The Dragon Boats are preparing to slide speedily and fiercely through the calm summer waters and that means it's time for the yearly wrapping of the yummilicious zong zi! In our last post we made Mini Crystal Red Bean Zong Zi 水晶紅豆粽子, a tapioca twist on the traditional zong zi, and here today we share our step by step guide of How to Wrap Mini Zong Zi Rice Dumplings 迷你粽子包法, half sized zong zis (around 3" long) that are perfect serving size for a tea time treat or a child sized eat. If you want to know more about the history of Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 and how to wrap regular sized dumplings (including video), check out our posts on Savoury Pork Zong Zi 肉粽子 and Red Bean Paste Zong Zi 紅豆沙粽子.
Buy dried zong zi bamboo leaves at your local wet market or asian grocery store. Be sure to buy some extra, as some leaves may break during the making. Have some kitchen twine ready or if you can, buy straw for tying. (Twine is easier to use, straw is cooler looking.)
Cut the hard tips off the stem side of the bamboo leaf. Boil your zong zi bamboo leaves in water for 8-10 mins, turn off heat and let soak in hot water until pliable. If using straw to tie, soak straw in hot water until pliable. If using string, have it ready to use.
For the mini sized zong zi you can use one bamboo leaf or two. We used one bamboo leaf in this demonstration but I have found that if you use two, it's a bit easier to wrap up securely and not have any leaks while boiling the zong zi. If using two leaves, place the second leaf on top and 1 1/2" off center left of the first leaf.
Fold 6" of the leaf (or leaves) down. Then fold over approx. 1/2"-1" of the right edge.
Keep hold of the fold and open up the pocket you have just made. Scoop in 1 to 1 1/2 heaping teaspoon of tapioca pearls or glutinous rice into the bottom of that pocket.
Keeping hold of the fold at all times, add in your 3/4" diameter round of filling (in our case red bean paste). Then add approx. 2 tbsp of tapioca or glutinous rice, making sure that the sides and top of filling are covered completely with tapioca/rice.
All your filling in now, it's time to close the deal. Cradle the zong zi into your palm so that your palm keeps the fold in place. Fold over and in the two top sides of the bamboo leaf as shown on the left. Then fold the top (that bit of leaf still sticking up) down. Your zong zi should have all sides covered with leaf now.
Keeping one hand firmly on your folded zong zi, grab your twine or straw with your other hand. Wrap once around the zong zi and, leaving a 2" tail, tie a knot as firmly as you can. (Sometimes I use my teeth to help me pull the knot tight). With your initial knot done, wrap the twine firmly around the rest of the zong zi. Don't squeeze, please, just be firm. When you think you've wrapped enough to hold zong zi together, tie the end of your twine/straw to the 2" tail that you left earlier. Cut and you're done! Perfectly wrapped Mini Zong Zi!
Hope you enjoyed our guide on How to Wrap Mini Zong Zi 迷你粽子包法. Happy zong zi making and Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 to all!
Grandma's Red Bean Paste 紅豆沙
Mini Crystal Red Bean Zong Zi 水晶紅豆粽子