Zongzi—these iconic bamboo leaf-wrapped parcels are more than just a tasty treat. They’re a delectable tapestry of history, tradition, and emotion. Originally crafted as a tribute to Qu Yuan, a revered poet and statesman from ancient China, Zongzi have since evolved into a culinary centerpiece of the Dragon Boat Festival. But enough about their storied past; let’s get cooking, shall we?
For this Zongzi recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients in both cup and gram measurements:
- 1 cup (225g) glutinous rice, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup (115g) mung beans, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup (100g) pork belly, diced
- 1/4 cup (60g) Chinese mushrooms, soaked and diced
- 1/4 cup (40g) chestnuts, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30g) salted egg yolk, crumbled (optional)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5g) Wu Xiang Fen (Chinese Five-Spice powder)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 20 bamboo leaves, soaked and rinsed
- Kitchen twine
- Marinate the Meat: Combine the pork belly, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Wu Xiang Fen in a bowl. Stir well and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Prep the Rice: Drain the glutinous rice and mung beans and set them aside.
- Assemble: Lay two bamboo leaves on a flat surface, slightly overlapping. Place a handful of rice on the leaf, add a spoonful of mung beans, and top it with the marinated pork, mushrooms, chestnuts, and egg yolk. Finish with another layer of rice.
- Wrap and Tie: Fold the leaves over the filling and fold in the sides to form a pyramid shape. Secure it tightly with kitchen twine.
- Steam or Boil: Place the wrapped Zongzi in a steamer for 2 hours, or boil them in water for the same amount of time.
- Cool and Enjoy: Allow them to cool a bit before unwrapping the deliciousness within.