The 25th of June marks the beginning of the Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Dunw jié. Zongzi. Wrapped in glutinous rice paper and stuffed with a variety of delicious ingredients, these dumplings are cooked to perfect tenderness.
You can get all the flavor of zongzi dumplings without having to make them individually by using this simplified method. Those who enjoy zongzi but are tired of the traditional “wrap them in a leaf” preparation method will appreciate this alternative.
The process of making zongzi is often elaborate. It requires a lot of wrapping time (at least two days and hours unless you have a team of pros helping you out!). We continue to think they are worthy of your attention.
Still, there are situations when we simply don’t have the luxury of time. For those who want to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival with a taste of the past but don’t feel like fussing with scissors, string, or falling grains of sticky rice, here’s a “Lazy Shortcut Zongzi” that will do the trick.
After the zongzi leaves have been soaked, the contents and rice are added, and the bamboo steamer is covered and set to steam for 60–90 minutes. It’s not how most people would prepare food, but it’s a convenient shortcut for the busy or lazy chef.
The rice retains some of the bamboo-leaf flavors even after cooking. Even so, the stuffing is still wonderful because it was steamed. However, both the preparation and cooking times have been shortened by your efforts (wrapped zongzi takes 7-8 hours to cook).
Right this way, sir!
- 8-10 dried bamboo leaves
- 1/2 pound pork belly
- 2-3 Chinese sausages (cut into small chunks)
- 2-3 chopped scallions
- 2 1/2 cups of uncooked sticky rice or glutinous rice
- 1/2 cup of raw shelled peanuts
- 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (plus 1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
- Leave the uncooked sticky rice to soak in water for a whole night (or at least 6 hours). For at least three hours, soak the dried bamboo leaves (or overnight). Before storing in a big basin or tub of water, wash and rinse each leaf on both sides to prevent drying.
- Marinate the pork belly in 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper before cutting it into 1/2-inch cubes for serving. Marinate for at least 1-2 hours in the fridge.
- Get the peanuts in water for an hour. After 10 minutes, remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
- The sticky rice should be drained thoroughly. Toss the rice with a tablespoon of light soy sauce and a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.
- Combine the peanuts, Chinese sausage, and scallions with the rice.
- Prepare a steamer (or a big shallow heatproof basin) by lining it with 6-7 bamboo leaves. To keep the rice from sticking together and to add taste, use these bamboo leaves. Throughout, you’ll find layers of pork belly, rice mixture, rice mixture, and pig belly. Maintain a state of equilibrium by dividing everything into equal parts (so it can cook evenly).
- Use the remaining bamboo leaves as a lid to preserve moisture and the enticing scent of the infused leaves. Covering a bamboo steamer is as easy as placing it on the stovetop.
- To prevent the bamboo leaves from floating to the top of the rice during steaming, secure them with a toothpick and use a heat-safe dish.
- Using cold water as a starting point, place the rice in the steamer. Steam for 60–90 minutes at high heat after the water has boiled. Keep an eye on the steamer and replenish it with hot water as needed.
- To keep warm, keep the steamer on low heat until ready to serve. When the rice is cooled, it becomes more solid.
- Serve hot!