It’s Dragon Boat Festival! Well it was. I should’ve posted it on Monday but I was too busy chomping on my very own ?? (zongzi), and watching Dragon Boat Race on youtube.
Because I used to live quite close to where dragon boat race (one of the races… it happens all over the coastline of Hong Kong) takes place, my earliest memory of dragon boat festival is my dad taking me to watch the race. And then go home to eat zongzi. It also includes a little ritual that my mum always do at festivals, where she burns incense sticks for all the deities we’ve got in the house, and me drinking a toast to deity Tu Di Gong (yes, drinking rice wine when I was like 5!! Hardcore huh).
So in my desperate attempt to create that taste sensation, I was feeling super adventurous and decided to make my own zongzi for my family. I went to the Chinese grocer and bought some bamboo leaves, and eventually got James doing this:
And that’s it! So adventurous that I reckoned that’s the only thing I need, I went on to create my first ever zongzi. Here how I do it:
- Bamboo leaves (soaked overnight)
- Glutinuous Rice 600g (soaked overnight)
- Pork chops 400g (cut into bite-size cubes)
- Chinese dried mushrooms (or fresh shitaki mushrooms)
- Red split lentils
- 2 tbsp of light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp of chinese five spice
- a sprinkle of ground white pepper
- a pinch of sugar and salt
- Marinate the pork for at least 3 hours, then add a dash of oil in a pan, stir-fry till the pork is cooked
- Drain the rice, lay out all your ingredients on the table so you have a little production line going. Like me:
- Wrap the zongzi like this: (it’s not me in this link, I wish I could’ve done it at that speed… maybe next year when I had more practise.)
- Once you’ve done all the hard work, you should have loads of little parcels like I did:
- Get the biggest saucepan you’ve got, and make sure the water is in a rolling boil, then throw the zongzi in and let them boil for an hour!
- Enjoy while it’s hot, serve with your choice of condiments. We always just have granulated sugar at home, but light soy sauce and a bit of chilli sauce is great zongzi companions too!