This is my second year of making these savoury rice dumplings or zongzi/bak chang. I know it seems still early to make these zongzi but it triggers me to make some when I saw a shop in Box Hill Market selling bamboo leaves and strong grass strands. Remember last year I couldn't find a good grass strands and it end up a few rice dumplings falling out while I boiled them in the water.
This year with a strong grass strands it really make a difference. The task for wrapping the zongzi seems easier, and I have all the 30 pcs in whole after boiling in water! With some feedback from my old friends who had tasted my rice dumplings last year, this year I make some modifications to the recipe to make it more salty, as the flavour will dilute when it is cook in the boiling water. And because of the different price between cooked and uncooked salted duck eggs here, this year I'm using the cooked salted duck egg. (The price is double if I buy the uncooked salted duck eggs) I don't dare to say it is the best, but at least my sister loves it and I think I have improved on my wrapping skills too :) By the way, over here some shops are selling zongzi (咸肉粽) a piece at a price tag of AUD $5~$5.50! so it is cheaper to make my own one :)
To make these zongzi, you have to wash and soak the bamboo leaves a day in advance, click here to see how to wash the bamboo leaves.
1. buy the small shitake mushrooms, less work on cutting the mushrooms.
2. pork belly has to cut into smaller pieces, is easier to stuff more meat during the wrapping.
3. has to add some salt in the boiling water while cooking the zongzi.
(make 30 pieces)
1.5 kg pork belly, cut into bite size
50 pcs dried chestnuts (size uneven, soak and boil for 15 mins, remove membrane bits in slits)
30 salted duck egg yolks
60 dried shitake mushrooms (soak in water to soften and trim the stem)
2 bulbs of garlic (finely chopped)
150g dried shrimp (soak in water for 10 mins, roughly chopped)
1.5 kg glutinous rice (soak in water overnight, drain rice)
200ml cooking oil
Marinated pork belly:
1. Add 3 tbsp sugar, 5 tbsp dark soy sauce, 5 tbsp light soy sauce, 5 tbsp five spice powder, a pinch of pepper. Mix well and marinate overnight in fridge.
1. To prepare filling: heat oil in wok, stir fry marinated pork for 5 mins, add mushrooms and dried chestnuts. Add 150ml water and let it simmer for another 15 mins. Set aside.
2. To prepare glutinous rice: add 200ml oil into the wok used in (1). Add garlic and dried shrimp, stir-fry until fragrant. Add glutinous rice, mix well. Sufficient oil added will ensure the rice wouldn't stick on the bamboo leave later. Add 4 tbsp light soy sauce and 4 tbsp dark soy sauce. (Depends on how dark and salty you want the rice dumpling to be)
3. To assemble: Overlap two pieces of bamboo leaves, make a cone shape and press in a spoonful of rice, top with filling and cover with rice again, spoon some gravy from the filling onto the rice, wrap up the rice dumplings and tie with grass strands.
4. To Boil: Prepare a big pot of water, add 2 tbsp of salt, when water boiled, lower down the rice dumplings, boil for at least 1 hour. The water level has to be always above the rice dumplings. Take out the rice dumplings while it is done, dip dry the rice dumplings by hanging.
I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event, hosted by Joyce, kitchen flavours, organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen for my little favourite D.I.Y.