Red Bean Zongzi Recipe
Serves: 12 zongzi
Prep time: overnight and 1 hour
Cook time: 2 hours
For the bamboo leaves:
36-48 bamboo leaves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For the zongzi:
3 cups round glutinous rice
6 ounces Adzuki beans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound red bean paste
The night before:
Soak the bamboo leaves in water for overnight.
Rinse the glutinous rice. Soak in water for overnight.
Rinse the adzuki beans. Soak in water for overnight.
The next day:
Thoroughly wash the bamboo leaves. Add the vegetable oil in it, and let it soak for about 5 minutes. The oil will prevent the sticky rice from sticking to the bamboo leaves when you unwrap them.
Drain the glutinous rice, transfer to a large mixing bowl, then add the salt and sugar.
Mix well. Also add in the drained adzuki beans. Mix together.
Red bean paste, I got these pre-packaged red bean paste. You can also make your own. Take 1 tablespoon of the paste, and make it into balls.
(Make your own red bean paste:
first soak 1 1/2 pound of azuki beans in water for 2 hours or up to overnight. Rinse and drain.
Then, in a large pot, add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the beans and cook over low heat for 2 hours, adding 1/2 cup water every 30 minutes, until they become mushy. To thicken, turn the heat to high and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. At this point, the liquid should have almost dried out. Add 1 cup of sugar and use an immersion blender to blend everything until smooth.)
Assemble the zongzi:
Drain the bamboo leaves and wipe them dry. Use a pair of kitchen shears to trim off about 1 inch of the ends.
Working with 3 bamboo leaves at a time. First, take two of them, lay them out horizontally, and smooth side up. Then place the smaller leaf on top of the bigger one.
Holding the leaves together, flip them over and fold them in half horizontally, away from you. Then fold over about one inch of one of the edges, lengthwise, while pushing the opposite edge open into a cone. Flip the cone so that you are holding it with the opening facing up.
To fill the cone, add 1 tablespoon of the rice mixture, 1 red bean paste ball, then top with another 3 tablespoons of rice mixture.
To cover the cone, place another bamboo leave on the side of the cone. Fold the left side inward, and fold the right side inward. Fold over the remaining parts of the leaves over, tightly cover everything, and wrap it tightly around the cone. Make sure there is no opening.
Tightly wrap cooking twine around the zongzi several times and tie the ends into a knot.
Repeat with the rest of the bamboo leaves.
Cook the zongzi:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the zongzi. They should be completely submerged in the water. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes and adding additional hot water if it no longer covers the zongzi.
Take out the zongzi and drain. Let cool for about 1 hour before opening, so that they better hold their shape. Cut the twine. Enjoy!