Adzuki Bean Paste Rice Dumpling (Dou Sa Zong)

My late grandmother used to make Zongzi (Glutinous Rice Dumpling) for every Duan Wu Jie (a traditional food for a Chinese festival that falls in around May and June every year. Although we can buy Zongzi almost anywhere in Asia, hers were always the best.

Here is another of her must-haves: Dou Sa Zong - Rice Dumpling with Adzuki Bean paste filling, besides White Glutinous Rice Dumpling.

Ingredients (Outer wrapping):

  • 20 pieces special Zong leaves (dried bamboo leaves, can be obtained from some Chinese supermarkets), soaked over night, drained
  • A bundle of plant-based string (can be obtained from some Chinese supermarkets),soaked over night
  • 400g glutinous rice, soaked over night and drained

Ingredients (Adzuki Paste filling):

  • 300g Adzuki Bean
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil


  1. Boil the adzuki bean till it is soft, mix it with brown sugar and sea salt, and cook the mixture till it is pasty.
  2. Add in the cooking oil and stir well, till the paste is not runny.
  3. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  4. Once cooled down, roll paste into 3-4cm (diameter) balls.
  5. Add the alkaline water to the strained glutinous rice, mix well, till all rice grains turned light yellow.
  6. Take 2 pieces of zong leaves, line one on top of another, fold them from the middle and twist both ends up to form a cone/triangular pouch.
  7. Fill the pouch with 2 tablespoons of glutinous rice, top with a ball of adzuki bean paste, then followed by 2 tablespoons glutinous rice, hold the pouch tight and close the leaves.
  8. Tie it with the string to make sure the dumpling is securely wrapped and no spill. Trim away any jutting out, excessive leaf.
  9. Repeat the steps till all ingredients are used up.
  10. Half fill a large deep pot with water, and bring it to a boil. Put the wrapped dumplings into the water then top up more water to cover all dumplings.
  11. Add a teaspoon of salt into the water and keep boiling it for about 1 to 2 hours.
  12. Drain the cooked dumplings and serve hot.

Versatility Note:

  1. You can adjust the amount of brown sugar used in the adzuki bean paste filling.
  2. To make sure no rice would spill out from the leaf wrapping, check all corners so that they are really tight and pointy
  3. Glutinous rice can be quite heavy for those who have indigestion, so make sure you don't over indulge on that, and balance it with Chinese tea or green tea.