Serious Eats: Recipes
Timeline for Joong Assembly
- 4 weeks prior: brine duck eggs (step 1)
- 4 days prior: cure pork belly (step 2)
- 1 day prior: prep joong leaves (step 3)
- Day of: final cleaning of leaves, prep ingredients, assemble, cook, EAT!
Towards the end, you may have more filling than necessary for the 15 joong. What I usually do is make a special joong by placing all the stragglers into one super-sized joong for myself. Cook's treat!
Joong: Boiling the leaves in step four is a very important. It will remove the impurities on the leaves that can cause the joong to spoil during storage.
Salted eggs: Packaged, cooked salted duck egg yolks can be used instead. The cooked duck egg yolk will not have a creamy, rich consistency in the finished joong. Rather, it will have a crumbly, sandy texture.
Chinese sausage: My favorite brand is Golden Mountain, imported from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I like their lap cheong's strong sweet-savory flavor and juicy fat-to-meat ratio.
Dried shrimp: Purchase the baby shrimp that are the size of a split green pea. Make sure to smell before buying; they should have a pleasantly fishy, briny aroma. If there is an off odor or no smell at all, do not buy it. Also, do not buy ones that are extremely bright orange; this means they were most likely treated with food dye and aren't good quality.
Dried scallops: Dried scallops are an expensive ingredient, but for joong there's no need to purchase the top quality. Purchase a middle grade; never buy the lowest grade of any dried preserved ingredient because it's a waste of money. Smell your dried scallops before purchasing and check for the savory, almost meaty smell. Remember, no smell, no taste. Make sure you buy whole scallops and not ones that are broken or have dried edges.
Glutinous RiceI prefer Koda Farms Sho-Chiku-Bai Premium Sweet Rice because the rice cooks up firmer than other brands.
You can find these items in the large Asian supermarkets in most major cities or online. In New York, my go-to place is Po Wing Hong in Manhattan's Chinatown because they have a good inventory of quality products at a reasonable price and a staffed dried preserved food section. A plus is that all the non-perishable ingredients are listed above so it offers one stop shopping. The packaged, cooked salted duck egg yolks are available at Po Wing Hong as well.
Po Wing Hong Food Market Inc.
49 Elizabeth Street, New York NY 10013 (map)