This is a blog post on how to make Zongzi (Cantonese savoury style). Zongzi is normally eaten during the Dragon boat race festival. It has got a story behind how zongzi came by. How the zongzi saved the emperor’s/ king’s life by feeding the bad people with these glutinous rice parcels wrapped in bamboo leaves. It is known as the Duanwu Festival.
Zongzi also came in many different versions. Another version I know is sweet flavor using lye water with red bean paste serve with palm sugar. sometimes there is no filling just the palm sugar to dip it in. It is much easier to make than savory ones as it has fewer ingredients in it.
Zongzi (Cantonese savoury style)
The trickiest part of making zongzi is wrapping the glutinous rice parcels with bamboo leaves. It takes a bit of practice. As this festive is an annual occurrence there is plenty of time to practice. The trick is to wrap it tightly but not too tight till it starts bursting. Dried bamboo leaves can be bought from Asian grocers. It needs to soak overnight before using. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t work. So is the glutinous rice, it needs to soak overnight so that when it is cooked it doesn’t taste too hard. Near towards the festive season, Asian grocers will be filled with the ingredients to make zongzi. I only ever know how to make zongzi in a triangle but it doesn’t matter if doesn’t turn out like that as long as the zongzi is intact after cooking it is a success.
The rest of the zongzi ingredients for making savory version is lots it can be chestnuts, beans, split mung beans, Chinese sausage, salted egg yolks, and fatty pork belly. The pork belly is cut into pieces, marinate overnight and cook for a short while (15 minutes). This so that the salty flavors of soy sauce absorb into the meat. Savory zongzi needs some salty flavors so as to add some taste to it.
Here are some steps on how wrap the zongzi
Thank you for reading and dropping by do have a look at my other Chinese festive recipes like Ang Ku kuih, Pineapple tart and Kuih Kapit.
Zongzi (Cantonese savoury style)
- Big pot to boil zongzi in
- 60 pieces bamboo leaves
- 300 grams fatty pork belly
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 kg Glutinous rice soak overnight
- 15 salted egg yolks divide accordingly
- 100 grams dried shitake mushroom rehydrated by soaking overnight
- 100 grams dried split mung beans soak in water
Prepare and marinate the pork belly
- Dice the pork belly into cubes. Add both soy sauces, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Marinate overnight. Then the next day cook it for 15 minutes.
- Soak the dried bamboo leaves and glutinous rice overnight while preparing the pork belly.
Make the Zongzi.
- Take about 2-3 leaves cut away the hard stems away, line the leaves together, and fold them up in a triangle. It will look like a cup. Fill it up with glutinous rice. Then the ingredients a bit of everything. Then add the glutinous rice. Fold the bamboo leaves over the glutinous rice. Do another fold to the side. Tie it tightly with a piece of string. Repeat this till the ingredients finish.
Cook the Zongzi
- String up the zongzi in batches of 3-5 pieces together. It helps to hold them together in a pot of boiling water. Boil in a big pot for 3 hours till cook. Take it out and serve warm.