Chinese Sweet Rice Dumpling (湯圓Tang Yuan)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tang yuan is a traditional Chinese dessert which is well loved by all generations. They’re basically glutinous rice balls (either filled or unfilled) that are served in a sweet broth. They’re most popular during the winter solstice (Dongzhi festival) – usually celebrated in December (it was on the 22nd last year), and symbolizes the day in the year where the day is the shortest. Below is the unfiled version of the classic sweet rice dumpling called Tang Yuan (湯圓)

For the dumplings:

■ 2 cups glutinous rice flour

■ 1 tbsp caster sugar

■ 200ml water

■ Food coloring (optional)

1. Mix glutinous rice flour with sugar in a large bowl.

2. Add the water, and slowly knead until it forms a soft paste that does not stick to your hands. (The mixture is very gloopy and sticky at first, but the more you knead it, the less sticky it gets)

3. If you wish to have colourful tang yuans, divide the dough into portions, and add a few drops of food colouring to each portion. Knead the dough until the food colouring is evenly distributed throughout the dough.

4. Shape the dough into 1-2cm balls.

5. Drop the balls into a pot of boiling water. The tang yuan will float to the surface of the water once they are cooked. Once this happens, transfer the tang yuan to the sugar broth.

 For the sweet broth:

■ 4-5 cups water (how much water you use depends on how much broth you want)

■ 2 screwpine (pandan) leaves (tie them into a knot, optional)
■ 1/2 cup rock sugar/brown sugar
■ 4 oz. old ginger (skin peeled and then lightly pounded with the flat side of a cleaver)

1. Boil the water in a pot until it starts to bubble.

2. Add the screwpine leaves and ginger, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, turn the heat down, and simmer for 15-20minutes.

Hope you enjoy it!!!

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