Fantastic feasts and where to find them

Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival with Zong Zi

The Dragon Boat Festival is upon us once again! Back when I was in Hong Kong, I remember not only the dragon boat races but also the food that were served to celebrate this event. One of the most iconic and memorable is the Zongzi (綜). This is a parcel of rice, filled with various ingredients such as pork and mushrooms, wrapped in bamboo leaves. There are many variations of this but today I want to share a basic version! It’s does take a bit of preparation but it’s a fun recipe involving a lot of folding and craftsmanship! 


This recipe is enough to make 10 medium sized ZongZi and will take a total of about 5 hours. Before you click away, that’s 5 hours end to end! The time you are actively cooking is much less!

  • 40 x Bamboo Leaf 
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 450g Glutinous Rice marinated with:
    • 0.75 tbsp Salt
    • 0.75 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1tsp sugar
  • 300g Mung Bean marinated with:
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp oil
  • 175g Pork belly marinated with:
    • 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
    • 0.75 tsp salt
    • 0.25 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp Chinese Rice wine
    • 0.5 tsp soy sauce
  • 5 pieces Dried Chinese Mushroom
  • 1 Roll of Twine

Optional extras:

  • 5 x Salted Egg Yolks


  1. Soak bamboo leaves in lukewarm water with 1 tsp oil for 2 hours
  2. Soak glutinous rice in cold water for 2 hours before draining
  3. Soak mung beans separately in cold water for 2 hours before draining
  4. Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 2 hours before draining
  5. Marinate the pork belly in a separate bowl and chill in the fridge
  6. Marinate the rice and mung beans separately with the respective marinade as above
  7. Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 2 hours before draining
  8. After 2 hours of soaking, boil the bamboo leaves for 15 mins before letting it sit in the pot with the lid closed for another 45 mins
  9. Drain the leaves and trim both ends of the leave to remove the point ends
  10. Starting the wrapping process by overlapping 2 bamboo leaves in a cross to create a cup shape for holding the rice
  11. Layer on the filling in the following order. Rice > Beans > mushroom > Pork > Egg Yolk (optional) > Beans > Rice. You are essentially creating a rice sandwich
  12. Next put a leave over the cup to cover the top and fold the over hang from each side towards the middle
  13. Finally seal up the side using another bamboo leave before tying together with a piece of twine
  14. Cover in water and boil for 3 hours (or 1 hour with pressure cooker) before serving

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