Joong (zongzi)

(From the kitchen of Rose Hom and Kathy Ma)
(Yield: Enough to feed a really big crowd)

1 1/2 lb. bamboo leaves
10 lbs. sweet glutinous rice
1 lb. Chinese sausage (Lop chang), cut in half vertically then into thirds
2 lb. ham, sliced into 1 1/2″ x 1/2″ thick strips
1 lb. dried shrimp
1 lb. dried peanuts
2 dozen shiitake mushrooms
2 dozen salted egg yolks (recipe below)

Soak bamboo leaves in a large container. Clean the leaves by rubbing two together, changing the water, repeat for 4 days. The night before assembly, places leaves in the dishwasher rack with 1 cup vinegar for a cycle of washing. Leave in dishwasher to cool to prevent the leaves from cracking. Keep the leaves submersed in water during preparation.

dsc07429-smallWash rice until the water is clean, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain the rice well and add 1/2 c. vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp. salt and mix well.

dsc07428-smallSalted egg yolks
(Prepare these 6 weeks in advance!)
Use 1/2 to 1 whole egg yolk per joong so adjust recipe accordingly

1 dozen eggs (chicken or duck)
1 qt. water
1 c. salt

Make a brining solution with the salt and water–bring to a boil.  Stir until salt is dissolved.  Cool brine completely.  Place whole raw eggs in a glass container and cover eggs completely with the brine.  Stuff the top of the jar with crumpled wax paper (this will help keep the eggs submersed under water), place another sheet of wax paper over the top of the jar, and secure it with a rubber band.  Put the jar in a cool dark place (not refrigerator) for 6-7 weeks.  Crack open the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites before using.  Discard the egg whites (they’re too salty to eat).  Discard any “rotten” eggs (they will be easily identified with their off-color and off-smell).  Freeze any unused yolks.  Note that yolks should be cooked before consuming.

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Filling for joong: Mushrooms, peanuts, ham, and Chinese sausage

Joong come in different shapes, depending on the region.  The traditional way to wrap them is by hand, using 2-3 bamboo leaves, depending on their size.

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Here are step-by-step instructions on how to wrap joong using a mold.

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Lay one bamboo leaf, rib side against the mold (smooth side facing you). Ideally, line the rib of the leaf with the top edge of the mold. You will need the extra leaf at the top.

 

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Take a 3rd leaf, preferably a big fat one, and fold “bunny ears” to form a cone shape

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Place the “bunny ears,” cone-side down into the mold to cover it completely making sure the leaves overlap to prevent any open seams or holes. Now you are ready to fill your mold!

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Add about 1/3 c. rice to the bottom of the mold.

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Add desired fillings: 2-3 pieces of meat, a spoon of peanuts, 2-3 pieces of mushroom, 1 or 1/2 salted egg yolk, enough to cover the surface.

Add enough rice to fill the mold to the top. Pat the rice down flat so that it's flush with the top of the mold.

Add enough rice to fill the mold to the top. Pat the rice down flat so that it’s flush with the top of the mold.

Add a 4th leaf to cover the rice.

Add a 4th leaf (smooth side down, rib side up) to cover the rice.

Fold the sides of the bamboo leaves towards the center, one side at a time, as if you were wrapping a present or burrito.

Fold the sides of the bamboo leaves towards the center, one side at a time, as if you were wrapping a present or burrito.

Turn the mold upside down to release the joong. Use scissors to trim errant leaf edges as needed to keep the packet neat.

Turn the mold upside down to release the joong. Use scissors to trim errant leaf edges as needed to keep the packet neat.

Tie up the joong with kitchen twine to keep its shape.

Tie up the joong with kitchen twine to keep its shape.

Cook the joong in boiling water for 2-4 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on how many you cook at a time.

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3 responses to “Joong (zongzi)

  1. Hi,
    Your joong looks great! I was wondering where you purchased your molds from? Trying to locate them here in the bald dry prairies of Alberta, Canada. Many thanks in advance,
    Jann

  2. Hi Jann, thanks for visiting! I got my mold from the Wok Shop in San Francisco. I think they ship to Canada. 🙂 https://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/hard_to_find/hard_to_find_joongmold.html
    Happy joong making!

  3. Many, many, many thanx!!! 🙂

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