SALT Magazine - - Lightly Salted -

Six hours. That’s how long it can take to boil zongzi, al­though some (less com­pli­cated) recipes are fully cooked within two or three. Th­ese dumplings typ­i­cally come wrapped in bam­boo or lo­tus leaves— fresh ones are pre­ferred where avail­able, but here in South­east Asia, most cooks rely on re­hy­drated dried spec­i­mens. Var­i­ous savoury and sweet vari­a­tions abound, pro­lif­er­at­ing even within di­alect groups. Com­mon fill­ings in­clude diced braised pork belly, roasted chest­nuts, sliced shi­itake mush­rooms, red beans, mung beans, salted egg yolks, and dried shrimp. Zongzi are typ­i­cally made with gluti­nous rice, with or without ad­di­tions of other grains; the in­di­vid­ual rice grains, al­though soft, sticky and in­sep­a­ra­ble af­ter cook­ing, re­main vis­ually dis­tinct. Some of the plainer zongzi are eaten dipped in su­gar, and most of them go down well with a cup of Chi­nese tea.

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