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Zongzi ([tsʊ̂ŋ.tsɨ]; Chinese: 粽子) is a traditional Chinese rice dish made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves, generally of the species Indocalamus tessellatus, sometimes, with reed leaves, or other large flat leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. In the Western world, they are also known as Chinese Hallacas, rice dumplings or sticky rice dumplings.
|Alternative names||bakcang, bacang, zang, nom asom, Pya Htote , "Joong", "Doong"|
|Place of origin||China|
|Region or state||Chinese-speaking areas|
|Main ingredients||Glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves|
|Variations||Chimaki, Lotus leaf wrap|
|Similar dishes||Mont phet htok|
|Southern Min name|
As it diffused to other regions of Asia over many centuries, zongzi became known by various names in different languages and cultures, including Pya Htote in Burmese-speaking areas (such as Myanmar), Nom Chang in Cambodia, Bachang in Indonesia and Khanom Chang in Laos and Ba-chang in Thailand.
In Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Malaysia, zongzi is known as bakcang, bacang, or zang (from Hokkien Chinese: 肉粽; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-chàng), as Hokkien is commonly used among overseas Chinese. Similarly, zongzi is more popularly known as machang among Chinese Filipinos in the Philippines.
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 Yingtu, 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. In addition, it is also said that Qu Yuan appeared in a fisherman's dream, saying a flood dragon was in the River, and most of the Zongzi were eaten by the dragon instead of the fishes. He told the fisherman that the dragon feared Argy-wormwood leaves and five-color strings, and as long as those special materials would be added to Zongzi, his body would be protected.
Some literature has linked the custom of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival to wu zixu jumping into the qiantang river. Wu zixu, as a loyal minister of the state of wu, helped the state of wu become prosperous. But later the king of wu listen to slanders, wu zixu stabbed to death. Since wu zixu drowned in the qiantang river on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month earlier than qu yuan, some documents suggest that the custom of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is related to wu zixu rather than qu yuan.
Some records say that the Dragon Boat Festival was held in honor of cao e, a filial daughter of the eastern han dynasty. Cao e was from the eastern han dynasty. Her father drowned in the river. After many days, people could not find his father's body. After seventeen days, cao e also threw herself into the river on the 5th of may. Five days later, she took out her father's body. After that her touching story went viral.
It is said that zongzi was born for the poet qu yuan. In fact, as early as the Spring and Autumn period had appeared zongzi this food. At that time people use gu leaf bag shu rice into horn shape, called it "jiao shu" or with bamboo tube packed rice seal baked, called it "cast tube".
At the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, people soaked shu rice with grass and wood ash water, and wrapped shu rice into a quadrangle shape using gu leaves and cooked, called it alkali water dumplings.
Jin dynasty, zongzi was officially as the Dragon Boat Festival food. At this time, the package of rice dumplings in addition to the raw materials of glutinous rice, also added Chinese medicine yizhiren, cooked zongzi called "yizhi zongzi". Rice doped with a variety of meat, chestnut, and other varieties of zongzi began to increase gradually. Zongzi was also used as a gift communication.
In Tang dynasty, the shape of zongzi appeared conical and diamond. "Datang zongzi" was recorded in Japanese literature.
During the Song dynasty, there were lots of "preserved fruit zongzi". At this time also appeared a pavilion piled with zongzi for advertising, which showed that eating zongzi in the Song dynasty had been very fashionable.
Yuan, Ming period, zongzi package material had changed from gu leaf ruo leaf, and then appeared zongzi packaged with reed leaves, additional materials had bean paste, pine nut kernel, jujube, walnut and so on. The varieties of zongzi were more diverse.
"Ham zongzi" appeared in the Qing dynasty. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, zongzi became auspicious food. At that time, scholars who took the imperial examinations would eat "pen zongzi", which was specially given to them at home, before going to the examination hall. Because it looked long and thin like a brush, the pronunciation of "pen zongzi" is similar to the Chinese word for "pass", which was for good expectation. 
Until now, every year in the early may of the lunar calendar, the Chinese people will soak glutinous rice, wash the leaves and wrap up zongzi. The types of zongzi are more variety.
The shapes of zongzi vary, and range from being approximately tetrahedral in southern China to an elongated cone in northern China. In the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, plastic mock-ups of rectangular zongzi are displayed as an example of the zongzi eaten by Chiang Kai-shek. Wrapping zongzi neatly is a skill that is passed down through families, as are the recipes. Making zongzi is traditionally a family event of which everyone helps out.
While traditional zongzi are wrapped in bamboo leaves, the leaves of lotus, reed, maize, banana, canna, shell ginger and pandan sometimes are used as substitutes in other countries. Each kind of leaf imparts its own unique aroma and flavor to the rice.
The fillings used for zongzi vary from region to region, but the rice used is almost always glutinous rice (also called "sticky rice" or "sweet rice"). Depending on the region, the rice may be lightly precooked by stir-frying or soaked in water before using. In the north, fillings are mostly red bean paste and tapioca or taro. Northern style zongzi tend to be sweet and dessert-like. Southern-style zongzi, however, tend to be more savory or salty. Fillings of Southern-style zongzi include salted duck egg, pork belly, taro, shredded pork or chicken, Chinese sausage, pork fat, and shiitake mushrooms.
Zongzi need to be steamed or boiled for several hours depending on how the rice is prepared prior to being added, along with the fillings. However, as the modes of zongzi styles have traveled and become mixed, today one can find all kinds of zongzi at traditional markets, and their types are not confined to which side of the Yellow River they originated from.
- "Jiaxing zongzi" (嘉兴粽子): It is a kind of zongzi famous in mainland China and named after the city Jiaxing. The filling is typically pork but also can be mung beans, red beans or salted duck eggs.
- Jia zong (假粽): Instead of glutinous rice, balls of glutinous rice flour (so no individual grains of rice are discernible) are used to enclose the fillings of the zongzi. This zongzi are typically smaller than most and are much stickier.
- Jianshui zong (碱水粽): Meaning "alkaline water zong," these are typically eaten as a dessert item rather than as part of the main meal. The glutinous rice is treated with lye water (aqueous sodium hydroxide), or potassium carbonate, giving them their distinctive yellow color. Jianshui zong typically contain either no filling or are filled with a sweet mixture, such as sweet bean paste. Sometimes, a certain redwood sliver ( 蘇木 ) is inserted for color and flavor. They are often eaten with sugar or light syrup.
- Nyonya chang (娘惹粽): A specialty of Peranakan cuisine, this zongzi are made similarly to southern zongzi. However, the filling is typically minced pork with candied winter melon, ground roasted peanuts, and a spice mix.
- Taiwan zongzi (臺灣粽): The northern Taiwanese zongzi (北部粽) are wrapped with husks of Phyllostachys makinoi bamboo (桂竹籜), then steamed; southern Taiwanese zongzi (南部粽) are wrapped with leaves of Bambusa oldhamii (麻竹葉), then boiled.
- Guangdong zong (广东粽): It is the representative of the southern variety of zongzi, which is more common with fresh meat zongzi with chicken, duck, char siu pork, such as the deployment of stuffing dumplings. Guangdong zongzi is small, the front is square, back has a raised sharp Angle, shape like an awl.
- Minnan zong (闽南粽): Xiamen, quanzhou area is very famous for its pork dumplings. Pork zongzi braised pork with pork belly plus mushrooms, shrimp and so on.
- Sichuan zong (四川粽): Sichuan people like to eat spicy food, so they make spicy rice dumplings. They will add sichuan peppercorns, chili powder, sichuan salt and a little preserved pork into the dumplings, wrapped into four-cornered dumplings. Cooked and then roasted, it tastes tender and flavorful.
- Beijing zong (北京粽): They use red dates, bean paste as stuffing, a few also use preserved fruit as stuffing. Cold eating is the local characteristics of zongzi, so also known as cold zongzi, summer if you can put in the refrigerator after the ice to eat, better flavor.
Japanese rice dumplings are different from Chinese ones. Instead of glutinous rice, they use ground rice flour and it looks different.
Vietnam is also the Dragon Boat Festival, and China is also more similar, but the shape of Vietnam's zongzi is round and square two, a bit like the ancient days of round heaven and place, on behalf of the implied meaning of the unity of heaven and earth in the inside
Mexican zongzi, known locally as "damar," is very similar to Chinese zongzi. It is made from coarse corn, served with sliced meat and chili, wrapped in corn or banana leaves, and cooked to taste sweet, spicy and flavorful.
1. Leaves selection: reed leaves zongzi leaves in different regions, with regional disparity varies from place to place, the multi-purpose reed Ye Zhu, or WeiYe, hainan island areas in China also use a lingnan unique plant "Zhong leaf as wrapped in reed leaves, usually triangular shape, cone shape or pyramid shaped. In central China, the leaves of zongzi are mostly quercus leaves, which are rectangular
2. Filling of seasonings: bacon dumplings to the first will be fresh pork with a little MSG, sugar, wine, salt, light soy sauce mix and rub repeatedly until the seasoning into the pork package.
3. The bundle of zongzi: bean paste zongzi should not be tied too tightly, to prevent the rice grains into the bean paste, if not thoroughly cooked will appear sandwich-sheng phenomenon. If the bacon dumplings with fat pork should not tie tight, tight can be appropriate.
4. Zongzi cooking: boiled dumplings must boil water before falling zongzi, water to soak the zongzi noodles, to re-boil after another fire for 3 hours
1. Improve digestion Zongzi generally contain red dates, indigestion often diarrhea or constipation people are good, eat more red dates can improve gastrointestinal function.
2. Supplement nutrition Zongzi generally contain red beans. Red beans are not only rich in protein, and a variety of nutrients.
3. Clear heat and detoxify The leaves used to make zongzi are not only fragrant, but also provide phenols and potassium. And these elements will be in the cooking rice dumplings infiltration, conducive to improve the human body's heat resistance function.
4. Whitening and beautifying The glutinous rice in the rice dumplings, red dates and so on all contain the whitening effect. And dumplings sweet and delicious, so that many people love to eat.
Tips 3 types of people are not suitable for eating more zongzi
1, people suffering from hypertension, high blood lipids and other cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases should not eat more, it is easy to increase blood viscosity, affect blood circulation, increase the burden of the heart.
2, diabetes patients, zongzi often contain high sugar content of jujube, bean paste, if not controlled, will damage the islet function, resulting in the rise of blood sugar and urine sugar.
3, gastrointestinal patients, steamed dumplings will release a gelatinous substances, eating will increase the load of digestive enzymes. Glutinous rice dumplings in the temperature stagnation of gas, with plant fiber is both more and longer, eating more will increase the gastrointestinal burden.
- Cantodict, 粽 (zung2 zung3 | zong4) : glutinous rice dumpling
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