Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zhong Zi

Zhong zi is a delicious Chinese food that is basically sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaf and steamed. We added chopped kabocha (squash), flaked roasted duck meat, and goji berries to some of the zhong zi to add some interesting flavors. To eat it, unwrap the leaves and use chopsticks to hold the sticky rice and dip it in white sugar or maple syrup. It's chewy, sticky, and has the refreshing taste of bamboo leaf!

Zhong zi
sticky rice (uncooked, soaked for 1 hour)
bamboo leaves (soaked for 1 hour to soften)
mix-ins (kabocha squash, flaked duck meat, goji berries...anything else you think would be delicious!)

1. Take a bamboo leaf and form it into a skinny cone.
2. Fill 1/3 of it with rice, using a chopstick to push the rice all the way into the tip. Make sure you pack the rice tightly but not too tightly that it doesn't give at all when you squeeze it.
3. Add a mix-in, if desired.
4. Add more rice, packing it in with the back of a spoon or your thumb.
5. Add another mix-in, if desired.
6. Add more rice to within 0.5 cm of the rim of your bamboo cone.
7. Fold over the left and right sides of the bamboo leaf, and then fold down the top. Wrap tightly with a string and tie a square knot.
8. Put in a large pot of water and simmer for 4-5 hours until rice is cooked through.
9. To serve, unwrap individual zhong zi and dip in sugar or maple syrup.

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