How do you cook frozen Zongzi?

Zongzi, a traditional Chinese dish enjoyed during the Dragon Boat Festival, has become popular around the world. This delicious sticky rice dumpling is typically filled with various meats, vegetables, and sometimes sweet bean paste. While fresh zongzi can be easily found in many Asian supermarkets or homemade, frozen ones are also available.

If you’re wondering how to cook frozen zongzi correctly, don’t worry; it’s an easy process that anyone can do! In this article, we will guide you through thawing and preparing them for cooking as well as different methods of cooking frozen zongzi.

Preparing Frozen Zongzi for Cooking

Before cooking frozen zongzi, there are some important steps that shouldn’t be skipped:

Thawing Options

One way to thaw your frozen zongzi is by leaving them at room temperature for several hours until soft. However, this method may take too long if you need to cook quickly. Another way to thaw them is by letting them soak in warm water for up to 30 minutes or until they’re defrosted and softened enough to be cooked.

Soak Time

When soaking the defrosted Zongzi in warm water before cooking, it’s best not to rush this process for the best results. Usually, soaking time is between 15-20 minutes – depending on size – but some require longer times or overnight processes.

Importance of Soaking

Soaking the frozen zongzi is crucial since it helps improve their texture and flavour when they’re cooked later on. Moreover, soaking also enhances the softness of the sticky rice inside while giving it a tender presence of additional flavours from added meat and vegetable fillings.

Cooking Methods for Frozen Zongzi

When cooking frozen zongzi using either boiling or steaming method offer two ways that can bring delicious taste options:

Steaming Method

Steaming frozen zongzi is one of the most common ways to cook them. Here’s how:

  • Place a colander-based steamer basket or bamboo steamer in a pot filled with enough water.
  • Depending on the size of the zongzi, steam for 40-60 minutes on medium or high heat.
  • Fill the pot with enough water to only about halfway up the zongzi – too much water will make it soggy while too little will dry out the rice.
  • After cooking, check if they’re done by pressing on them gently; you’ll feel a firmness rather than mushiness.

You can also add flavourings like soy sauce, oyster sauce, or hoisin sauce into the water when steaming for extra taste.

Boiling Method

Another method of cooking frozen zongzi is boiling them as follows:

  • Fill a large pot with enough water so that there’s room for boiling and floating Zongzi.
  • Once boiled, lower heat to medium-high Temp and wait for 25–35 minutes – depending on size and quantity – before turning off heat.
  • Use mitts to remove Zongzi from boiling liquid once cooked.

Again, adding flavourings while boiling -such as chicken broth+seaweed +scallions or pork broth + bamboo shoots + Shitake mushrooms – add an intense mix by bring an additional dimension of flavor.

Tips for Successful Results When Cooking Frozen Zongzis

Here are some tips that can guarantee successful results when cooking frozen zongzis:

  1. Try not to cook too many at once; it can affect their quality even more so than fresh homemade ones! This may extend its cooking time beyond expectations, leading to either lackluster texture or even unevenly-cooked stuffing within each.
  2. If you want more flavors related to your cooking, try mixing meats, mushrooms or Ginko nuts in the filling. It transforms your traditional recipe into elaborate cuisine with extra mix-ins.


In conclusion, it’s essential to learn how to cook frozen zongzi if you want to enjoy them anytime conveniently. Remember not to cook too many at once and experiment with mixing flavors like different meats/vegetables within their fillings. By following our guide on how to prepare and cook these delicious sticky rice dumplings, now you can savor their rich flavor!


  1. Q. Can I cook frozen Zongzi without thawing them first? A. Yes, you can cook frozen Zongzi without thawing them first. Just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time on the stove or steamer.
  2. Q. How do I know when my frozen Zongzi are fully cooked? A. The best way to know when your frozen Zongzi are fully cooked is by checking the texture of the rice and filling inside. Poke them with a fork or toothpick, if it goes through smoothly, they are done!
  3. Q. What is the recommended cooking time for frozen Zongzi? A. The recommended cooking time for frozen Zongzi depends on how you’re cooking them, but usually ranges from 30-45 minutes on stovetop and 60-90 minutes in a steamer.
  4. Q. Can I cook my frozen Zongzi in a microwave? A. It is not recommended to cook your frozen Zogzi in a microwave as it can cause uneven heating and affect the texture of the rice and filling inside – stick to traditional stove or steam methods for best results!

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