(upbeat acoustic music) – Greetings, my beautiful lovelies.
It's Emmy and welcome back.
Today, I'm gonna be making a recipe I've been thinking about for years.
I know I say that a lot, but I think about a lot ofrecipes, (laughs) for years! And this one, I've beenthinking about since I was, I think a teenager, really.
So, we're gonna be making something that I grew up calling joong, but it goes by many different names, depending on the dialectand the type of Chinese that you speak.
Now, I am Chinese American, but I did not grow upspeaking any Chinese.
My parents actually grew up in Burma, which is currently known as Myanmar.
So I actually understand Burmese more than I understandany Chinese whatsoever and my father is Cantonese — Taishan Chinese — andso he called these joong so that's what I grew up calling them.
But they're also known as Zongzi.
Pardon my terrible Mandarin.
(laughs) These are rice dumplings madeof sticky or glutinous rice that are wrapped inbamboo leaves and stuffed with different kinds of fillings.
Now again, depending on whatpart of China you come from, you're gonna have differentstyles of Zongzi, or joong.
Now growing up, my brother and I had two versions ofjoong that we would eat.
The Cantonese and the Fukienese kind.
Now the Cantonese kind is theone that I'll be making today: it has peanuts; it has porkbelly; a little bit of sausage; sometimes, a preserved saltedduck egg in the middle.
Now my mother's version isseasoned with five spice powder and the rice has a darker color.
It sometimes has dryshiitake mushrooms in there.
It sometimes will have garlic; pork belly; a sweet chestnut inside.
So this process is very labor intensive and I have a memory of mygrandfather and grandmother making these a long timeago in their apartment.
And it was this kind ofassembly line process because once you make them, you might as well make a bunch of them because it just takes a lot of time, not only to make them, but to cook them.
But they are my favorite.
I love them.
Growing up we would onlyeat them on occasion, but since we've gotten older, my mom has found a source where they sell them year round, and whenever my brotherand I come and visit, my mom has a bunch of them in the freezer for us to take home.
The recipe I'm going to be using today comes from the blog “The Woks of Life.
” If you don't know it, I'llput a link down below.
It's beautifully written and photographed, and the recipes are tried and true.
So the night before you make your Zongzi, you're going to soak five cupsof sticky or glutinous rice.
And then soak it with a coupleinches of water overnight.
You're gonna un-bundle yourpacks of bamboo leaves.
You can find these at the Asian market.
And then you're gonna submergethese in plenty of water and soak these overnight as well.
You also need to soak 2/3of a cup of raw peanuts.
Now these peanuts aredifferent than the ones that you can find at the super market.
They have a slightlydifferent texture and flavor.
You're gonna need one pound of pork belly that's been cut into two inch pieces.
So, to your pork belly pieces, you're gonna add twoteaspoons of light soy sauce, a half teaspoon of sugar, twoteaspoons of shaoxing wine.
A half teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of ground white pepper, and one teaspoon of oil.
So I inadvertently addedthe half cup of water to the marinade.
You're actually supposed toadd the half a cup of water during the cooking process.
So, make sure you follow thedirections when you cook yours.
So the next day, we'regoing to drain our rice.
And then we're gonna season it.
Two tablespoons of light soy sauce.
And two teaspoons of salt.
I wanted to make this super tasty, so I added one teaspoon of MSG.
Next, you're gonna take your peanuts, and you can rub some of thehulls off of them if you like to make the peanuts nice and white and then place the peanutsinto a small saucepan.
Cover them with water, bring them up to a boil and boil them for five minutes.
Heat up a wok or a saucepanon medium high heat and then you're goingto sear your pork belly.
Cook them until they're nice and golden, and then add half a cup of water, or in my case, justthe remaining marinade, and cook this for five or 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
Next, we're gonna takethree Chinese sausages and cut 'em into about 1 1/2 inch pieces.
The original recipe callsfor salted duck egg yolks, but my family doesn't likethem so I chose to omit them.
Okay, so now we're ready toactually assemble the Zongzi.
Now this part, I have toadmit, is pretty challenging.
There are lots of videoson how to wrap them and I'll put links down below.
There are lots ofdifferent shapes of Zongzi, but the ones that I saw growing up were this beautiful tetrahedral pyramid and that was my goal.
And I was sort of successful.
So, we need to prepareour soaked bamboo leaves by cutting the bottom half inch off.
We also wanna take a damp towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Now there are a couple different methods on arranging the leaves.
You could put the pointyends up facing each other, and kind of roll it into a cone.
And then you're gonnahave two of the leaves kind of sticking upwards.
Now another method is to stack two leaves and just take the midpointof those two leaves and then roll it into a cone.
What happens here is yourleaves are gonna be shorter, so you're not gonna haveas much to fold over.
So just figure out whatworks out best for you.
Once we've rolled it into acone, and we have the two leaves kind of sticking out, having the cone kind of face away from me was a little bit easier.
You're gonna take a smallspoonful of your seasoned rice and put it in the bottom of the cone.
And lightly kind of pack it in.
Next, we're gonna place ourstuffing, so put some meat, put a piece of sausage, put your peanuts in and then cover it againwith some more rice.
We're gonna fill the coneall the way up to the top.
And then you're gonnatake that flap of leaves and close it over the top of the rice.
Kind of packing it in.
Once you close the lid of the leaf, you can take your lefthand and kind of squeeze it and shape it into a triangle.
We're taking that roundcone chape and shaping it into a triangle by squeezingit with our left hand.
And then we're gonna take our right hand, and fold over the edges of the leaf, making a triangle shape.
So we have a circle shape, and then we're pressing itinto a triangular shape.
Folding those leaves down.
And now you have a little flap sticking up and then we're gonna fold that neatly over and that should give us a nice clean edge.
Should give you a clean edge.
(chuckles) So now that you have thiskind of pyramidal shape, you're not finished yet.
You're gonna half to tieit off with some twine.
Some people like to tiestring onto some sort of point of attachment.
A doorknob, somethingto give some tension.
And then you wrap yourZongzi with that tension and tie a really tight knot.
You don't want it too tight, because then as the rice expands, you're gonna get a funny shaped dumpling.
So the other technique andthe one that I ended up using, is taking the string andplacing the end in my teeth.
And then using that to havesome tension on the string.
I have to admit when I was making these, there was a lot of cursing going on.
There's just a lot to figureout in terms of hand placement, proper tying technique, yada yada.
So the recipe says you'll make 12.
I ended up with 22.
My Zongzi were very small.
But, this is my first go aroundand I was happy I got 22.
Now we're ready to cook.
Traditionally, you wouldboil these for hours.
Anywhere from four to six hours until the rice is completely cooked.
But, I have an Instant Pot and I had read that you could cookthese in the Instant Pot, so I did these in two batches, so I placed 11 in thepot of my Instant Pot and then I filled the waterup to the maximum level.
Closed it up, set it on high pressure and cooked it for one hour.
So after an hour, I let them sit there for another 30-40 minutes andthen I did a quick release.
At this point, it's prettyclose to a natural release.
And then you take out your dumplings and they were perfectly cooked.
I was so, so, so pleased.
Because of the limitations onthe size of my Instant Pot, I had to do these in twobatches, which was fine.
The other half I refrigerated and I cooked them the next day.
Same method, same cooking time.
Worked out beautifully.
It's best to eat theZongzi when they're hot right out of the boiling water is best.
But to store them, you cool them down, place them in the refrigerator, and you can eat them in a few days.
You can wrap them individuallyand place them in the freezer and keep them for a few months.
That's what my mom does andthat's what I'm going to do.
My kids love Zongzi.
They call it sticky rice, they love them.
So I love to have some on hand for a quick little lunch or snack.
So if you have them frozen, or have them stored in the refrigerator, to heat them up, the bestway to do it is to either boil them in water forabout 10 or 15 minutes, til they're warm all the waythrough, or to steam them.
You can microwave them, butthe heat is a little bit uneven so you'll get parts thatget a little bit overcooked, but in a pinch, you can microwave them.
Enough chatting about these.
Let's go ahead and taste these.
I've got some reheatingright here in some hot water.
Just grab them by the string.
These are the best! So Zongzi are traditionallyeaten at the beginning of May in the Lunar calendar, which falls, in the Gregorian calendarusually mid May to early June.
Now they're eaten during this time of year during the Dragon Boat Festival.
And there's a story of alegendary poet named Qu Yuan and he committed suicide so people would throw theserice dumplings into the water so that the fish wouldeat the rice dumplings rather than eat his body.
Kind of a grim tale, yes? But, delicious food, yes.
All righty, I'm so excited about this.
I love joong so so much.
My brother, we, eat your heartout, we love these so much.
I actually texted him afterI made these, I'm like, “you have to make these, they're so delicious.
They're actually the perfect thing to make during quarantine becausethey're so labor intensive.
It's like putting your goodtime and effort to work.
All righty, enough, let's do this.
This is what we had before we had plastic.
We had leaves.
So you can serve this withchili sauce if you like, or hot sauce.
Here's the part that we folded over.
There's the flap.
There's our beautiful sticky rice! Oh my gosh! Yes! Yes yes, yes yes.
Look how beautiful that is! Look at that.
(sighs) As a kid, my favorite part was the meat.
I didn't really care for the rice.
I really didn't like thepeanuts when I was a kid, but now I adore them.
It's funny how your tastes change.
Pork belly in there, we have the peanuts.
Here's the sausage.
And all those flavors and fattiness have absorbed into the rice.
Itadakimasu! Spot on.
The rice is sticky andchewy, but not mushy.
And it's absorbed allof those fatty flavors from the pork and the sausage and of course we seasoned it as well.
It's not a really salty, it's scrumptious.
And then we've got thebits of peanut in there which have cooked and they're tender.
They remind me a bit of boiled peanuts, but they have a slightly different flavor.
And they too have absorbedthe flavors of the meat.
The pork belly is just decadent.
It's unctuous and soft.
You get a little bit of meat in there, but a lot of it's thatlovely fatty texture.
Then you've got a littlebit of skin on top.
The sausage is lovely.
It's slightly sweet.
It too is fatty.
So it's given a lot of its fat to the neighboring rice around it.
So good! I love this so much! Look, I'm gonna eat this whole thing.
Mm! So when I eat this at home, I usually have a little side salad because it's so rich and dense, it's nice just to have some greens.
I don't even dress the greens.
Just whatever greens.
Any kind of lettuce that you have around, is really great to have thiswith a little bite of lettuce to kind of balance things out because this is so, so rich and delicious.
So cooking these in anInstant Pot makes this recipe so much more accessiblebecause you don't have to be monitoring them as they're boiling.
You don't have to add water and making sure they don't boil over.
The Instant Pot makes thismuch much easier and faster.
So I will definitelybe making these again.
I already told Wee thenext time I see him, we have to make a batch of these.
And I think next time, I'll also try the Shanghai version as well because more deliciousness, what's not to love? What is not to love? All righty.
I hope youguys enjoy that one.
I hope you guys learned something and I hope you guys try this recipe.
It's absolutely delicious.
Thanks again for watching.
Please share this video with your friends.
Follow me on social media, like this video, subscribe, and I shall see you in the next one! Toodaloo, take care.
Bye! (upbeat orchestral music) (Emmy humming).