Sweet Zong zi (Makes about 30 Zong zi)
12 oz red beans, washed （红豆）
0.5 cup brown sugar （红糖）
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil （植物油）
1 cup Chinese red dates （红枣）
0.5 cup raw peanuts （花生仁）
60 large bamboo leaves （竹叶）
5 pounds of glutinous (sticky) rice （糯米）
2 teaspoons of potassium carbonate (碳酸钾)
In three separate containers, soak the red beans, the red dates and bamboo leaves in cold water overnight.
Boil the beans for about 1 hour or until tender. Let the beans cool for about 30 minutes before blending to the consistency of re-fried beans. Blend in the brown sugar. Fry the red bean paste in 2 tablespoons of oil for about 10 minutes.
Boil the bamboo leaves for about an hour. Rinse the leaves under cold water and brush them thoroughly. Lay them out and cover with a damp cloth.
Drain the rice and add the potassium carbonate. This changes the color and consistency of the rice during the cooking process.
A single Zong zi consists of dollop of rice, a dollop of red beans, a few dates, a few peanuts topped with another dollop of rice, all wrapped in the bamboo leaves. You need to create an envelope with the bamboo leaves, add a layer of rice, then add the filling, then top with another layer of rice. Finally, seal the envelope and tie it with string. It is not possible it describe or illustrate it adequately. The best thing may be to watch a video and try some experiments of your own.
Boil the Zong zi for 4 hours, adding additional water as needed.