorry for the late reply!
      I don’t think u can find decent ones…… only those few big chinese supermarket have them during the festival season but you just don’t know what they put inside!? Learn to make it yourself….. =)

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