Zongzi (Sticky Rice Dumpling) is a quintessential food for the Dragon Boat Festival. Every region in China makes it differently. Red Date Zongzi is one of the most popular types in Northern China. It’s also my family’s favorite. Let’s take a look at this amazing Red Date Zongzi recipe!
Red Date Zongzi Recipe
Serves: 12 zongzi
Prep time: 1 hour
Rest time: overnight
Cook time: 2 hours
36-48 bamboo leaves
3 cups short-grain (round) glutinous rice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups dried red dates, removed pits
Red Date Zongzi Instructions
- Rehydrate the bamboo leaves in water overnight. Thoroughly clean the bamboo leaves. Drain.
- Rinse the glutinous rice and soak in water for at least 4 hours to overnight. Drain.
- Rinse the dried red dates. Drain.
- In a mixing bowl, transfer in the glutinous rice, and sugar. Mix well. Set aside.
To assemble the zongzi:
- Working with 3 bamboo leaves at a time. Dry them with paper towels, and use a pair of kitchen shears to trim off about 1 inch of the ends.
- Take two of them, smooth side up, and place the smaller one on top of the bigger one. Fold them into a cone.
- Fill with 1 tablespoon of glutinous rice, 3 red dates (add more if you like), and 3 tablespoons of glutinous.
- To cover the cone, place another bamboo leave on the side. Fold the right side inward, the left side inward, and the rest of the leaves. Tightly wrap a cooking twine around the zongzi several times and tie a knot.
- Repeat with the rest.
To cook the zongzi:
- In a large pot of room temperature water over high heat, place in the zongzi, and they should be completely submerged in the water. Cover with a lid, and bring it to a boil.
- Then 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 30 minutes before opening, so that they better hold their shape. Cut the twine. Enjoy!