Zongzi - How to Make Zongzi
Chinese Festivals and Events

Zongzi - How to Make Zongzi

By Fercility JiangUpdated Mar. 18, 2021
Dragon Boat FestivalZongzi is a traditional food of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Sticky rice bundles (粽子 Zongzi /dzong-dzrr/) are made from sticky or glutinous rice and a filling, which is kneaded in.

They are then wrapped in bamboo leaves in pillow or triangular-based pyramid shapes, and tied with plant stems.

If you are careful the bamboo leaves can be folded back like a wrapper so that you don't get your fingers (too) sticky while eating them.

They are often found sold at train and bus stations and make more of a meal than a snack (see Chinese Snacks). Glutinous rice is very filling.

Typical Zongzi Fillings

Regional Varieties of Zongzi

Zongzi, a traditional Chinese food, differ in shape and taste from one place to another across China. There are mainly two tastes to zongzi: sweet and savory. Nowadays people even make zongzi with mixed swwet and savory fillings. 

Making Zongzi Zongzi fillings

Sweet zongzi flavors include plain zongzi, red bean zongzi, horse bean zongzi, date zongzi, rose zongzi, melon zongzi, red bean and lard zongzi, and date paste and lard zongzi.

Savory zongzi flavors include salted pork fat zongzi, sausage zongzi, ham zongzi, dried shrimp zongzi, and diced meat zongzi.

Guangdong Zongzi — Cantonese Zongzi

Generally, Guangdong zongzi are large in size and have special shapes. They are either sweet with walnuts, dates, or bean paste as a filling, or savory with ham, egg, meat, or roast chicken as a filling.

Fujian Zongzi

Roast pork zongzi and soda zongzi from Xiamen and Quanzhou are famous as two typical types of Minnan zongzi.

To make roast pork zongzi, use top-grade glutinous rice and fill with roast pork, mushrooms, dried shrimp, lotus seeds, or braised pork soup. Locals often eat these zongzi with garlic, mustard, red chili sauce, and other condiments.

Soda zongzi are made of glutinous rice and soda lye. After steaming for several hours, they are best cooled and refrigerated. When eating soda zongzi, people often add honey and syrup.

Bean zongzi, very popular in Quanzhou, have a mixture of beans and glutinous rice as a filling.

Ningbo Zongzi

Ningbo zongzi, in the shape of a quadrangle, include many varieties, such as soda zongzi, red bean paste zongzi, and date paste zongzi. The most famous are soda zongzi, made of glutinous rice soaked in soda water, then wrapped in yellow reed leaves.

Jiaxing Zongzi

Triangular-Pyramid-shape ZongziTriangular-pyramid-shaped Zongzi

Jiaxing zongzi, in the shape of a triangular pyramid, use fresh meat, red bean paste, or eight treasures (choice ingredients of certain special dishes) as fillings. When wrapping this kind of zongzi, people put a small piece of fatty meat into the glutinous rice.

Sweet Tea Zongzi

Sweet tea zongzi use stewed sweet tea to soak the glutinous rice. This type of zongzi have a bright color, a soft taste, and a sweet flavor.

Generation after generation of people in the western mountainous area of Zhejiang Province have followed the custom of boiling zongzi with sweet tea, boiling rice with sweet tea, and cooking rice porridge with sweet tea.

Even in the famous novel, Dream of Red Mansions (one of the four most famous classical literature works of China), sweet tea zongzi and rice are mentioned several times.

Beijing Zongzi

Beijing Zongzi, a representative type of zongzi in north China, are small and rectangular. In the countryside people are accustomed to making zongzi using jujube and sweet bean paste as fillings.

Guangxi Zongzi

ZongziPillow-shaped zongzi

People in central Guangxi Province enjoy making zongzi in the shape of a big pillow, each one weighing over half a kilogram.

People in the Guilin region prefer small, pillow-shaped zongzi. People in northern Guilin make zongzi in the shape of a dog's head.

Also the fillings used differ from one place to another. People around Guilin city often add a little baking soda to the filling to make the zongzi tastier, while people in Quanzhou County (northeast Guilin Prefecture) like to soak the glutinous rice in straw-ash water for additional flavoring.

Shanghai Zongzi

Shanghai zongzi have a variety of shapes and fillings.

Vegetarian zongzi made by Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant include mushroom zongzi, broad bean zongzi, and red bean zongzi.

Some types of Muslim zongzi are offered by the Muslim restaurant Hongchangxing. Its beef zongzi are the most popular among locals.

China Highlights' Cuisine Tours provide a great chance to eat a wide variety of delicious Chinese food.

How to Make Zongzi

How to make Zongzi China Highlights’ staff member- Yin Chengcheng’s mother is making zongzi at their home.

How to Make Red Bean Zongzi

How to Make Glutinous Rice and Pork Zongzi

Ingredients: bamboo leaves and lengths of straw, streaky pork, glutinous rice, soy sauce, salt.

How to Make Sweet Tea Zongzi

Main ingredients: glutinous rice, sweet tea, and dates

How to Make Date Jujube Zongzi

Zongzi Mamking Zongzi

Main ingredients: bamboo leaves and lengths of straw, glutinous rice, raisins, red dates (jujubes)

How to Make Mung Bean and Duck Egg Zongzi

Main ingredients: glutinous rice, mung beans, peanuts, cooked salted duck egg yolk, bamboo leaves and straw

Famous Zongzi Brands in China

Sticky Rice Bundles (Zongzi) Menu

English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Pork Sticky Rice Bundle ròu zòng Roh dzong 肉粽
Date Sticky Rice Bundle hóngzǎo zòng Hong-dzaoww dzong 红枣粽
Shanxi Honey Cold Sticky Rice Bundle Shǎnxī fēngmì liáng zòng Shaan-sshee fnng-mee lyang dzong 陕西蜂蜜凉粽

More Information on Dragon Boat Festival

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Our customers enjoying Chinese food in a local restaurant Our customers enjoying Chinese food in a local restaurant

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