For a little background information on Zong Zi, see part 1.

Like I mentioned, this is the way my mom makes Zong Zi, and it’s just fabulous. I did my best to document her process but she doesn’t have measuring spoons and stuff so a lot of these quantities are estimates. Before you start, realize that this is pretty work intensive and that you’ll need to start planning the night before. You’ll see that it’s worth it though because you can make a lot and it stores well in the refrigerator (or freezer), and heats up in the microwave nicely (just cover with wet paper towel).

*On 6/15/10, I added another Zong Zi recipe to FoodMayhem. It’s a Red Bean Zong Zi, with video to show the hard part, assembly.

Kelly’s Zong Zi
~makes about 34

  • 1 (5lb) bag sweet rice (sticky rice)
  • 5 large dry shitake mushrooms
  • about 35 bamboo leaves
  • 1.5 ounces dried shrimp
  • oil for wok
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar or rock candy
  • 1.9 lb pork butt
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 scallion, cut in half width-wise
  • piece of ginger (about 2″ x 2″ x 1″), peeled and smashed
  • string

Instructions –

1. Cover rice with water and soak over-night. Place mushrooms in a small bowl with water and soak overnight.

sweet rice soaking black mushrooms

2. Soak bamboo leaves in warm water for about 4 hours before you start making it. After soaking, use a soft sponge to wipe the leaves. Soak dry shrimp in water for 4 hours as well, in a separate bowl.

bamboo leaves rehydrated dried shrimp

3. Heat just enough oil to coat a large wok on moderately low flame. Break up rock candy and let it melts until it looks like a paste. Add pork butt and brown lightly. Turn it over and brown the other side lightly.

brown pork brown pork 2

4. Add soy sauce, rice wine, water, scallion, and ginger. The pork should be 2/3 covered with liquid. Add more water if necessary. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook covered for 60-75 minutes. Remove to a plate and cool pork. Keep the liquid.

red cooking the pork butt

5. Strain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Dice (1/2″ cubes) the mushrooms (remove hard end of stem if necessary) and set aside. Strain shrimp and set aside. Drain rice and set aside.

6. Cut strings to tie zong zi with.


7. When pork is cool, cut into 1″ cubes and mix back into the brown sauce that it cooked in. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

diced pork pork and sauce

8. Heat just enough oil to coat wok again (don’t bother cleaning the wok) on a medium flame. Stir fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir for another minute. Stir in rice. Stir in pork with liquid, and add about half of the reserved mushroom liquid as well. Keep stirring so the rice doesn’t stick. When the color of the rice looks even and well mixed, you can add more soy sauce or salt depending on whether you want the color to be darker or not. Remove from heat. Set aside.

saute mushrooms add pork to rice mixture

9. Wrapping the zong zi is the hardest part. It takes a lot of practice to get the right shape and tightness so that it doesn’t fall apart: first make a cone.

wrapping zong zi 1

10. Fill with rice filling and pack down.

wrapping zong zi 2

11. Hold with one hand, pushing down the sides, while bringing the top of the leaf forward like a flat cover.

wrapping zong zi 3 wrapping zong zi 4

12. The top will be wider and cover on both sides. Pinch towards the front and fold the front tip of the leaf to the side.

wrapping zong zi 5 wrapping zong zi 6

13. Tie with string. Repeat the packing and folding of leaves until you finish the filling.

wrapping zong zi 7

14. My mom usually ties three together but it’s up to you. Boil them for about 35-40 minutes, or until tender.

cooking zong zi

15. Remove from liquid and serve, or store in refrigerator and reheat in the microwave, covered with a wet paper towel.

Zong zi 2

I like most things piping hot but Zong Zi are actually perfect warm.

zong zi

posted by jessica at 04:14 PM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.