Vegetarian Zongzi – Recipe

The dragon boat festival us tomorrow, so it's time to eat zongzi. This year I decided to make a veggie-friendly recipe that still has a lot of 'bite' to it.

The combination of shiitake mushrooms, Sichuan ya cai (pickled veg), pak choi and seasonings gives this filling a rich texture, so you don't miss the meat at all.

Bought this packet in Yibin, but you can find this brand in Chinese supermarkets in the UK too.

Ready? Let's go.

To Wrap:

1 bundle of bamboo leaves, tough stalks and pointy ends snipped off, soaked overnight in water, then washed and rinsed thoroughly with fresh water.


450g glutinous rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained stirred with:
1tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt


2 tbsp sesame oil, for frying
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 2" piece ginger, minced
1 tsp ground Chinese five spice
4 large spring onions, chopped
120g shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 large pak choi, rinsed and chopped
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing wine
1/2 tbsp Chinkiang (black rice) vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp kecap manis


1. Heat a wok until smoking hot, add the oil, and fry the garlic, ginger and five spice until fragrant. Add the spring onions and mushrooms, and cook for about 5 minutes on a high heat, stirring continuously. Add the pak choi and the rest of the ingredients, and fry until wilted and almost dry. Set aside and leave to cool completely.

2. To make the parcels, take two leaves and place them back to back top to bottom. Fold them to create a cone, put a little rice at the bottom, a little of the sweet or savoury filling in the middle, and top with more rice.

3. Fold the sides inwards then the top of the leaves down like a lid, Fold the rest of the excess leaves to create the zongzi shape, and tie up with cotton yarn.

4. Place the zongzi in a large saucepan, top with water and bring to the boil. Cover with lids and boil for about 1.5 hours to cook the rice. Drain and serve hot.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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