December 27, 2012

Meat in the Middle

Every year at Christmas I come out to California to visit with family, and for the last couple years we've spent the day after Christmas making joong.  They're basically the Chinese version of a tamale...rice and meats wrapped up in bamboo leaves, then boiled for a few hours so everything inside cooks.  They're delicious little rice and meat packages.
Here you can see all the components of the joong.  The sweet rice was simply rinsed in water, salted and mixed with garlic oil.  The garlic oil was super easy to make.  We minced about 5 heads of garlic and let it sit in about 1L of vegetable oil.  Grandma made the Chinese bacon and salt eggs, which have been curing for about 2 months.  The only other ingredients not pictured are chestnuts and peanuts.

Once all the ingredients were laid out, we were ready to start wrapping!  It took a little tutorial from my mom's cousin to refresh my memory on how to fold them, and Justin picked up the technique rather quickly.  So we were off and running!
In just a few hours, since there were about 6 of us wrapping, we made about 185 joong. 
Once we divyed them up, we boiled our share for about 5 hours. This allowed all the rice and meats to cook up. The few that split open will be eaten in the next few days, but the rest will go into the freezer for those nights when we're just too lazy to cook.
We have some other ideas for these little packages of deliciousness, but we don't want to spill the beans just yet.

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