On Friday night I made joong, only I used a ton of fillings like my Dad mentioned he liked eating. I thought the last ones I made were kind of bland – the strip of pork belly in the center was not enough for me.
Wow, what a long night. Like, 6 hours of joong making. Plus all the prepping the night before and morning of. Joong is definitely not something you can do spur of the moment. It’s a Clear-Your-Calendar kind of thing. And this time I was making them by myself and pretty much underestimated how long it would take.
But these were well worth the time spent making them. More fillings = yum.
The soaking. THE SOAKING!
The morning of I put some bamboo leaves in a big honkin plastic space-saver storage container. Don’t worry – I soaped it up and made it all squeaky-clean. The bamboo leaves tend to rise up to the top, so I just placed my bowl full of rice on top of the leaves to weigh them down. The rice is also covered with water to soak.
Peants, whole dried shrimp (these were what my Yeh Yeh had bought for me when I last visited him specifically for making more joong), marinated pork belly, lop chong, split mung beans, dried shiitake slices, and dried scallops.
Here are the some of the fillings I used, just in case you’re curious. (And also for my future reference)
Dried strips of Shiitake mushrooms – these are soaked for the day. I like that they are pre-sliced and not as intensely flavored as other dried mushrooms I’ve tried. Or maybe it’s just that they’re sliced so thinly they aren’t as intense as thick slices/whole mushrooms. Either way, I think I’ll stick with this brand again.
Up top is the storage container with soaked bamboo leaves (leave them in water so they don’t dry out) with an empty pan next to it for finished joong to sit in.
The big purple bowl has soaked sweet rice in it.Then there’s all the soaked stuff, drained and ready to go: whole shrimp, peanuts (yep, I also soaked peanuts. Those things really swell up!), scallops in the pink bowl, mung beans below them, and the shiitakes on the right end.
As I was about to start I realized – d’oh! I’d forgotten the twine, lop chong (sweet Chinese sausages) and marinated pork belly! So I quickly peeled and sliced the lop chong and set out the pork belly. Phew, problem averted!
And here’s one of the finished guys. Pretty unassuming, right? Just cut off the twine and open it up.
All in all, it just looks like a dense-ass triangle of rice, but you can see something peeking out of the right side. Once you open them up, you see all of the fillings. I would have taken a picture, but by then my fingers were sticky and I didn’t really feel like it.
I used “Superior Dark Soy Sauce” from Pearl River Bridge. It was around $3 and is also in a bottle similar to a wine bottle. It’s a little thicker than regular soy sauce and tastes a little better than my usual Kikkoman brand.
I liked these a LOT more than the ones I made last time – all of the different fillings made it much more enjoyable to eat (especially if you’re impartial to rice like I am). My sis is even offering to ferry some down to my dad this week when she goes to visit so that he can try them out and give them a thumbs up or down. This is my vegan sister, who knows that basically any Chinese dish I make has pork in it, so I really appreciate the gesture.
I packed them all up in ziploc bags and now they are sitting cool in my freezer. I’ll pull them out if I need a quickie meal or snack.