Easy Zongzi Recipe with Red Bean Paste Filling (红豆沙粽子)
Dragon Boat Festival is approaching (Thu, Jun 22, 2023). We usually eat Zongzi, AKA sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves to celebrate it. I have madesavory zongzi before, and today, I want to share a sweet version with a classic red bean paste filling.
- Soak the glutinous rice, dried red beans, and bamboo leaves overnight. If you don't have red beans, use kidney or mung beans.
- Combine the red beans with the glutinous rice and rinse them under running water for a couple of minutes. Let them drain and shake off the excess water.
- Mix the red beans and glutinous rice with vegetable oil, preventing the rice from sticking to the leaves.
- Divide the red bean paste into 16 even pieces, 20g each. Roll each one in a ball and set them aside. Red bean paste is available in almost any Asian market. You can also use lotus seed paste and jujube red date paste for different flavor options. You can click here to learn how to make homemade red bean paste from scratch.
- Remove the bamboo leaves from the water and wipe off the moisture with paper towels. Cover the leaves with a damp towel so they don't dry out.
- Before wrapping zongzi, please distinguish the rough and smooth sides. The rough side has an obvious stem; it should be facing out. The smooth side should be facing in so it contacts the rice.
- Fold a bamboo leaf from the center into an ice cream cone. Put your hand into the cone and twist the inner leaf to make the cone smaller and tighter. Add a tinny bit of rice first and use a chopstick to push it to fill the pointy corner. Continue to add a couple of tbsp of glutinous rice. Put one red bean paste filling in the middle, then fill up the rest of the space with more glutinous rice. Use your spoon to pack it tight.
- Your left-hand holds the shape. Use your right hand to bring the upper leaves down. Fold two sides; Pinch the tip of the leaf to wrap it along the surface. Tie the zongzi with kitchen twine.
- Do the same thing to wrap the rest of the zongzi.
- Add all the zongzi to a big pot of boiling water. Place a plate on top of them and make sure the water covers all the zongzi. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove the zongzi from the water and serve with honey.
Zongzi can be frozen for up to 6 months. Below are 2 methods to reheat frozen zongzi.
- Method 1: Microwave one zongzi on low power for 4 minutes without thawing, then switch to full power and microwave for 1.5 minutes.
- Method 2: Steam the zongzi over medium heat for 20 minutes.