Zong-Zi… they’re like Chinese tamales
I like my zongzi simple. Pork and rice.
I remember making these with my mom when I was younger. Zongzi, a traditional Chinese food, is basically bamboo leaves stuffed with glutinous rice and your filling of choice. Personally, I don’t care for the peanuts, mushrooms, chestnuts, chinese sausage, and dried shrimp people sometimes stuff them with. Pork, that’s all. Nice and simple.
- 24-30 dried bamboo leaves
- kitchen twine
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork hock
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 cups short-grain glutinous rice (sweet rice)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- For the meat filling, skin the pork hock and remove the bone. When you buy the hock, it will be about 4 lbs with the bone… basically both of the front legs. Mommy says the front leg is more tender. Cut the meat into 1 inch pieces and save some of the fat. Marinate the meat in a bowl with soy sauce, rice wine, five spice powder, and ginger. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Rinse the rice a few times and drain. Add soy sauce and store in refrigerator overnight or allow to stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours so all liquid is absorbed.
- Soak the leaves in tap water overnight or in hot water half an hour before wrapping.
- Good morning… now you have everything ready to assemble! Select 2 leaves of relatively the same size, stems facing opposite directions, glossy side facing you, and overlap them to make a 5 inch wide piece.
- Now, turn it horizontally and fold the ends towards you forming a heel shape.
- Place 2-3 tablespoons of marinated rice in the “cup” and spread it about 3 inches toward the leaf tip. Please a few pieces of the marinated meat over the rice.
- Add a couple tablespoons of rice over the meat. The meat should be completely enveloped by rice.
- With your right hand, bring the empty bottom portion of the leaf over the rice-filled cup, curving the leaf over the sides and beyond the heel side. The tips of the leaf should extend a few inches beyond the heel.
- Tie the string around the zongzi so it’s a secure package. Do not tie the string too tightly as the package will expand when cooked.
- Place the zongzi in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add water to cover, with a couple inches to spare. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook on medium-low heat for an hour, then turn down to low heat until the water is barely simmering and cook for an additional 3 hours. Make sure there is boilng water covering the packages at all times.
- To eat, snip the string and lift off the pointed part of the leaf. Serve with soy sauce. Nom.