Recipe: Zongzi (chinese style dumplings)

five spice powder ginger recipes star anise

Both my Chinese and Japanese grandma make zongzi (or chimaki in Japanese). Yet, they differ quite a bit. The ones made by my Japanese grandma are very simple and eaten with sweetened kinako (roasted soy bean powder). On the contrary, the ones made by my Chinese grandma contain lots of seasoned ingredients. Today, I’d like to share the recipe for a Chinese version. It takes a bit of preparation time but it’s worth it.

                                               Recipe: Zongzi

Yield: About 10-12 zongzi


  • 300g glutinous rice (the same kind used for making sticky rice or mochi)
  • 200g pork shoulder loin
  • ∗ 1 star anise
  • ∗ 10cm white leek
  • ∗ 5 slices of ginger, or substitute for 1 tsp ginger powder
  • ∗ 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • ∗ 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ∗ ½ cup of dried shiitake and dried shrimp infused water (This is a result from reconstituting shiitake and shrimp)
  • ½  teaspoon five spice powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 reconstituted dried shiitake, sliced
  • 10 reconstituted dried shrimps, minced (devein for best result)
  • 1 tablespoon fried shallots
  • ½ bamboo shoots, boiled and cut into strips

Cooking instructions

♣ Preparation Stage ♣

  1. Wash the rice and soak in water for one hour. Then remove from the water and steam for one hour.
  2. While waiting for the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Chop the pork into bite size and add into the boiled water. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside. Keep the water used for boiling for later use. (Some people boil twice. If you are concerned, please boil more than once)

♣ Cooking Stage (Can be done while the rice is being steamed) ♣

  1. [For pork filling] In a heated cooking pot, add cooking oil and combine the boiled pork and ingredients marked with ∗. Cook over low to medium fire for about 30 minutes. Don’t let it boiled down. Add the water from Preparation Stage 2 if it boils down. Once cooked, add the five spice powder, salt and soy sauce, and mix. Set aside.
  2. [For shiitake filling] While the pork is being cooked, heat cooking oil in a separate pan and cook the shiitake with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of soup from Cooking Stage 1. Set aside.
  3. [To season the rice] Add the shrimp, fried shallots and bamboo shoots into the steamed rice, and combine.
  4. [Finally…] Wrap the steamed rice with clean bamboo leaves and fill with cooked pork and shiitake. Once the filling is complete, cover with more rice, press with a spoon and tie with a string. Then steam for 30 minutes. Enjoy your zonzi!

This article was written by Chia.
I’m a freelance translator with background in biology. Upon meeting my future husband in Spain, I moved to Hong Kong to start our lives together. I’m still exploring what Hong Kong has got to offer :)

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published