Chinese rice dumplings are made with different types of grains: glutinous rice, red rice, barley, and millet and filled with sweet red bean paste. This multigrain zongzi was another one of my attempts to make zongzi not only using glutinous rice but also incorporating different grains. I wasn’t sure how they would turn out but they turn out really well.
You can pretty much use any kind of grains you want. Here are some other examples: Red Quinoa, Yellow Quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, sorghum, farro, etc.
No matter what combination of grains you use, you want to keep the amount of glutinous rice at least 50% of the total weight, no less than that. In this recipe, the total weight of all the grains combined is 500 grams. I use 300 grams of glutinous rice (60% of 500 grams). Then the rest of the 200 grams you can alter the amount with different types of grains. I found this ratio to produce the best result. The zongzi doesn’t fall apart. If you use too little glutinous rice in the formula, the zongzi can easily fall apart. So keep that in mind when you play around with the quantity of the grains.
Whether you are using a pressure cooker or boiling on the stove, soak all the grains for at least 4 hours I usually don’t soak glutinous rice if I use a pressure cooker, but because we are using different types of grains and they cook at different times, soaking them is better.
Whether it’s multigrain or regular zongzi using glutinous rice only, the wrapping part is all the same. You can refer to these step-by-step photos here on how to wrap zongzi. You can also refer to the video pop-up to learn how to wrap zongzi using bamboo leaves.
You may also like this glutinous rice and millet zongzi
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Servings 12 zongzi
Whether you are using a pressure cooker or boiling on the stove, soak millet and glutinous rice together for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain off the water after that. Combine and mix all the grains together evenly
Soak the bamboo leaves in water and then discard the water and wipe the leaves dry with clean cloth the next day when you are ready to use them
Portion out the filling. Oil your palm and roll into a ball for easier wrapping. I use about 50 grams of filling per dumpling
Get the grains and the filling. You will need about 2 leaves, stacking on top of each other. If you have ragged leaves, you can use another leaf to cover by overlapping them so there won't be any leakage. Make sure the smooth side of the leaves is facing you
Fold into a cone shape. Fill it up with about 2 Tbsp of grains and use the back of the spoon to pack it in and slightly create an indentation in the middle for the filling . Then add the filling. Top again with more grains, filling up almost 3/4 of the cone. Make sure you really pack it down so the dumpling will be nice and tight later
Fold one side down. Fold the opposite site down. Most people don't fold the two sides and go straight to folding the top part down (as shown in the next step). But I feel like this helps me to wrap "neater" and shows the triangle shape better
Fold the top part down. Fold in both sides. You'll have this extra piece on top now. Simply fold it down to either one of the side
Tie with a string. Repeat with the rest of the filling and grains
Fill up the inner pot halfway with water. Press saute and bring water to a boil. Place the zongzi in the inner pot of instant pot. I can cook 12-14 dumplings in my 6-quart instant pot. Top up with more water to make sure it covers the zongzi if necessary
Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press "pressure cooker" and make sure it's on "high pressure". Set the timer to 50 minutes. Release pressure immediately after that
Carefully open the lid and use a tong to gently remove the zongzi from the pot to a cooling rack. Let the water drips down. The zongzi will still be soft to touch. I recommend waiting 24 hours before eating them
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the zongzi in a large pot. Bring it back to a boil and then cover and lower the heat to let it gently boil for the next 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If your zongzi is large in size you may need 3 hours or so. At the end of cooking time, you can take one out to see if it's cooked through. If the rice doesn't stick to the leaves and doesn't fall apart and the grains hold together nicely. It's done. If they fall apart, you need to boil them longer
Carefully use a tong to gently remove the zongzi from the pot to a cooling rack to let it cool down for 24 hours before eating them. They will still be soft to touch, but will firm up once they are cooled down completely
If you have leftovers, you can freeze the zongzi in the freezer and it's good for 6 months. When ready to eat them, you don't thaw them. They can go straight from the freezer to the steamer with boiling water and steam for about 10 minutes on high heat or until heated through or you can reheat them in a microwave on high on 1 minute increment until heated through
I suggest to have extra too in case some leaves are torn and you need an extra leaf to cover