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Pictorial: Joong/Jongzi-Sticky Rice/Bamboo Leaves


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Pictorial Recipe

Joong/Jongzi (Sticky Rice Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves) (鹹肉粽)

The fifth day of the fifth month (Lunar Calendar) is Dragon Boat Festival. The traditional treat for this festival is "Joong" [Cantonese], or "Jongzi" [Mandarin]. It is made from sticky rice and other ingredients/seasoning wrapped in a few bamboo leaves and boiled for a couple of hours. When ready to serve, simply heat up the joong and peel off the bamboo leaves.

I made 40+ joongs this year. This is a series of illustrations on how to make joong (with salted pork and other ingredients (we call "liu")). The cooking part is easy. Most of the efforts goes into preparations.

If you are learning how to make joong, don't need to make that many. Try making 5 or 10 to practice. Reduce the ingredient quantities proportionally.

Picture of the finished dish:

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Serving Suggestion: 40

Preparations:

Main ingredients:

- Sticky rice (5 lb bag), use 2 1/2 bags (about 12-13 lbs)

- Mung beans (12 oz package), use 3 packs

- Salted eggs x 18 (3 packs, 6 eggs in each pack) or more

- Dried conpoy, about 30

- Dried black mushrooms, about 30 to 40

- Pork butt or pork shoulder, about 2 lb

- Raw peanuts (12 oz package), use 2 packs

- Chestnuts (ready to eat, 12 oz package), use 3 packs

- Dried shrimp (12 oz package), use 2 packs

- Laap Cheung (Chinese sausage). Use 10 (1 pack)

- 1 bag of dried bamboo leaves, about 150 Qty

- 1 roll of small strings to tie the joong

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This is a bag of sticky rice, 5 lb package. Use 2 1/2 bags.

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These are mung beans, 12 oz packages. Use 3 packs.

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These are salted eggs, 6 eggs in each package. Use 3 packs (or more).

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A close-up view of the salted eggs.

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Dried conpoy. Use about 30.

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Dried black mushrooms. Use about 30 to 40.

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Pork Butt. Use about 2 lb.

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Raw peanuts. 12 oz in a package. Use 2 packs would be enough.

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Close-up view of the raw peanut package.

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Chestnuts, already shelled and cooked, ready to eat. Use 3 packs.

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Close-up view of the chestnut package.

Note: If you use raw chestnuts, you need to precook them and shell them before wrapping.

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Dried shrimp, 4 oz in a package. Use 2 packs.

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Laap Cheung (Chinese sausage). There are different flavors. I used the ones made with duck livers. There are 10 sausages in a package. Use 1 pack.

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Dried bamboo leaves. Depending on how you wrap your joongs, you use 2, 3 or 4 leaves to wrap each one. I used 4 because my joongs are big. You may use 3 if they are smaller. Budget about 10% extra because some leaves do break during wrapping and cannot be used. Left-over, soaked bamboo leaves can be dried and store away for next year. They are very inexpensive anyway. (US$1.50 for a bag of 150 leaves or so).

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Close-up view of the dried bamboo leave bundle.

The preparation of making joong starts the day before because many ingredients need to be soaked in water overnight.

Day 1:

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Soak the sticky rice. Make sure you have enough water to cover the top.

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Soak the mung beans. Make sure you have enough water to cover the top. They expand quite a bit.

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Soak the dried conpoy.

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Soak the black mushrooms.

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Soak the raw peanuts.

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Cut the pork butt into big pieces (1 inch by 2 inches). 1 piece of pork per joong.

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To marinate (for 2 lb of meat): Add 2-3 tsp of light soy sauce, 2-3 tsp of dark soy sauce, 1-2 tsp of salt, 4 tsp of Shao Hsing cooking wine, 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 3-4 tsp of five spice powder.

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Mix the ingredients well. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

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Soak the bamboo leaves overnight in a small water bin.

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Use something such as a soup bowl to weigh down the leaves to make sure they are all immersed in water.

Day 2: (1 hour before wrapping)

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Soak the dried shrimp. It doesn't take long for them to become soft.

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Drain the water from the soaked black mushrooms. Trim ends and cut mushrooms into thin slices (or dices).

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Cut the Chinese sausages diagonally into 1/4 slices.

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Break open all salted eggs. Separate the egg white from egg yolk. (Only use the egg yolks to make joong.) I cut the yolks into halves. You may use whole ones if you like.

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Open the packages of the ready-to-eat chestnuts.

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Drain the water from the soaked dried conpoy. (You may save the soaking liquid for cooking other dishes.) Pul the conpoy into shreds by hand.

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Use a pan/wok. Set stove to high. Wait until pan is hot. Add 3 tblsp of cooking oil.

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Drain the water from the soaked dried shrimp. Add the shrimp to the pan. Fry for a minute or two.

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Add the sliced black mushrooms. Mix well and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

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Dash in 2-3 Shao Hsing cooking wine and 3 tsp of dark soy sauce. Mix well and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

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Drain the water from the soaking sticky rice. For each 4lb portion (there are 3 portions total), add 3-4 tsp of dark soy sauce, 1 tblsp of cooking oil and 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt.

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Mix the dark soy sauce, oil and salt with the stick rice well.

Also, drain off the water from all other ingredients (e.g. mung beans, peanuts, etc.). Retreive the marinated pork from the refrigerator.

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This is how the bamboo leaves look after being soaked overnight. Drain the water from the bin. Boil one pot of water.

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Pour the pot of boiling water onto the bin. There are 2 reasons for this: 1) Sterilizatoin - killing off the molds that reside on the bamboo leaves. 2) Makes the leaves soft to make wrapping easier.

(Note: Many recipes call for boiling the bamboo leaves in a big pot or on a wok. Chef Dejah also suggested adding a little bit of vinegar in the water to make the leaves softer.)

Day 2: Wrapping of a joong

There are different wrapping methods. I am showing mine which uses 3 to 4 bamboo leaves.

There is an excellent web page (produced in Taiwan) that shows a video on how to wrap a joong. The page is written in Chinese. Click on the link at the upper left corner to view the video (about 7 minutes). The video was narrated in both Mandarin and English.

They wrap a small joong with only 2 leaves, but form a perfect tetrahedron shape. Perhaps I should do that next year.

http://edu.ocac.gov.tw/culture/chinese/cul...ml/vod14_09.htm

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Take one leave. Make it into a U-shape.

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Take a second leave. Wrap on the outside of the first leave. This extends the "wall" to surround the joong ingredients. Hold the 2 leaves in one hand. It becomes easier to hold them when you have added the ingredients onto the leaves.

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First add a few tblsp of sticky rice.

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Add the mung beans.

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Add the "highlight" ingredients: salted pork, salted egg yolk (half), 2 pieces of laap cheung.

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Add shreds of conpoy, 1 or 2 chestnuts.

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Add the stir-fried dried shrimp, black mushrooms and peanuts.

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At this stage, add a third bamboo leave to extend the "wall" to hold the ingredients.

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Add more mung beans.

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Finish off with adding more sticky rice.

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You may add a fourth leave to make it easier to close the joong. Just close the side and hold on to it in one hand.

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Start to tie the string but wrapping it around the bamboo leaves. Wrap it around by 7 to 8 times or so. Close out the bottom of the joong by folding the leave ends back up towards the center. Wrap the string around the leave ends to secure.

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This is how the joong looks like when the string is tied.

Repeat the same process to make more joongs until the ingredients are used up.

Cooking Instructions:

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Cooking is the easy part. Just use a big pot. Lay the joongs inside the pot. Fill the pot up with water. Boil the joongs (with lid on) for about 2 hours. Add more water once about an hour into boiling. Reduce the stove setting to medium from high after the initial boil. Remove the joongs from the pot and serve.

You may need to divide the joongs into different batches and boil them one batch at a time, as most of us don't have a pot big enough to hold 40+ joongs.

Joongs may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They also survive the freezing process rather well. If you make a big batch, you may spread it out the next couple of months to enjoy.

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Serve each joong individually. Cut the strings and unwrap. Discard the bamboo leaves.

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Picture of the finished dish. Serve with some slightly sweetened dark soy sauce.

  • Like 1
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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What shape did you call your joong? Ah Leung? :shock::laugh::raz:

And you razzes me about the amount of liu in my joong? :wacko: I imagine yours are quite rich, with all the ingredients and seasonings. How many can you eat at once?

With the batch I make, there's enough to share and keep in my freezer until the next round.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Wow... those look seriously wonderful. I'm feeling industrious and just might try these. I'm a sucker for any sort of wrapped concoction... from meat pies to pasteles, turnovers to tamales. I've never had (or even heard of!) these, but I can't wait to give them a whirl. Thanks for such terrific instructions!

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Ah Leung Goh-goh, do you ever use pork belly in your joong? Is the pork butt what you traditionally use in your household? Your joong looks great, it just needs some pork fat for my taste. Then again, I love me some pork fat.

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Hi all, I've been good. Moved up to NYC about 2 months ago. I got my first joong of the season from a friend of mine who's grandma is Toisanese. She didn't use any mung beans at all and that made the joong quite heavy for me. (Like it was ever considered light food in the first place!) I enjoyed it but it's nothing like my mom's joong which is sticky rice, mung beans, pork belly, salted chicken/duck egg, dried shrimp, lap cheong and lots of luv. (And a wee bit of nagging, but that's par for the course)

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Wow, that's a serious undertaking, Ah Leung.

You can say that again! :biggrin:

It took me 1+ hour for the prep works in Day 1. Another 1+ hour for the prep works in Day 2 before wrapping. And 3-4 hours (can't remember) to wrap 40+ joongs. I was working by myself and I didn't work that fast. :biggrin:

The wrapping part is best to recruit family members to help out... Get some cheap child labor in your house... :wink::raz:

Doing this once a year should be good. No more often than that... :smile:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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What shape did you call your joong? Ah Leung? :shock:  :laugh:  :raz:

I would say it's a tooth paste with both ends flattened? Tootsie Roll? :laugh:

Okay... from a solid geometry point of view, it is a cylinder intersecting two triangular prisms, one on each side, with the 2 prisms offset by a 90 degree angle along the axis of the cylinder...

Signed,

Ah Nerd Leung

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Ah Leung Goh-goh, do you ever use pork belly in your joong?  Is the pork butt what you traditionally use in your household? 

Welcome back, Gastro Mui-Mui! We all miss your humorous postings! Did you bring your cheong-sam to the Big Apple? And the Gai Mo So? I thought you went learning to make Italian food in Europe! :biggrin:

Pork belly? Well... you know... The ruler of our house (and it ain't me :biggrin: ) has established a list of forbidden ingredients for cooking. I just have to cook without those. Tease me as you may... but no pork belly, no chicken dark meat (may be occassionally uplifted), no skin... et cetera, et cetera.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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What shape did you call your joong? Ah Leung? :shock:  :laugh:  :raz:

I would say it's a tooth paste with both ends flattened? Tootsie Roll? :laugh:

Okay... from a solid geometry point of view, it is a cylinder intersecting two triangular prisms, one on each side, with the 2 prisms offset by a 90 degree angle along the axis of the cylinder...

Signed,

Ah Nerd Leung

Xiao hzrt -- You are sounding like Project! (No offense, Project --- just jesting!)

Well, with these Joonzi, you have outdone yourself! Aside from all the work involved, and the tasty results, the pictorial is fantastic!

Just one question -- the sweet rice you used is more of a longer grain than the rice I usually use when I use sweet rice. And the few times I've made these, I believe I used the plumper rice. Much difference?

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Pork belly?  Well...  you know...  The ruler of our house (and it ain't me  :biggrin: ) has established a list of forbidden ingredients for cooking.  I just have to cook without those.  Tease me as you may... but no pork belly, no chicken dark meat (may be occassionally uplifted), no skin... et cetera, et cetera.

Nope, I didn't head off to Europe. I stayed on US soil and moved to the Big Apple to persue my dreams of a career in the culinary industry "just-not-as-a-chef". :laugh: I've been doing PR work so far for a woman who's much like the main character in the Devil Wears Prada. HA! Anyways, life is good and I'm doing my foodie thing here in the city and loving life, as they say.

NO PORK BELLY?!?! AI YA!!!!!! Don't you find the texture of the joong to be kinda dry without the lovely fat from the pork? Goodness. That's true love - giving up pork belly! Let the record show that if there ain't no pork belly, there ain't no happiness in my household! hee hee

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Just one question -- the sweet rice you used is more of a longer grain than the rice I usually use when I use sweet rice. And the few times I've made these, I believe I used the plumper rice. Much difference?

I was going to comment on this as well. I've used both a thai longer grain sticky rice and the Chinese style short grained. To me, the thai rice needed to boiled longer than the Chinese rice to achieve the right consistency. Even though the Chinese rice is more expensive I will stick to using that in the future.

Love the pictorial Ah Leung!

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Just one question -- the sweet rice you used is more of a longer grain than the rice I usually use when I use sweet rice. And the few times I've made these, I believe I used the plumper rice. Much difference?

Much difference? Dun know.

I paid very little attention to where the rice was farmed: China or Thailand. When I saw the Chinese words on "Sticky Rice", I just grabbed the bag and go. I like this particular brand (Budhha) on their regular long grain rice. So I just picked their sticky rice as well.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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The sweet rice/sticky rice that I use for joong is from Thailand.

There are 2 sizes/types of sticky/sweet rice, die nor mai, si nor mai. These are both available from China or Thailand. I have always used the si nor mai which is longer and skinnier grained just because my mom said that's the one to use. I DO use the die nor mai for lotus leaf nor mai fan.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Ah Leung Goh-goh, do you ever use pork belly in your joong?  Is the pork butt what you traditionally use in your household? 

Welcome back, Gastro Mui-Mui! We all miss your humorous postings! Did you bring your cheong-sam to the Big Apple? And the Gai Mo So? I thought you went learning to make Italian food in Europe! :biggrin:

Pork belly? Well... you know... The ruler of our house (and it ain't me :biggrin: ) has established a list of forbidden ingredients for cooking. I just have to cook without those. Tease me as you may... but no pork belly, no chicken dark meat (may be occassionally uplifted), no skin... et cetera, et cetera.

Ah Leung:

Those of us who have had to learn to become accustomed to using lean Pork, Beef and Skinless Breast of Poultry are very pleased about your lovely wifes preferences.

I printed out and sent my daughter your complete posting of the recipe.

Her response was "Daddy you told me I could only use Pork Belly because the fat kept everything together" followed by, "it seems richer and should taste better so everyone will enjoy the Sticky Rice" but, "I want to still add the Sablefish (Black Cod)".

With 2 teenage granddaughters and one pre-teen I imagine your recipe will be very popular as it better meets their criteria and dainty appetites. (Huh) Every recipe you posted that I have had them check out on eGullet was something that they actually enjoyed preparing and have served to friends with allocates.

I think this year everyone will enjoy the Joong more, so I told her to make plenty so some could be kept in my freezer.

Thank you again,

Irwin :biggrin:

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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that girl in the video makes it look soooo easy to wrap them....ugh!!!! I bought the ingredients already but I wouldnt have time to make any untill the first week of july, I took a week off from work..i need it. hehe it will be a nice time to relax and cook. Although it didnt specify the cooking times in video, but it seems like the joongzi were small enough that they cook in half the time, but wouldnt the pork still a little too firm?

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Although it didnt specify the cooking times in video, but it seems like the joongzi were small enough that they cook in half the time, but wouldnt the pork still a little too firm?

That depends on what cut of pork you use. If it's pork belly, then it would be fine. Even if it's a lean cut, the pieces are small enough that an hour and a half of constant boiling would still tenderize the meat.

The joong that I make require at least 2.5 hours. They are best at 3 hours.

Looks like I'll also be making them in July. June will be busy with visitors, student exams, field trips, etc.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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  • 1 year later...

Hmmm... Nobody fries the rice before wrapping the joong? I don't know why my mom does it, but she does, and I think she fries it with the same ingredients with which Ah Leung mixes into the rice.

Also, this round, my mom experimented. Chicken makes good joong too. I don't eat pork belly, so this is great.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...

I'm making these for the first time this weekend. I bought all of the ingredients. However, I have a couple of questions.

The store here didn't have the split mung beans, so I bought whole ones, and they're not yellow, but green. Will this make too big of a difference or should I omit them?

The only chestnuts were sweetened and in a syrup. Again, use them or omit. However, they did have dried chestnuts. Should I go back and get those?

Thanks!

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I'm making these for the first time this weekend.  I bought all of the ingredients.  However, I have a couple of questions.

The store here didn't have the split mung beans, so I bought whole ones, and they're not yellow, but green.  Will this make too big of a difference or should I omit them?

The only chestnuts were sweetened and in a syrup.  Again, use them or omit.  However, they did have dried chestnuts.  Should I go back and get those?

Thanks!

I never put mung beans in my joong, so can't comment on that. But, mung beans are green.

Definitely get the dried chestnuts because you are, I presume, making savory joong. You'd need to soak them overnight to rehydrate before using.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I like split mung bean in my joongzi! I don't think the whole mung bean would have the same texture and flavor as the split one.

Also, the whole mung bean normally takes longer to cook, so it may affect your cooking time, but then again if you're boiling the joongzi it may not make a difference.

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      Potatoes 2 or 3 medium sized. peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

      Carrot. 1,  thinly sliced

      Dried wheat noodles.  8 oz. Traditionally, these would be a long, flat thick variety. I've use Italian tagliatelle successfully.    

      Red bell pepper. 1 cut into chunks

      Green bell pepper, 1 cut into chunks

      Salt

      Scallion, 2 sliced.
         
      Method

      First, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of Shaoxing and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Set aside for about twenty minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

      Heat the wok and add three tablespoons cooking oil. Add the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, Sichuan peppercorns and chiles. Fry on a low heat for a  minute or so. If they look about to burn, splash a little water into your wok. This will lower the temperature slightly. Add the chicken and turn up the heat. Continue frying until the meat is nicely seared, then add the potatoes and carrots. Stir fry a minute more then add 2 teaspoons of the dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the light soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the Shaoxing wine along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium. Cover and cook for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are done.

      While the main dish is cooking, cook the noodles separately according to the packet instructions.  Reserve  some of the noodle cooking water and drain.

      When the chicken and potatoes are done, you may add a little of the noodle water if the dish appears on the dry side. It should be saucy, but not soupy. Add the bell peppers and cook for three to four minutes more. Add scallions. Check seasoning and add some salt if it needs it. It may not due to the soy sauce and Shaoxing.

      Serve on a large plate for everyone to help themselves from. Plate the noodles first, then cover with the meat and potato. Enjoy.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Beef with Bitter Melon - 牛肉苦瓜
       

       
      The name may be off-putting to many people, but Chinese people do have an appreciation for bitter tastes and anyway, modern cultivars of this gourd are less bitter than in the past. Also, depending on how it's cooked, the bitterness can be mitigated.
       
      I'll admit that I wasn't sure at first, but have grown to love it.

      Note: "Beef with Bitter Melon (牛肉苦瓜 )" or "Bitter Melon with Beef (苦瓜牛肉)"? One Liuzhou restaurant I know has both on its menu! In Chinese, the ingredient listed first is the one there is most of, so, "beef with bitter melon" is mainly beef, whereas "bitter melon with beef" is much more a vegetable dish with just a little beef. This recipe is for the beefier version. To make the other version, just half the amount of beef and double the amount of melon.

      Ingredients

      Beef. One pound. Flank steak works best. Slice thinly against the grain.

      Bitter Melon. Half a melon. You can use the other half in a soup or other dish. Often available in Indian markets or supermarkets.
       

       
      Salted Black Beans. One tablespoon. Available in packets from Asian markets and supermarkets, these are salted, fermented black soy beans. They are used as the basis for 'black bean sauce', but we are going to be making our own sauce!

      Garlic. 6 cloves

      Cooking oil. Any vegetable oil except olive oil

      Shaoxing wine. See method

      Light soy sauce. One tablespoon

      Dark soy sauce. One teaspoon

      White pepper. See method
      Sesame oil. See method

      Method

      Marinate the beef in a 1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce with a splash of Shaoxing wine along with a teaspoon or so of cornstarch or similar (I use potato starch). Stir well and leave for 15-30 minutes.

      Cut the melon(s) in half lengthwise and, using a teaspoon, scrape out all the seeds and pith. The more pith you remove, the less bitter the dish will be. Cut the melon into crescents about 1/8th inch wide.

      Rinse the black beans and drain. Crush them with the blade of your knife, then chop finely. Finely chop the garlic.

      Stir fry the meat in a tablespoon of oil over a high heat until done. This should take less than a minute. Remove and set aside.

      Add another tablespoon of oil and reduce heat to medium. fry the garlic and black beans until fragrant then add the bitter melon. Continue frying until the melon softens. then add a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine and soy sauces. Finally sprinkle on white pepper to taste along with a splash of sesame oil. Return the meat to the pan and mix everything well.

      Note: If you prefer the dish more saucy, you can add a tablespoon or so of water with the soy sauces.
      Serve with plained rice and a stir-fried green vegetable of choice.
       
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
       
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
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