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Let's talk zongzi (joong, Chinese Tamales)


Gary Soup
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Shiewie and Yetti,

Could you post your recipes for the jongzi you each mentioned in your posts.

This would be a great way for us to, as lorea said" One of these days, I'm going to go beyond my comfortable favorites (glutinous rice, fatty pork, and shiitake mushrooms....or using Yo Fan as a filling) and try something new." :biggrin:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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santan for zongzi has got me thinking about a lemang-like zongzi with santan and beef-serunding filling

How are you, Shiewie? That sounds absolutely delectable. I love lemang, and can get it here piping hot in the bamboo cane, oh I know where I'm headed after work tonight.

Dejah, sure thing - another photo essay for the thread! Recipes will be forthcoming as well.

Yetty

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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But gosh, is that bottom picture provocative!

I absolutely concur. I never knew pictures of food could make me feel this way... but I think I need to take a cold shower now... :smile:

Yetty has wonderful skills with the camera.

Edited by wongste (log)
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Ok. I've decided I need to learn to make jong-zhi. I adore them so. I can get a few varieties here locally in Dallas. Rectangular, filled with red bean and bananna, or pork and yellow bean. I can also get some square ones from a different store, also with pork and yellow beans. I think they are seasonal though, so I'd like to acquire the skill to have them prepared at any time. I swear, they are the perfect breakfast.

My question is this.... I recently smoked a brisket and for whatever reason couldn't bring myself to toss away the fat cap. So I froze the pieces after I'd carved the meat. I'm thinking of combining little bits of the smoked beef fat in the jong-zhi, what do you think? And what would you pair it with? More beef? Smoked turkey? Just some beans? I tend to like them rather simple, though that might be because thats the only way I've had them. I think the simplicity of the meat, heavily peppered, lightly salted and surrounded by mashed beans, and nestled in the lucious rice, steamed in the bamboo leaves sets off each ingredient to its finest. Its not too fussy, but each flavor is clean and the textures are so nice together. Its such a joy to open each bundle, smell it and break it open to find the treasure inside. They freeze so well, I'm excited about learning. I know my ingredients might not be totally tradidtional, but I'd like to make use of what I have.

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Ok. I've decided I need to learn to make jong-zhi. I adore them so. I can get a few varieties here locally in Dallas. Rectangular, filled with red bean and bananna, or pork and yellow bean. I can also get some square ones from a different store, also with pork and yellow beans. I think they are seasonal though, so I'd like to acquire the skill to have them prepared at any time. I swear, they are the perfect breakfast.

My question is this.... I recently smoked a brisket and for whatever reason couldn't bring myself to toss away the fat cap. So I froze the pieces after I'd carved the meat. I'm thinking of combining little bits of the smoked beef fat in the jong-zhi, what do you think? And what would you pair it with? More beef? Smoked turkey? Just some beans? I tend to like them rather simple, though that might be because thats the only way I've had them. I think the simplicity of the meat, heavily peppered, lightly salted and surrounded by mashed beans, and nestled in the lucious rice, steamed in the bamboo leaves sets off each ingredient to its finest. Its not too fussy, but each flavor is clean and the textures are so nice together. Its such a joy to open each bundle, smell it and break it open to find the treasure inside. They freeze so well, I'm excited about learning. I know my ingredients might not be totally tradidtional, but I'd like to make use of what I have.

Cool. That'd be great if you did.

I don't know anyone of non-Chinese descent that makes them.

Hell, I don't know any Chinese person under 40 that makes them.

I just like the dichotomy.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Joong with a Texas twist, hey y'all how cool is that? For contrast, I'd add a few bits of onion with the beef and beans. I like the pictue.

Yeah, what is it with these Texans? First beef barbeque, now beef zongzi???!!!

Now, armadillo I could see....

Edited by Gary Soup (log)
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Hmmm. Onions. I could do that. Great idea! I'm thinking of doing some with red beans and some with yellow beans. Maybe I could do pork for the yellow and beef for the red. Both with onions.

I need to educate myself about the different types of leaves that can be used. The ones I've had impart a mild, slightly chlorophyllic and seaweedy flavor to the rice. Delicious. I don't know if they are bananna leaves or bamboo leaves or even how to tell the difference. I guess the real thing to do is go to the market and see whats actually available!

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The joong I made were with bamboo leaves. They average around 3.5 to 4" wide and about 18" long. You'd have to soak and then boil these to soften them up before use. The banana leaves I have were cut into big squares, about 12" x 14". The original leave would be much bigger of course. I have never made joong with banana leaves, just for steaming fish.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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My wife washes and soaks the bamboo leaves but she doesn't boil them, and they seem to be supple enough.

Gary,

I'll take your wife's advice on that! That would save me acouple hours of work.

Just don't tell my Mom. :laugh:

We were at an 11 course Chinese wedding banquet last night. The final dish before dessert was fried rice in lotus leave. The leave was mainly for presentation. The fried rice had egg cooked in the rice, Chinese mushrooms, peas. It was then wrapped in a large leave and cut on top to look like a lotus flower.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Hell, I don't know any Chinese person under 40 that makes them.

Me, me! :wink: And I make them almost every year too.

I too, don't boil my leaves - I just rinse and soak mine. I'm afraid that boiling them will boil out all of the flavor in the leaves.

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Hello all! My mom was kind enough to make joong last night. Yum! Now eating a joong now in my cube at work. Cantonese style w/ sticky rice, mung beans, lap cheong, fatty pork and salted duck egg yolk. I'm going against the South Beach clique at work. Oh well! :biggrin:

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  • 3 months later...

Ok. So its been months, but I was thinking of making the joong (or whatever they might be called) today. Apparently I'm a little unclear on the concept still. Do I cook the ingredients first a little before wrapping? How do you get the rice to surround the other stuff and stay there?

I'm using bananna leaves, because thats all I could find. I'm going to try and wrap them pillow shaped, any ideas how to do that?

Any advice is much appreciated.

I'm going to have sticky rice, yellow mung beans, onions and smoked beef fat.

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Ok.  So its been months, but I was thinking of making the joong (or whatever they might be called) today.  Apparently I'm a little unclear on the concept still.  Do I cook the ingredients first a little before wrapping?  How do you get the rice to surround  the other stuff and stay there?

I'm using bananna leaves, because thats all I could find.  I'm going to try and wrap them pillow shaped, any ideas how to do that?

Any advice is much appreciated.

I'm going to have sticky rice, yellow mung beans, onions and smoked beef fat.

nessa,

I have never made joong with banana leaves, but I have used them for cooking fish on the BBQ. I am assuming that they would be as strong as bamboo leaves, so I'd probably follow the same proceedure as with bamboo leaves.

It's kind of hard to describe the proceedure, but if you have Grace Young's Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen, on page 153 is a great explaination and photos of wrapping and tying packets made with bamboo leaves. If you don't have her book, and still need instructions, I will try and condense the info for you.

I do a quick stir-fry with my filling along with seasonings before wrapping: meats, dried shrimp, onions, peanuts and mushrooms.

Please report back, along with photos, when you get these Texas BBQ joongs made!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Okie dokeie. Pretty darn good for my first try, if I do say so myself.

Here's the construction. I definitly need a new method for this.

This is the banana leaf, cut in squarish rectangley shapes, a foundation of cooked sweet rice, topped with smoked brisket fat.

gallery_13890_279_1098661610.jpg

Then I put mostly cooked yellow mung beans on top.

gallery_13890_279_1098661681.jpg

Followed by a topping of more rice

gallery_13890_279_1098661709.jpg

Then I kinda squished and squooshed everything together, and rolled them up. I double wrapped them all, then tied string around them. I managed to eek out about 16 of them.

I covered the bottom of the pan with extra leaves, then stacked the packets in, covered with water and a plate to weight them down. I boiled them for the magical 2.5 hours.

Here they are just off the boil

gallery_13890_279_1098661767.jpg

And unwrapped

gallery_13890_279_1098661811.jpg

sliced

gallery_13890_279_1098661835.jpg

And garnished with some hot pepper sauce.

gallery_13890_279_1098661887.jpg

I'm stuffed, I had two.

They need more beans in them, but over all they are very tasty, the texture I was looking for, and I'm pretty darn pleased with myself. :rolleyes:

Thank you all for the inspiration.

Oh. I forgot to put onions in them.

:wacko:

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nessa, your zongzi look fantastic! How did you season the beans?

Thanks so much for the great pictorial (pictures and tutorial! :laugh: )

sigh, eG is a dangerous place while one is fasting.

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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I seasoned the beans with salt and fresh ground pepper. Thats all. I have a lot left over, so I threw in some of the left over beef fat and will have that for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I think thats my favorite part. I am in love with yellow mung beans. I STILL have enough brisket fat for another couple batches. :blink::blink: . I would probably add even more black pepper to the beans next time.

Spaghetti, isnt it sundown *yet* ?

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  • 6 months later...
Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a JOONG cook off. :biggrin: Strut your stuff, O Ye of stout heart and nimble fingers. :laugh:

Ben,

I suspect you initiated this to ensure a supply of joong in case you make it out to Manitoba in July! :laugh::laugh:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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