Preparation time: 1 day
Cooking time: 8 hours
Number of servings: 12-15
Zongzi is a traditional Chinese dish made of glutinous rice stuffed with various fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. They are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, which is celebrated each year on a day in late-May to mid-June.
- 36-40 dried bamboo leaves*
- 925g uncooked sticky rice
- 2 tsp + 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- ½ + 2 tsp salt
- 165g raw peanuts
- 450g pork belly
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp oil
- 120ml water
- 6 salted duck egg yolks
- 3 Chinese sausages (lap cheong)
- Kitchen twine
- Kitchen scissors
*You need two bamboo leaves per dumpling, but some of them may tear during the wrapping process. It is therefore better to get more leaves than necessary.
Cut the pork belly into 12 equal pieces and put them in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, Shaoxing wine, white pepper as well as 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of salt. Let the meat marinate overnight. Soak the dried bamboo leaves, the rice as well as the peanuts overnight.
The next day, wash and rinse each bamboo leaf. Keep them in a large container filled with water until wrapping time so they don’t dry out. Completely drain the rice, put it in a large bowl, then mix it with 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of salt. Set it aside. Boil the peanuts for 5 minutes, drain them, then set them aside.
Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook the pork belly for a few minutes before adding the water. Cover the wok with the lid and let the meat cook for 5-10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pork from the wok and let it cool.
Cut the salted egg yolks in half and the Chinese sausages into 12 equal pieces. Set them aside in separate bowls.
Wrapping (see video)
With the kitchen scissors, cut away at least 1½ cm off the bottom of every leaf, where the leaf stem is, so that it does not pierce the leaf when wrapping it. To make sure that the kitchen twine will not break easily, wet it first by soaking it in a bowl of water. Tie one end of the twine to an anchor point (such as your kitchen sink for instance), because you will only have one hand to tie the zongzi.
Take two bamboo leaves and then fold them up to create a cone in your hand. Fill the cone with a bit of rice, then add some peanuts, a piece of salted egg yolk, pork belly and Chinese sausage. Top with a bit more rice.
Fold the top of the leaves toward the centre, then seal the “package”. Secure it with string. Make sure everything is tightly sealed so that water does not get into the cake during the cooking process.
Repeat these steps until you have used all of the bamboo leaves and filling.
Put the zongzi in a medium-sized pot while avoiding large gaps. Put a large plate directly on top of them to weigh them down and prevent them from floating during the cooking process. Fill the pot with cold water, until the zongzi are submerged. Place the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Once the water boils, turn the heat to low/medium-low, and let it simmer for at least 7-8 hours.
Check the pot fairly often to make sure the zongzi are always submerged in water. Only add boiling water to adjust the water level (be careful not to add lukewarm or cold water).
Once the 7-8 hours is up, serve the zongzi and enjoy them while they are still hot.