The zongzi or rice dumpling is a traditional Chinese food,  a popular specialty consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival. The offerings consisted of bamboo tubes filled with gluttinous rice. In California where there are large Hispanics and Chinese descent population, it is often called ChineseZongzi tamales on the menu, as it is a little similar with Mesoamerican tamale. Many other Asian cultures also claim these rice dumplings as traditional dishes.

There are a lot of different kinds of zongzi, each with its own particular flavor, shape, and type of leaf for wrapping. Zongzi is usually four-sided with pointed, rounded ends, or pyramid shapes. Sometimes it is in the shape of a cone or cylinder. The glutinous rice mixture us wrapped in leaves of wild rice, palm or bamboo. Bamboo-leaf zongzi is a specialty of South China.

History Of  zongzi

Many traditional Chinese foods are intended to honor either the gods or divine persons in history. The origins of rice dumplings are traced to the legend of Qu Yuan, a well-loved poet who drowned himself in a river. According to the tale, people made rice dumplings and threw them into the river to stop the fish from eating his body. Another version of the legend states that the dumplings were made to placate a dragon that lived in the river. Rice dumplings are made for the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar.

Recipe: zongzi (rice dumpling)


Taste: Salty and delicious.

Features: It gives out a strong refreshing fragrance.

Ingredients for zongzi recipe:

200 grams (0.44 lb) pork
500 grams (1.1 lb) glutinous rice
250 grams (0.55 lb) leaves from reed plants
Some strong cotton thread
50 grams (2.7 tbsp) soy sauce
2 grams (1/3 tsp) salt, or to taste.
1 grams (1/4 tsp) MSG

How to Make zongzi recipe:

1, Cut the meat into small cubes, add the soy sauce, salt, MSG and then let it marinate for about half an hour.

2, Wash the rice and drain off the water. Take 2 to 3 reed leaves and bend them into a sealed funnel shape. Fill half way with rice and add 2 cubes of meat, fill it up with more rice. Wrap well and tie up with thread.

3, Place the rice dumpling in the pot and fill up with water. Boil for 3 hours and then soak them in cold water for an hour. They can be served both warm and cold.

Make zongzi recipe

Tips: Red dates or red bean paste can also be put into the dumpling instead of meat, if you prefer sweet one.

{September 11, 2010} {Tags: , }