Every year around this time of the year, my grandma makes a batch of joong in celebration of the Duanwu Festival.
Joong is made primarily of glutinous rice packed with different Chinese ingredients then wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied up with string. The kind my grandmother makes is about the size of a man’s fist and she makes dozens of them.
In English, they’re often referred to as “rice dumplings” or “sticky rice dumplings”. I prefer “Chinese tamale” or “Mexican jung”. If you’ve been to dim sum before, you may have seen smaller variations of Joong.
Here are some of the more common fillings you might find in a joong:
- Lap Cheong
- Salted Duck Egg
- Char Sui
Usually, my grandmother’s recipe includes just the sticky rice, lap cheong (sometimes chicken instead of pork) and egg. It sounds rather tame, but you don’t need much more than those three ingredients — it’s quite tasty.
Outside of being delicious, once made, joong is quite easy to prepare. Usually it is cooked by steaming or boiling the sticky rice dumpling while it is still wrapped up for approximately 25 minutes.
And not only “bamboo sticky rice dumplings” easy to cook, but the they keep quite well. You can store joong in the freezer for months at a time and it maintains the taste as if it was made more recently.