Zongzi (Rice Dumplings in Bamboo Leaves)

6 Août

Makes 20 dumplings…

Ingredients

* 20 strings (for binding the zong zi packaging)
* 40 large bamboo leaves
* 1 kg of Glutinous Rice
* 2 kg of tender, fatty pork, sliced into 1 inch cubes
* 10 Salted Duck’s Egg yolk
* 40 Small Dried Black Mushrooms
* 20 Dried Chestnuts
* 10 Cloves of Scallions cut up
* 1/2 kg of Dried Radish cut up very finely
* 5 Cloves of Garlic
* 100 g small Dried Shrimp.
* 200 g Shelled Peanuts (with skins)
* Cooking oil
* Fine Ground Black Pepper
* Star Anise

Directions
Soak the rice for three hours.
Boil peanuts until tender (30 – 1 hour).
Stew the meat and the chestnuts together for 30 minutes to 1 hour with with 1/2 a up of soy sauce, 1/2 a cup of rice wine, a teaspoon each of fine ground pepper, sugar and star anise.
Soak mushrooms until soft (hot water will speed the process); remove the stalks.
Stir-fry with a little soup from the meat stew; add small amounts of soy sauce, sugar,
Dried Radish: Chop up finely and stir-fry with some sugar and garlic.
Shrimp: Stir-fry for a couple of minutes
Scallions: Chop up finely, stir-fry until fragrant.
In a large wok, mix in with rice in the wok to flavour with soup meat stew soup.
Add the peanuts.
Then the shrimp.
Cut the dried duck egg yokes into halves.
Bamboo leaves: Wash in hot water to tenderise the leaves (so they don’t break), before washing thoroughly in cold water.
Wet the strings to make them more pliable.
Wrapping the zong zi: Hang the set of strings.
« Fold the leaves flat at the leafstalk to make a sheet. »
« Hold the sheet, fold it round in the middle and make a funnel till both ends are laid over each other in one direction. »
The dumplings should be pyramid shaped with sharp edges and pointed ends.
It takes some practice to get nice looking ones.
They are tied up just like shoes laces with a double knot which makes them easy to open.
*Steam for 1 hour, unwrap and serve.
Notes
Zong zi are eaten plain or with any kind of sauce you chose.
People in southern Taiwan tend to boil the dumplings rather than steam them.

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