Rice Dumpling (ZongZi)

4032272There are many different types of rice dumplings from different Chinese heritage…


Ingredients (Outer wrapping):

  1. 40 pieces special Zhong leaves (dried bamboo leaves, can be obtained from some Chinese supermarkets), soaked over night, drained
  2. A bundle of plant-based string (can be obtained from some Chinese supermarkets),soaked over night
  3. 800g glutinous rice, soaked over night and drained

Ingredients (Main Filling):

  1. 400g pork, cut into small pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  3. 2 tablespoons light soya sauce
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  6. A pinch of sugar
  7. A pinch of salt
  8. A pinch of ground white pepper
  9. 10g dried prawn

Ingredients (Other Fillings):

  1. 200-300g shelled/halved mung bean, soaked over night,
    and drained
  2. 10 Chinese mushrooms, soaked and thinly sliced
  3. 4 salted egg yolk, mashed


  1. Marinate the pork in light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, 5-spice powder, sugar, salt, and pepper for about 3 hours.
  2. Heat the groundnut oil in a wok or deep saucepan, and fry the marinated pork together with the marinate.
  3. Pour it into a medium bowl and let it cool down.
  4. Take 2 pieces of Zhong leaves, line one on top of another, fold them from the middle and twist both ends up to form a cone/triangular pouch.
  5. Fill the pouch with 2 tablespoons of glutinous rice, top with 1 tablespoon each of fried pork and mushroom, then about a tablespoon of mung bean, and 1 teaspoon salted egg yolk.
  6. Complete the routine with 2 tablespoons glutinous rice, hold the pouch tight and close the leaves. Tie it with the string to make sure the dumpling is securely wrapped and no spill.
  7. Repeat the steps till all ingredients are used up.
  8. Half fill a large deep pot with water, bring it to a boil. Put the wrapped dumplings into the water, then top up more water to cover all dumplings.
  9. Add a teaspoon of salt into the water and keep boiling it for about 3 to 4 hours.
  10. Drain the cooked dumplings and serve hot.









 Bamboo Leave (used to make rice dumpling)


Chilli sauce:

  • 5 fresh red chillies
  • 2 red bird抯 eye chillies
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 100ml water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Nonya dumplings
  • Cooking oil for pan-frying
  • Method
    Blend chilli sauce ingredients until smooth.Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Turn off the heat and season sauce with sugar and salt. Set aside.Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and pan-fry nonya dumplings until it forms a light brown, crispy crust. Remove and blot on paper towels.

    Serve the crispy fried nyonya dumplings with chilli sauce while dumplings are still warm.

    Day-old nyonya dumplings can be enjoyed pan-fried in a little oil to get a crisp rice crust. Serve with a chilli dipping sauce.




    400g glutinous rice
    1 tbsp alkaline water
    38-40 bamboo leaves (washed and soaked for several hours)
    Dried China grass or hempstring (soaked)
    Palm sugar syrup

    300g palm sugar (gula melaka)
    370ml water
    2 screwpine leaves (knotted)




    Pandan / screwpine leaves


    1. Wash and soak glutinous rice for several hours or preferably overnight.
    2. Drain well in a colander and stir in alkaline water. Leave aside for a maximum of 30-35 minutes but not much longer.
    3. To wrap the dumpling: Take a piece of bamboo leaf and fold into a cone shape. Fill with a tablespoon of glutinous rice and wrap into a cone. Secure with hempstring.
    4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and put in the bundles of dumplings, making sure that they are covered with water. Boil for 2½-3 hours.
    5. Add boiling water whenever necessary to maintain the water level at all times. Remove dumplings and hang up to dry. Serve with palm sugar syrup.

    To prepare palm syrup

    1. Boil water, palm sugar and screwpine leaves in a saucepan.
    2. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until syrup thickens slightly.
    3. Strain the syrup to remove any impurities and store in a clean dry glass jar.


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