How To: Wrap Zongzi (Rice Dumpling)

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Step 1:  Preparation of leaves and string

  • Soak the dried bamboo leaves andnatural fibre string in water for 30 minutes to one hour. 
  • Ensure that the bamboo leaves areflexiblebefore using.
  • Remove the string from the water and hook the top of the string on a solid surface to allow easier tying later on.

Step 2: Wrapping

  • Using two fingers, make an indentation in the middle to shape the bamboo leaves into a cone shape. 
  • Fill the dumpling with rice and filling.
  • Use one hand to firmly cup the dumpling, and bring the leaves forward. 
  • Make sure to press the tip of the dumpling so that the end is pointed. 
  • Fold the leaves along the cone shape, making sure that your rice is packed tightly by holding the cone in shape firmly. 
  • Once sealed, place the dumpling on a strand of natural fibre string and wrap the string twice over the body of the dumpling. Ensure that the end of the string is hooked to an unmoving object so that the tying process is easy. 
  • Tie a dead knot after doing so.

Step 3: Cooking Dumpling

  • In a large pot, bring half a pot of water to boil. 
  • Add a teaspoon of salt into the water. 
  • Place your dumplings into the boiling water, keeping the end that holds all 5 dumplings out of the pot. Cover the pot. Lower the heat. 
  • On low heat, simmer for 2-2.5 hours, depending on the size of the dumpling.
  • Remove after so, let cool for an hour before consuming, 24 hours before freezing.

Chef's Tips:

  1. Choose longer leaves if possible. This provides more room for wrapping. 
  2. If the leaf is torn on a side, cut it with a pair of scissors to remove the tear for easier wrapping. 
  3. Some recipes will require steaming the dumpling instead of simmering it in low heat. Refer to each recipe for specific instructions. 
  4. Most savoury dumplings will benefit from a teaspoon of salt into water, if it is being simmered in water.
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