This is the recipe for Husk restaurant’s Charleston Light Dragoon Punch 1792 by chef Sean Brock in Charleston, SC. Interesting history is that back in the Civil War, soldiers in the Charleston Light Dragoons unit were sometimes paid in alcohol.
This is how to make Taiwanese style zhongzi. This is my grandma’s recipe. Follow these instructions exactly and they’ll taste amazing.
Makes 30 zhongzi
Prep time: 37 hours
Cook time: 1.5 hours
60 bamboo leaves
5 lbs superior short grain rice (glutinous rice)
2 cups of small dried shrimp
2 lbs pork belly
1 lbs lean pork shoulder
18 Japanese flower mushrooms
High quality soy sauce
High quality thick soy sauce
String – 3 bundles with 12 strings per “loop”
One 1″ thick stick – at least 3 feet long
Active time: 4-5 hours
(Day 1) Soak the bamboo leaves for 24 hours in the sink.
Create 3 loops of string with 12 ends per loop. Each end should be about 1 foot long and is for 1 zhongzi. The loops go on the stick.
(Day 2 – First 4 hours) After 24 hours, scrub each leaf’s side in the sink with one stroke using a sponge and soapy water. After washing, rinse the leaves and transfer to a large pan or pot.
Dip each leaf into boiling water for only a few seconds to soften them up. Do not dip too long otherwise the flavor leeches out. Two are needed per zhongzi. Lay them flat and put something heavy and flat on the whole pile, like a cutting board, or else they’ll curl.
Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of water and 1 tablespoon of Japanese cooking wine for 2 hours
Soak the dried shrimp in a bowl of water and 1 tablespoon of Japanese cooking wine for 2 hours
Peel the shallots and wash them quickly. Mince them into 1 cm x 1 cm pieces. Spread them out and let them air dry for an hour.
Rinse the pork belly and pork shoulder then pat them dry. Cut the chunks into pieces about the size of a baby carrot as shown in the pictures. Put these chunks into a mixing bowl.
Note: First cut against the muscle fiber direction when making the larger cut. Then when cutting the pieces into smaller pieces, cut with the muscle fiber direction as shown in the picture.
Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and massage them into the pork well. Set aside.
Test the readiness of the mushrooms by squeezing them. They’re ready when they’re the consistency of a sponge.
Remove the mushroom stem then cut the stem in half. Set the cap halves aside.
Drain the shrimp and set aside.
Store all prepared ingredients for the cooking steps.
Note: Day 3 steps can be done during Day 2 if you’re motivated enough. If so, start soaking the rice when you start soaking everything else.
Time: 9 hours
(Day 3) Soak the superior short grain rice (glutinous rice) for 5 hours.
After soaking is done, rinse the rice until the water is clear. Drain the rice and add in 2 tablespoons of salt and mix it in.
Fry the shallots on medium heat until they’re brown and start searing. Stir the entire time.
Add the dried shrimp. Fry for 3 minutes while stirring the entire time.
Add the mushroom caps and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Fry for 3 minutes while stirring the entire time.
Remove the entire mixture to a separate container. The pan doesn’t have to be perfectly clean.
Increase the heat to high then add in the pork chunks. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring the entire time.
Once the pork is mostly cooked, add in the other cooked ingredients and reduce heat to 3/4 heat. Add 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of thick soy sauce. Keep stirring and cooking for 3 minutes until everything is well mixed together.
Cover and reduce heat to low. Let sit for 7 minutes then remove from heat.
Zhongzi making steps:
Time: 2.5 hours
As stated before, you’ll need 2 leaves per zhongzi. The top (sun) side of the leaf is the rice-facing side. Snip the leaf ends. Follow the pictures to see how to line them up. Proper alignment is crucial for making them well.
Add the string loops onto the stick. Place the stick about head height. Sit on a low stool. Put the ingredients on some books or something. Keep your hands dry or at least free from oil. Use chopsticks and a spoon to add stuff.
Create the leaf pocket by folding it like the picture.
Add one spoonful of rice and create a divot.
Add a mushroom half-cap.
Add a pork belly piece.
Add a pork shoulder piece.
Add about 2 teaspoons worth of shrimp/shallot mix.
Top off those with rice. Fold the leaf over the top.
When folding, the packing must be kind of tight or else everything will fall out. It should feel like mochi in terms of tightness.
The leaf over extension part should equal the zhongzi length.
Make sure to keep your pinky near the fold when using your palm to fold the leave over as a cap. Fold the end of the leaf to the right then tie it up using the string that looped on the stick.
When tying the zhongzi, grandma recommends an actual knot instead of a quick-release knot. Loop it over twice (open your thumb on the first loop around) and tie it around tight. Make sure to tie over the folded leaf.
Second cooking steps:
Time: 1.5 hours
Boil a large pot of water.
Remove the bundles from the stick.
Add all the bundles into the single pot. Grandma recommends this so that the flavor stays in one pot.
About 45 minutes in, rotate the bundles so that the top one switches with the bottom one.
After 1.5 hours. Remove all bundles and add the loops back onto the stick. Make sure that there’s newspaper or something underneath the bundles since they’ll drip.
WARNING: Your whole house will smell awesome and irresistible. Also, you may experience a minor heart attack from eating this. Both things are totally worth it.
1 pound of bacon
1 large potato
Salt, pepper, herbs, paprika, etc.
1/2 stick butter
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slice a potato straight across a lot, but not all the way through. You’ll be able to fold it open a little. Then start shoving bacon, garlic, and slices of butter in the slits. All of it. No, it’s not excessive you pansy. Keep shoving.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and seasonings on. Don’t be shy.
Drizzle olive oil on that bundle of joy then put it into the oven for 45-60 minutes. Prepare for the agony that is your house smelling awesome, but can’t eat this yet. It’ll come out of the oven looking like this:
Awww yaaaaa. Now add the cheese on top while it’s still hot. Watch the glorious cheddar melt on this bad boy.
Once the cheese has melted, grab any other ingredients and a beer and go to town. You should probably also go to the gym after eating this.
2 cups (10 ounces) tapioca flour or sour cassava flour
1 – 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan, and whisking occasionally, bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.
Add all of the tapioca flour to the saucepan and stir until you see no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can do the next few steps by hand. Be prepared for a work-out.) Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds.
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
With the mixer on medium, beat in the cheese until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency between cake batter and cooke dough.
Using an ice cream scoop, a tablespoon measure, or a dinner spoon, scoop rounded portions of the dough into mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Space the mounds an inch or two apart. Dip your scoop in water to prevent sticking.
Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are just starting to color. Cool briefly and eat. Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.