Tag Archives: zong zi

Banana Peach and More Muffins

22 Jun

I had some old fruit left over so I decided to put them all together into a muffin. It came out quite delicious. I had a banana, a peach, a nectarine and an apricot. I don’t have a food processor so I just chopped everything up by hand.

Banana Peach and More Muffins

1 ripe medium banana
1 ripe peach
1 ripe nectarine
1 ripe apricot
1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
2. Wash, peel and chop the fruit finely, almost to a mash.
3. Mix together the dry ingredients.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
5. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until it just comes together. Don’t overstir or you will get tough muffins. Stir in walnuts with the dry ingredients or sprinkle them on top.
6. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.
7. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. If they brown too fast, turn down oven to 325 F for the last 5-10 minutes.

I forgot to show you guys our weekly CSA box so here it is. We got some yummy stuff as well as some new stuff we’ve never tried before.

CSA share week 4

spinach – smaller bunch this time
summer squash – more?!!!?!?!?!? we haven’t eaten any since weeks ago.. I hope they’re still okay since I finally found a recipe that I want to try.
fennel – got 2 because I didn’t want beets and there was fennel in the trade box, for some reason I thought I’ve eaten it before but I was thinking of leeks instead.. made a dish with green beans, basil and tomato.. not bad.
salad mix – cool
carrots – yay! more pickled carrots!
green beans – so fresh and yummy
chives – such a tiny little bunch! I was expecting a lot more since Chinese people eat a lot of chives (dumplings, etc)
strawberries – weekly yum, not sick of them yet since they’ve been super delish every week, never like the tasteless watery cheap ones you get in NY.

We visited my grandparents in Oakland and took them out for dim sum. Unfortunately, we didn’t eat much since we’re small eaters and they’re small eaters but the food was good. On the way home we stopped by Oakland’s farmers market and I managed to spend $18 on string beans, a walnut wheat sourdough loaf, a pound of fresh handmade parsley garlic spaghetti, super sweet cherries and tomatoes on the vine. Fresh food tastes so good, I love it. That night, we got all dressed up to go to Brian’s company party only to find that it was actually NEXT week. Only slightly embarrassing.. haha. So Brian took me out to a nice Italian restaurant and we splurged on some nice food. I got smoked salmon pizza with caviar and Brian got veal medallions in mushroom sauce with mashed potatoes and green beans. The pizza was good but really salty. I don’t eat veal so I can’t tell you how his dish was.

On Sunday we biked to Coyote Point. The park was filled with BBQ and picnic parties since it was father’s day weekend. We packed leftovers for lunch. The area we lunched in was filled with eucalyptus trees! It was very pretty but pretty crowded. Lots of Spanish and Asian families and TONS of food on everyone’s tables.

Nothing much more interesting to say so here’s some food pictures from the past week.

Ugly picture but it’s the first time I made beef hau fun (hor fun) or stir-fried broad rice noodles with beef, onions and scallions. This used to be one of my favorite Chinese restaurant dishes because it’s my favorite noodle. It’s a really difficult dish to make because the noodles are sticky and it’s hard to make it not greasy due to the need for oil. Luckily I found a super nice non-stick (non-traditional, I know, I know) but it heated up really hot and I got good “wok hei” out of it. Yum. This picture was taken after we took two servings out.

We bought extra organic strawberries from the San Mateo farmer’s market on Sunday to make this pie. It was good but not amazing. There’s a cream cheese layer on the bottom. The crust tastes like cardboard because I bought a pre-made one. No recipe because it’s not worth posting. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to make a better strawberry dessert by the end of summer.

I had a lot of zhong leftovers lying around in the fried so I mixed them all together and steamed it all up in a pie tin because that was the only thing that fit into the pot so I could steam it. I chopped up some Chinese sausage, scallions and the dried shrimp, added more soy sauce and mixed in some fresh green beans in the end. Tasty, chewy dinner.

Zong Zi or Chinese Rice Dumplings

18 Jun

Zong Zi or Zhong as I like to write it is a traditional Chinese food that’s eaten on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar. This year it fell on last Wednesday (6/15). This is also the time of the dragon boat races. Traditional folk tales say that zhong were thrown into the water to feed either a famous poet that drowned himself or to feed the water dragons to keep them from eating the poet’s body. Zhong is made from glutinous or sweet rice and wrapped with bamboo leaves. It can be filled with whatever you want. My family likes to put fatty pork, Chinese sausage (lop cherng), salted egg yolk, small dried shrimp, and either mung bean (called green bean in Chinese) or peanuts. It’s a very time consuming process to make zhong but with a bit of practice, it’s actually not difficult. The bounty of zhong you get in return makes the process worth it.

Since there are not many recipes out in the world wide web, I am going to share with you my family’s recipe as it was taught to me by my mom.

Huang Family’s Zong Zi
Makes around 35-40 pieces.


5 lb sweet (glutinous) rice
1 bag bamboo leaves
2 lb of pork belly with skin
1/2 pack of Chinese sausage (lop cherng), cut on a diagonal 1/2″ thick
1 bag of salted egg yolk, each yolk cut into 3 pieces (optional)
1 bag dried, peeled mung beans
1 bag (12 oz) shelled plain peanuts, soaked in room temperature water for 25 min, mix into rice, add salt
1/2 cup dried shrimp, soaked in water overnight and drained
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp five spice powder (optional)
2 tsp Chinese cooking wine (optional)
ball of white string
a gigantic pot or 2-3 big pots


1. The night before:
a) Wash bamboo leaves thoroughly by scrubbing or rinsing each piece in the sink. Soak leaves overnight in a pot of warm water.
b) Cut pork belly into 1/2″ to 3/4″ pieces, you should have around 40 pieces. Marinate pieces overnight in the fridge with 1 tsp salt, some pepper, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp five spice powder, and 2 tsp Chinese cooking wine.
c) Soak dried shrimp in warm water overnight.

Day of cooking:
2. Wash rice in cold water with 3 changes of water. Soak in cold water for 1 hour. Drain in colander for 10 minutes or until no water is dripping out. Then, return rice to bowl and mix in 2 Tbsp salt and 3 Tbsp oil (we use the Chinese ceramic soup spoons). You can also add some soy sauce.
3. In a large pot, boil the leaves for 5 minutes. Then, drain and rinse leaves in cold water. Let the leaves sit in a colander to drain.
4. Soak peanuts for 20 minutes.
5. Rinse mung beans until the water is no longer bright yellow, about 2-3 rinses. Mix in 1/2 tsp salt and bit of oil.
6. Meanwhile, chop Chinese sausage, and salted egg yolks, if using.
7. Assemble all ingredients on a table where you can wrap the zhong comfortably.

8. Watch the video to learn how to wrap zhong. There are other videos on youtube that might help too.

a) Take 2 leaves and hold them together horizontally, offset by 1″, with your palms facing down. Fold the leaves in half and make a notch at the bottom incorporating both leaves in the fold. This makes a pocket for the rice so it cannot leak out.
b) Put a scoop of rice (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup).
c) Put a tsp of mung beans on top of the rice.
d) Take another leaf and it around the walls of the pouch so it makes a higher wall.
e) Add 2 or 3 shrimps, 1 piece each of fatty pork, sausage and egg yolk.
f) Add another tsp of mung bean and cover everything with another scoop of rice.
g) Fold the walls together towards the previous notch to enclose the filling. Turn the zhong so that the only opening is now facing up. Tap the zhong to settle the rice downwards.
h) Finally, while holding the zhong so that a bottom corner is facing you, fold down the remaining leaves by pressing a straight line at the top edge of the filling. The fold should be in the direction towards you or away from you (toward either of the two bottom corners).
i) Hold the string, leaving a foot long tail) and use the part connected to the roll to wrap one half of the horizontal zhong four times. Then, switching hands, wrap the other half of the zhong using the tail end of the string, 3-4 times. Make the two strings meet in the middle and wrap the zhong twice vertically. Tie off leaving two tails. (Wrap it once vertically for peanut).

9. After wrapping around 20 mung bean zhong or until you have half the rice remaining, mix in the drained peanuts with the rice and add an additional teaspoon of salt. Follow the same steps to wrap zhong except leave out the mung beans.
10. Place 3 leaves at the bottom of each pot. Place zhong into pots. Fill with water and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium (stove dial 5) and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Leave the lid open a crack if it keeps boiling over. Keep hot water on hand to replenish evaporated water.
11. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store in the fridge for about a week or freeze. Reheat by boiling or steaming.

Notes: These zhong are savory, not sweet. Sweet rice is the name for glutinous rice that turns sticky and is not named that way because it’s sweet in taste. On the day of, I started at 11 AM and finished boiling everything at 5 PM. Once I filled up the first pot at 12:30 PM, I put it to cook and then finished up the rest by 1:30 PM. It goes A LOT faster if you have more hands to help. You get a lot faster once you figure out how to wrap and tie them.

We had to use 2 of these sized pots. At home, my mom has a giant pot just for boiling all the zhong at once.

"green" bean zhong

I hope this helps you if you ever decide to make some. They’re really satisfying and delicious!