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Alternative names Rice Dumpling, Sticky Rice Dumplings
Pinyin Zong Zi
Type Steamed, Boiled
Course Traditional Food
Place of origin China
Region or state Southern China
Other Cooking time: Hand-made Zongzi takes 1-2 hours


Zongzi ([tsʊ̂ŋ.tsɨ]; Chinese: 粽子) is a traditional Chinese food made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo, reed, or other large flat leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. In the Western world, they are also known as rice dumplings or sticky rice dumplings.


Zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) are traditionally eaten during the Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival), which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar (approximately late-May to mid-June). A popular belief amongst the Chinese of eating zongzi involved commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States period. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors. When the Qin general Bai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan's grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent the fish from eating the poet's body. Although it may have originally been a seasonal food, zongzi are available year-round in most major cities with a significant Chinese population.

Homemade Zongzi Recipe

In fact, there are many types of zongzi made of different ingredient, such as pork and red bean. Here is recipes for two of the classic styles: with meat and candied jujube (red dates). There is no specified amout for making zongzi. You can adjust according to your own needs.



glutinous rice
soy sauce
banboo leaves
pork belly
candied jujube (red dates)
string or planet stem

Wash the glutinous rice and put it in water until soaked thoroughly one day in advance. For zongzi with pork, put soy sauce and stir until fully mixed together.

Cut the pork belly into small pieces, and add soy sauce and salt and let it sit for one night to pickle the pork.

Wash and boil the bamboo leaves and straw for a few minutes until they are soft. Prepare 2 pieces of bamboo leaves for each zongzi.

Put the dates into a bowl and stone them after being steamed for a while


Fold 1 pieces of bamboo leaf from its middle into the shape of a cone. There should be no leakage in the bottom of the cone.

First fill 1/3 with glutinous rice. For pork stuffed zongzi, fill it with the glutinous rice soaked with soy sauce.

Then add 2 pieces of candied dates, or the pork belly.

Then cover it glutinous rice, but not too full!

Wrap it into a pyramidal shape with the remaining length of the leaves, then wrap again with another piece of bamboo leaf.

Bind it with a length of soaked straw or string.

Steam or boil and its ready to serve!