Zongzi with Red Bean Paste (Sticky Rice Dumplings)
Omnivore's Cookbook
Omnivore's Cookbook
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  • 20 - 30 sheets dried or fresh bamboo leaves (or reed or banana leaves) (*see footnote) 2 cups (400 grams) glutinous rice 1 cup homemade red bean paste (or a packaged one from a Chinese market) Cotton twine or narrow stalks to tie the zongzi Instructions Rinse glutinous rice with water 2 to 3 times. Add glutinous rice into a big bowl and water to cover. Let soak overnight. If using dried bamboo leaves Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add bamboo leaves and boil for 5 to 8 minutes, until the leaves turn soft but are still green in color. Transfer the bamboo leaves to a plate. If using fresh bamboo leaves Heat a large pot of water to just under boiling. Turn off heat. Dip bamboo leaves in the hot water and let them soak for 1 to 2 minutes, until soft. To wrap zongzi Place the bamboo leaves, cotton twine, red bean paste, glutinous rice (do not discard the water), and two spoons on the working surface. If the bamboo leaves are less than 8 cm (3 inches) wide, use two at a time. Otherwise, you can use one leaf. Overlap the leaves by 50% to 60% if using more than one. Fold the leaves with both hands to shape them like a funnel, without leaving an opening at the bottom. Hold the funnel with one hand. Start adding glutinous rice into it with a spoon with the other hand, until halfway filled. You should add water with the rice, so the rice fills the leaf nicely while the water drips away from the bottom. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of red bean paste (or more if the zongzi size is bigger) and place it on the rice. Continue to fill the funnel with rice, until almost level with the edge. Pat the rice a bit so the top is flat. You don’t need to compress the rice too hard, otherwise the rice will be squeezed into the red bean paste. Continue to hold the funnel with the same hand. Use the other hand to fold the longer side of the leaf as a lid to cover the rice. Continue to fold the longer side of the leaf, until it wraps the funnel. Hold the zongzi with one hand and use the other hand to tie it up with the cotton twine. The finished zongzi should have edges that are 8 to 10 centimeters (3 to 4 inches) long. Work on the rest of zongzi using the same method. (refer to the video for how to tie zongzi) Place the zongzi in a large pot and add water until it almost covers the zongzi. Place a heavy plate on top to keep the zongzi in the water while cooking. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn to low (or lowest) heat and let the water continue boiling. Keep covered and simmer for 3 hours. Transfer one zongzi to a plate to cool off until you can handle it. Untie and slice it in half to make sure it’s cooked through (if the zongzi is very large, it might require more cooking time, up to 4 hours). Transfer all the zongzi to a plate to cool off. Untie the zongzi right before serving and discard the leaves. Serve warm or cold with honey or sugar. Dip the zongzi in honey or sugar while eating. To store zongzi, place in a plastic bags after cooling off and seal the bag. Store in fridge up to 3 days or in freezer up to 2 months. To serve leftover zongzi. Let thaw completely (if frozen). Steam or gently boil in a pot of water until warm. Or you can place the zongzi on the kitchen counter until they return to room temperature, then serve cold. I personally prefer warm zongzi, because they have a better texture than the cold one. Notes Depending on the type of leaves you use, you might need to use 2 to 3 leaves at a time. If you’re using bamboo leaves that are approx. 8 centimeters (3 inches) wide, use one leaf at a time. 3.2.2925



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