Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Family Tradition? - Just like TAMALES - IT'S CHINESE ZONG TSE TIME

in Memory of Our Mother
 It was in June of each year that we make this traditional Chinese ZONG TSE.  It is glutinous rice filled with marinated mushrooms and tenderloin pork.  Some adds anything their family members enjoy - lotus seeds, salty egg yolk for the savory flavor and there's the red beans ones.   Every year when the time comes, I can picture my mother (back in Japan) with a tub as large as baby's wading pool filled with softened bamboo leaves and long lines of thread to make hundreds of this delicious meal in a bamboo leaf pouch. They are shared amongst many family friends.  It is not so today after we came to America.  We make them enough to share wth the family.  The joy of sharing is carried on. 
Making Zong Tse, year 2013 in America

No one else in the family can figure out how she can string up all those with one string.
Year 2022.  
The prep work is very tidious when it comes to cleaning the area.  Meat need to be marinated serveral days ahead.  Glutinous rice washed, cleaned, and soaked overnight.  If you have a super large tub to hold the softened bamboo leaves and keep them pliable by keeping them soaked in hot/warm water, then that will be great; otherwise, the sink is washed many times, sanitized, and bamboo leaves soaked in hot/warm water for the duration.   *Think ahead to make sure that the sink is not needed for anything else for a couple of hours.
3 to 4 days before, prepare tenderloin pork (that's what I like to use).  Cut into cubes and marinate them. Re-hydrate Shiitake mushrooms, slice them thinly and also marinate them.
  A night before, wash and soak the glutinous rice over night.  Here Qty-2 10 lb each Thailand long grain Glutinous rice.

On the day of - Bamboo leaves are boiled in the hot water for a few minutes to clean - dump, refill, and reboil to clean twice.

Sanitize Sink - wash twice and use Sanitization Towlette to clean, then, wash and rinse again.  Fill with cleaned bamboo leaves plus the hot water in the pot to keep the bamboo leave flexible.
Glutinous rice is flavored per recipe.
The ends of bamboo leaves are cut off with scissors.   

 How to form Zong Tse Part 2 and Part 3 How to form Zong Tse Part 3 see 2013 step-by-step how to form into triangle or rectangle pouch to hold rice and meat.

Place a metal rack in the bottom of the pot.  This will circulate the hot water during cooking and keep any loose glutinous rice from stuck to the bottom and cause burn, etc.   Place heavy cooking plate on top to keep Zong Tse immersed in the boiling water.
Tamale pot with rack basket is great for this cooking, too.

Boil for 2 hours and Check.  ADD only HOT BOILING WATER ONLY to refill the pot. Cook longer, if needed.  

TIPS:   Practice a few times to learn how to pack seasoned glutinous rice and meats in bamboo leave.  And practice how to string them.   There should be no tear to the bamboo leaves. Firmly packed and well stringed Zong Tse will assure firm and flavorful result.

Remove from the pot right away when cooked - preferably in a perforated pan to allow water to drip to the bottom. Otherwise, place a round wire rack at the bottom of the bowl to allow water to drip down.
The rice should be translucent all the way through and meat is tender.
When cooled a bit, distribute and or eat.  Refrigerate when cooled.  Freeze to store.  Microwave the frozen ones with string removed and placed on a paper plate for 3 min or depending on your microwave's power.  Eat out of bamboo directly - to keep sticky glutinous rice off of the utensils as they are very difficult to clean if rice get dried out.


 I couldn't resist purchasing a bunch of giant fresh beets at the Davis Rach Sloughhouse.  Wash - scrub clean (do not peel) and Pressure Cook them for 3 minutes, then, slice, and roast with avocado oil and some salt.  It tastes really great.


 I saw the bitter melons at the Asian grocery store many times and my mother serving it when I was young.   I have never tasted it.  It was just not appealing to me.  But for the medicinal benefit it claims, I finally decided to buy this beautiful bitter melon I found at the Walmart.  Goodness, it costed $2.89 for one.  I have been eating it every week.  Not sure if it has lowered my blood sugar or helping kidney, etc., but it's my first - Stir Fried Bitter Melon with Prime Beef.

It tasted bitter but quite refreshing afterwards.


 It's a 3 egg Chiffon rolled cake.  It started out as a cake, but by the time I gathered the ingredients, the Chiffon cake was the simplest and tastiest ones, so Chiffon it is.  Follow my 2 egg chiffon cake method https://rockdavinci.blogspot.com/2021/02/pollys-2-eggs-choco-raisin-chiffon-cake.html  just substitute it with Matcha and some ground flax seed mill, chopped organic raisins.

Pour onto buttered organic parchment paper.  Bake at low 325'F for 10 min or 12 min depending on the doneness.

Remove from oven and roll it up.  Cool.
Whip up heavy cream with some organic pandan powder, if desired.  As the heavy cream becomes flothy, add 1 to 2 teaspoon of Grand Manier.
Unroll the cake carefully and spread Apricot preserves all over.  Then fill with chantilly
Decorate as you like.


 We didn't wear hats, but it was a great tea tasting party.  We had an incredible great lunch and great assortment of tea.  We also learned how each tea tools are used to serve a great tea.  
Do you TEA PET?
Lunch Buffet Galore.
Japanese YOKAN with TIGER for the year of Tiger in the center.
TEA Tools
We learned that the shape of the cups matters and present itself as a tool in tasting the tea to produce it's utmost aroma.

A Mad Hatter Tea Service.  Depending on the tea, water temperatures varied.
How to max the tea aroma with tea cups provided.

We tasted approximately 14 different tea.  We were very alert.