As a young girl, I remember helping my grandmother make chinese jung in the kitchen – one pot of sweet jung and one pot of savoury jung (my favourite!). Traditionally made during Dragon Boat Festival, chinese jung is basically sticky rice with meat and an assortment of lentils, mushrooms, egg yolks and then wrapped inside a bamboo leaf before cooking for an hour or two on the stove.
I’m a purist when it comes to jung, favouring a simple blend of chinese mushroom and pork belly marinated in soy sauce and covered in glutenious rice. At first glance, making jung may seem a bit overwhelming, but these tasty packages are great to keep in the freezer and once you get a rhythm going, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the cooking pot fills up!
2kg bag of glutinous rice
1.5lb of pork belly ** optional
1 package of dried bamboo leaves
optional: mung beans, chinese sausage, salted egg yolks, mushrooms (dried or fresh)
Makes about 15-20
step one (the night before):
Meat – Cut the pork belly into bite size pieces and marinade it in soy sauce.
Mushrooms – If you are using dried mushrooms like I did, make sure to soak these overnight.
Bamboo leaves – To prep the bamboo leaves, soak the leaves in a mixture of 1 tbsp of baking soda and boiling water for one hour. Rinse and soak in fresh water overnight. You will need 3 leaves per jung and a few extra in case it rips.
Holding the base, scoop 1/4 cup of rice in the base followed by the pork belly and mushrooms. Try not to overfill as it will make it hard to wrap later. Scoop another 1/4 cup of rice on the top (you should have rice in the bottom and the top).
Here come’s the tricky part! Pat down the ingredients. Hold everything firmly and wrap a third leaf around the top of the opening to make the cone even bigger. Fold the sides into the middle and then fold down the top (see clockwise). (Don’t squeeze too hard as it may tear the leaves).
While you grasp everything in one hand, use the other to tie the entire package in string – Make sure you wrap it properly and double knot it as you don’t want it to spring open while cooking or have any of the rice leak out.
Put all the jung in a large stock pot and cover it completely with water. Bring to a boil and keep it at medium-low heat for 1 to 1.5 hours. Give it a good stir every once and awhile so that the jung on the bottom make it to the top.
Once cooked, unwrap, and eat! Also try them dipped in soy sauce! (can freeze up to two weeks, but the probably won’t last that long!)