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May 22, 2009 07:46 AM

Joong/Zongzi - East Bay?

It's almost that time of year again, has anyone seen or tried any joong/zongzi or jianshui zong (alkali water)?

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  1. looks like 99 Ranch has them for $8.88 in a 5pk

    8 Replies
    1. re: kc72

      They were pretty small, frozen and Taiwanese type.. so I got a 3 pack of the Cantonese joong for $6.60

      1. re: kc72

        What was in them? My mom has just started making salted duck yolks, so I have to wait awhile.

        1. re: sfbing

          Haven't had a chance to try them yet.

          Any chance your mom can take a custom order from me? ;) Or know of anyone/any place that will make them to order?

          1. re: kc72

            Sadly, they are very popular in my family so there aren't enough for me to start a side business. Plus, you might hate them (short grain sticky rice, lean salt pork, Chinese sausage, salted duck yolk, dried shrimp, lots of peanuts). Everyone has their own recipe. Had a Laotian one recently with just some mung beans and a really dry piece of pork.

            What do you want in yours? I'll let you know if I find anything. The problem with most places is they skimp on the nonrice stuff.

            1. re: sfbing

              My grandmother used to make them pretty much the same way but w/ a long slice of bbq pork, mushrooms and mung beans(?) also. The ones she customized for my siblings and I didn't include salted egg or dried shrimp.

              I'll let you know how the ones from 99 Ranch are, they also had Taiwanese and Shanghainese versions.

              1. re: kc72

                The ones from 99 Ranch were ok -- good size, mung beans, Chinese sausage, bbq pork and a piece of fatty, salted pork. No mushrooms, salted egg or dried shrimp.

              2. re: sfbing

                Our family does makes custom orders. Every one has there own favorites. Not among my favorites are dried oyster and smoked salmon for the one non-meat eater. We take turns making them for the family. Share the work load.

                Short grain sticky rice, fatty pork belly, piece of overnight roast pig, chestnut, dried shrimp, dried scallop, salted duck egg yolks, mung beans. shitake mushroom, and Chinese sausage.

                These are the normal ingredients. But tonight I got a bonus, a piece of preserved duck breast meat.

                Before someone how can someone stuff that much goodies in a joong we use molds to hold the leaves.

                One or two at the most a year is enough meet my needs. A little goes a long way.

            2. re: sfbing

              You have a long wait. Depend on the method your mom used it maybe a couple more weeks at least.

              My cousin started the process over 60 days ago. In fact I to picked our today and will have them for dinner is a few minutes.

        2. My Chinese landlady called me once to see if I was at home. She wanted to bring me some tomalley?! She was saying tamale.

          I had never had one before. It was a mysterious new treat and I loved it so much I ate a second one right after the first. She used smoked pork [actually the only smoked meat I like] and no peanuts. Last year a friend gave me some of his mom's: peanuts, okay, sausage good.

          I haven't bought any in a store because of the varieties/language barrier. but to me it is an international soul food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: himbeer

            Pork and zero peanuts (or mung beans) sound like Shanghainese zhongzi -- my favorite that my mom used to make, with pork belly and soy sauce. Can't find them anywhere. I might've asked before...(and apologies in advance for jumping into this post), does anyone have tips on where to find these? I also like the sweet version with red bean & sugar. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

            1. re: wontonsoup

              They had Shanghai and Taiwanese versions at 99 Ranch. Haven't been able to find the alkali water (sweet) version yet

          2. Don't make the trip from the East Bay for the ones at Yong Kee on Jackson. Lots and lots of mung beans and a small strip of pork. Oddly savory rice considering it had practically nothing in it.

            The buns and rice noodles at Yong Kee are still good. They are also selling rice flour frisbees (god, can't remember the name) which are really, really good. Soft and mildly sweet with good flavor. Better than the baak tong guo (white sugar rice cake), which were decent.

            1. Saw some at Delicious Foods in Oakland Chinatown today, but don't know if they're any good. There seemed to be a couple different kinds.

              1. You can buy fresh at Gum Wah in Oakland Ctown. They have peanut and mung bean varieties both with some of that tasty meat in which GW specializes. The hom don are nothing special.

                They used to sell "rice stuff" as my sister and I used to call it, at Orient Market. Here the meat not as good, but the hom don are large, salty and pleasantly grainy.

                5 Replies
                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                  Thanks CTG - do you remember how much at Gum Wah? I know they have them next door at Delicious Foods but I wasn't a fan the one time I tried them a long time ago

                  1. re: kc72

                    I think they're $2-3 and very meaty. Gum Wah specializes in bbq, so they have lots of high quality meat scraps. Not as good as by grandmother's, but a very acceptable substitute. They freeze well too. They are usually stacked on the back counter.

                    1. re: chocolatetartguy

                      Yeah, buy my bbq meats from Gum Wah pretty frequently and ate a lot of won ton mein there while growing up.

                      Thanks for the tip, I'll check w/ them next week when I'm down there and nobody can make them like Grandmas used to make them

                      1. re: kc72

                        Went to Ctown after the flea market Sunday and Orient Market no longer has fresh joong. They do have a packaged, frozen version made by some dumpling company. I'd go for Gum Wah under the circumstances.

                        1. re: chocolatetartguy

                          Finally had the chance to try Gum Wah (they were sold out 2 other times) and my experience wasn't the same as yours. The one I had had 2 small pieces of meat, a small salted egg yolk and the rice was salty and sorta dense after reboiling. Maybe I got the bad one in the batch.

                          The fresh ones at 99 Ranch remind me more of my late Grandma's version, if only they had a few more of the ingredients she put in