Prep 1 hr
Cook 4 hrs
A traditional Chinese food
- 5 cups glutinous rice
- 1⁄2 lb dried mung beans
- 20 dried chestnuts
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 10 dried black mushrooms, soaked with stems removed and caps sliced
- 20 bamboo leaves
- 1⁄2 lb pork belly, sliced
- Pour enough warm water over the glutinous rice, mung beans and chestnuts in separate bowls to cover them completely. Soak overnight. Drain the three ingredients and combine them in one large bowl. Add the salt and five-spice and stir to coat.
- Pour enough warm water over the mushrooms in a large bowl to cover them completely. Let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain. Discard the stems and slice the caps thinly.
- Pour enough water over the bamboo leaves in a large pot to cover them completely. Bring to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat, let cool slightly and drain. Pat the leaves dry and set them aside.
- Make the tamales: Place two bamboo leaves, over lapping each other halfway on the work surface. Place a 1/3-cup of the rice mixture in the center. Top with a slice of pork and 3 to 4 slices of mushroom. Cover with about 2 tablespoons of the rice and mung bean mixture. Fold the leaves over the stuffing to enclose it completely, then tie package closed with kitchen string.
- Place tamales in a large pot, pour in enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water is simmering and cook until the tamale filling feels tender when you squeeze it gently, 4 to 5 hours. Replenish the water in the pot as necessary to keep the tamales covered during cooking. Drain and serve warm.