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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

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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.

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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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Hey, it's the prodigal GASTROGIRL. Welcome back Sweetums. Where, what, how and who have ya been???

(Ah loves me pork fat in joong too) :wub: .

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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:

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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?

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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.

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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.

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I just had to say thanks for posting this tutorial, Hzrt8w!

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u r welcome Fugu. And happy wrapping! :laugh: It is a labor-intensive thing. 50 joong took me 2 hours. And a sore back.

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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!

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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.

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Thank you.

Can't wait to try these.

I've been buying already prepared ones from the market, but there are not enough goodies on the inside. Homemade will be a treat.

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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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      Modesty Shame prevents me telling you which were mine.
       

       
      At least one person seemed to think bigger is better! No! They are meant to be about an inch in diameter. Sometimes size does matter!
       
      Finally the balls we had made were taken away to be boiled in the park's on-site restaurant. What we were served were identically sized balls with no filling showing. They are served in this sweet ginger soup. The local pigs probably had ours for lunch.
       
       

       


      The orange-ish and purplish looking ones are made in the same way, but using red and black glutinous rice instead.
       
      Fun was had, which was the whole point.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Today is 小年 (xiǎo nián) which literally means 'little [new] year', but is something more. It takes place approximately a week before Chinese New Year (February 16th this time round - Year of the Dog) and is the festival for the Kitchen God
       
      In traditional animist Chinese thought, there is a god for everything and the kitchen god is responsible for all aspects of, you guessed, the kitchen. Once a year (today), the kitchen god pops back  to report to the god of heaven on the happenings of the last 12 months. Therefore we have to placate him so he makes a good report.  My neighbours are busy preparing offerings of sticky rice and assorted sugary confections for the god, so that when he eats them, his teeth and lips will stick together and he will be unable to report any bad behaviour. An alternative theory suggest the sugary stuff will sweeten his words. Then we'll be OK for another year!
       
      This is  the fellow


    • By liuzhou
      These have been mentioned a couple of times recently on different threads and I felt they deserved one of their own. After all, they did keep me alive when I lived in Xi'an.
       
      Rou jia mo (ròu jiá mò; literally "Meat Sandwich") are Chinese sandwiches which originated in Shaanxi Province, but can be found all over China. Away from their point of origin, they tend to be made with long stewed pork belly. However in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi), there is a large Muslim population so the meat of choice is more usually beef. In nearby Gansu Province, lamb or mutton is more likely.
       
      When I was living in Xi'an in 1996-1997, I lived on these. I was living on campus in North-West University (西北大学) and right outside the school gate was a street lined with cheap food joints, most of which would serve you one. I had one favourite place which I still head to when I visit. First thing I do when I get off the train.
       
      What I eat is Cumin Beef Jia Mo (孜然牛肉夹馍 zī rán niú ròu jiá mò). The beef is stir fried or grilled/BBQd with cumin and mild green peppers. It is also given a bit of a kick with red chill flakes.
       
      Here is a recipe wrested from the owner of my Xi'an favourite. So simple, yet so delicious.
       

      Lean Beef
       
      Fairly lean beef is cut into slivers
       

      Sliced  Beef
       

      Chopped garlic
       
      I use this single clove garlic from Sichuan, but regular garlic does just fine.
       
      The beef and garlic are mixed in a bowl and generously sprinkled with ground cumin. This is then moistened with a little light soy sauce and Shaoxing wine. You don't want to flood it. Set aside for as long as you can.
       

      Mild Green Chilli Pepper
       
      Take one or two mild green peppers and crush with the back of a knife, then slice roughly. You could de-seed if you prefer. I don't bother.
       

      Chopped Green Pepper
       
      Fire up the wok, add oil (I use rice bran oil, but any  vegetable oil except olive oil would be fine) and stir fry the meat mixture until the meat is just done. 
       

      Frying Tonight
       
      Then add the green peppers and fry until they are as you prefer them. I tend to like them still with a bit of crunch, so slightly under-cook them
       

      In with the peppers
       
      You will, of course, have prepared the bread. The sandwiches are made with a type of flat bread known as 白吉饼 (bái jí bǐng; literally "white lucky cake-shape"). The ones here are store bought but I often make them. Recipe below.
       

      Bai Ji Bing
       
      Take one and split it. Test the seasoning of the filling, adding salt if necessary. It may not need it because of the soy sauce. 
       

      Nearly there
       
      Cover to make a sandwich  and enjoy. You will see that I have used a bunch of kitchen paper to hold the sandwich and to soak up any escaping juices. But it should be fairly dry.
       

      The final product.
       
      Note: I usually cook the meat and pepper in batches. Enough for one sandwich per person at a time. If we need another (and we usually do) I start the next batch. 
       
       
      Bread Recipe
       
       
      350g plain flour
      140ml water
      1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

      Mix the yeast with the flour and stir in the water. Continue stirring until a dough forms. Knead until smooth. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise by about one third. (maybe 30-40 minutes).
       
      Knead again to remove any air then roll the dough into a log shape around 5cm in diameter, then cut into six portions. Press these into a circle shape using a rolling pin. You want to end up with 1.5cm thick buns. 
       
      Preheat oven to 190C/370F.
       
      Dry fry the buns in a skillet until they take on some colour about a minute or less on each side, then finish in the oven for ten minutes. Allow to cool before using.
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