Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’

* Zongzi – Regional Variations: Taiwanese, Sichuanese, Fujianese and Shanghainese Styles

Posted on May 8th, 2009 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Chinese sausages, Cuisine, Glutinuous Rice, Pork, Street Foods.

This is the last of the series on savory Zongzi.  By now, you should be getting the folding instructions and methods down.  Here is just a list of the regional variations you can do.

Chef’s tip: For the full detailed instructions on how to fold the dumpling and boiling the dumplings, please refer to the Cantonese Joong recipe for the leaf template and step by step instructions.

Pork belly
Salted duck egg yolk
Fried shallots
Dried shrimp
Five spice powder

Pork belly
Pumpkin slices
Sichuan peppercorn
White pepper

Pork belly / chicken
Chinese sausage
Salted duck egg yolk
Dried shrimp
Five spice powder

Pork belly
Soy sauce
Dark soy sauce
Rice wine
Cinnamon stick
Star anise
Five-spice powder

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* Zongzi – Cantonese “Joong”

Posted on April 12th, 2009 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Asian five spice, Cantonese, Chinese, Course, Cuisine, Glutinuous Rice, Pork, Soy sauce, Street Foods.

Dragon Boat Festival / Tuen Ng Jit / Duan Wu Jie is coming up — the 5th day of the 5th month of the Lunar Calendar translating to May 28th, 2009 this year.  “Zongzi” is the pyramid shaped rice dumplings wrapped with bamboo leaves – frequently called “Chinese tamales” this side of the Pacific.  Some stories have it that the dragon boat crew threw the dumplings into the river to distract/ feed the monsters so that they can get on with the rowing.

It takes a lot of practice to get the dumplings to the right shape and compactness, hence I am posting these recipes early so that you will have time to practice in the run up to the festival.  I am also going to post under separate posts the different regional variation of the dumplings….starting with the Cantonese version.

Chef’s tip: Using 3 pieces of leaves to wrap the dumplings make it a little easier.  Attached is the zongzi leaf template you can use, complete with detailed step by step instructions on positioning the leaves and the origami moves you need.

Cantonese “Joong”


3 cups glutinous sweet rice, soaked, drained, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoon oil
¾ cup peeled, mung beans, soaked, drained, add ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon oil

12 oz pork belly/ pork butt, diced ½ inch cubes
1 Tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 Tablespoon canola oil

12 pieces fresh shiitake, stems removed, sliced finely
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

12 salted duck egg yolks, cut into 2
24 pieces of baby chestnut, or 12 large

72 pieces bamboo leaves
24 pieces yard-long kitchen twine

Preparing the ingredients the night before
1.    Wash rice.  Cover with 2 inches of water over the top of the rice, and soak overnight.
2.    Pick over mung beans, rinse, cover with 2 inches of water over the top & soak overnight.
3.    Soak bamboo leaves in hot water overnight.  Next morning, scrub with brush and rinse several times to remove dirt.  Leave leaves in water till ready to use.
Preparing the filling
4.    Dice pork, mix with seasoning.  Set aside.
5.    Sliced mushrooms, mix with seasoning. Set aside.
Prepare the ingredients mise en place
6.    Drain rice, add salt and oil.  Set aside.*
7.    Drain mung beans, add salt and oil.  Set aside.*
8.    Separate yolks and cut into two.  Set aside.
9.    Cut large chestnuts into two.  Set aside.
Wrapping the dumpling (see Zongzi Leaf Template or detailed instructions section below)
10.    Prepare bamboo cone.
11.    Place ½ tablespoon rice into the cone.  Make a slight well, then place 1 heaping tablespoon of pork, ½ tablespoon mushroom, ½ egg yolk, and half a chestnut.  Followed by 1 tablespoon mungbean and 1 tablespoon of rice.  Pack all ingredients tightly as you add them.  Flatten the top with a clean wet spoon.
12.    Complete wrapping and secure leaves with kitchen twine.
13.    Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add 1 tablespoon salt.  Gently place the dumplings in and boil for 1 1/2 – 2 hours over medium slow fire. Add water constantly to ensure the dumplings are always submerged in water.
14.    When cooked, remove the dumplings and hang to dry.
15.    Serve with sugar or chili sauce on the side, if you’d like.

Makes 24 pieces
* To speed cooking, steam rice for 20 minutes, drizzle with 1 ¼ cup of chicken stock, steam another 10 minutes.  Also steam mungbeans for 15 minutes.  Boil dumplings for 30-60 minutes.

Detailed Dumpling wrapping – Download the zongzi leaf template for the leaf stencil. The first and second page are set up to print on both sides.

A.    Take two bamboo leaves, overlap offsetting each other by ½ inch along the length of the leave. The stems to the left, and the tips to the right, with the 2nd leave closest to you.  (A1 reads above A2)

B.    At a point 1 inch from the top edge and 1 inch off the middle cross-section (Point B) fold leaves into a conical shape – there should be no opening at the tip of the cone.

C.    The tips should be parallel to the stems, and are lower than the stems. (C1 aligns with C2, with C2 on the upper fold)

Fill the cone, packing tightly as you fill.  Flatten the top with a clean wet spoon.

D.    Take a third piece of leave, insert the tip end in between the back fold on the right.  (D1 aligns with D2), and cup the dumpling, with ½ inch offset along the edge (both Ds are visible at the base)

E.    With the triangle facing you, fold the third leave at the base of your palm towards the filling (E)

F.    Next, fold the 3 pieces of tips on the right towards the filling (F)

G.    Then, fold the stems on the left side towards the filling (G)

H.    Lastly, fold down the remaining leaves towards you. (H) and wrap around the pyramid.

I.    Quickly loop a piece of kitchen twine around the dumpling (along the spine of the leaves) to secure leaves in place.  Wind twine around dumpling tightly.  If necessary add, a second piece of string along a different axis.

o    For savory dumplings, pack, wrap and tie tightly so that the filling will not separate from the rice.
o    For sweet dumplings, pack loosely, wrap and tie loosely so that the rice will have space to expand and it will be soft.
o    The longer you boil the dumpling, the softer it will become.  Boil a minimum of 30 minutes if you pre-steam some of the ingredients, otherwise, 1 ½ hours.  A perfect boil is about 2 ½ hours.

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* Gow Choi Gau – Shrimp and Chives Dumplings

Posted on September 7th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Cantonese, Chinese, Chives, Dim Sum, Pork.

Gow Choi – Chinese chives are stronger in flavor — more garlicy taste than regular chives — than regular chives. The flat-leaf, foot-long green is used as a vegetable rather than used as a herb.

In this classic dim sum dish, the chives are mixed with shrimp and stuffed in a a dumpling. The crystal dumpling skin is made from a combination of wheat starch and tapioca starch which gives the dumplings a translucent look, and a chewy and “elastic” bite.

Chef’s tip: Make sure that you use *boiling* water when making the dough as the starch needs to be cooked to turn it into a gooey mixture that forms the binding for the dough.

Crystal Dough:
2¼ cups wheat starch
3 Tablespoons tapioca starch
1½ cups boiling water
1½ Tablespoons vegetable shortening
12 oz raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (size 31/40 shrimp)
4 oz Chinese chives, blanched, minced to make 1 cup
¼ cup / 2 oz canned bamboo shoots, rinsed, pat dry and minced
4 Tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine or pale dry sherry
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Some tapioca starch
Napa or savoy cabbage leaves, whole leaves, blanched
Dipping sauce:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons water
10 slices ginger, thinly julienned

Preparing the dough.
1.    Combine the wheat starch and the tapioca starch. Form a well in the center. Gradually add the boiling water (must be boiling!), stirring until a ball forms.
2.    Cool a little, while still warm, stir in the shortening, a little at a time.  Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes until soft and smooth.
3.    Divide the dough into 4 balls. Cover dough with a damp tea cloth for 15 minutes.
Preparing the filling
4.    Chop/mince the shrimp with a cleaver on a cutting board until it becomes a rough paste.  Place in a large bowl.
5.    Cut the Chinese chives into 4 inch pieces, blanched in a pot of hot water (20 seconds).  Remove, and squeeze dry between two plates.  Chop the blanched chives finely.  Finely chop the bamboo shoots and cilantro.  Add to the shrimp.
6.    Mix all the seasoning ingredients together.  Pour into the shrimp and chives mixture and mix well.
Assembling the dumplings
7.    Take a dough portion, work into a round ball, flatten into a disc and using a rolling pin, roll out dough (switching to a right angle direction to the previous direction every few times) until the dough is uniformly 1/8 inch thick.  Use a round 3½ inch cookie cutter and stamp out round pastry skins.  You should have about 40 skins. Cover dough with a damp tea cloth as you work.
8.    Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water.  Place the pastry skin in your palm. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into dough, being careful to avoid the edges. Fold into half to make a crescent moon.  Using your thumb, form little pleats on the top edge of the crescent, and press the two layers together to seal. Make sure seams are well-sealed and place on a tray dusted with tapioca starch.
9.    Placed onto a steamer that is lined with blanched cabbage leaves or perforated parchment
10.    Steam over simmering water for 6-8 minutes or until the dumplings are translucent. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.
Preparing the dipping sauce:
11.    Julienne ginger, and mix with red wine vinegar and water.  Serve with the dumplings.

Serves: 40 pieces

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