Introduction: Cute Shaped Tang Yuan - Plain Glutinous Rice Balls in Ginger Syrup.
Tang Yuan (汤圆), Glutinous Rice Balls which literally "round dumpling in sweet soup". It is a popular dessert during the Winter Solstice celebration (团圆)! Making and eating Tang Yuan together is a long-time tradition for Chinese families and communities to commemorate Dongzhi (冬至), or the arrival of winter.
The balls are plain or stuffed (with black sesame paste, red bean paste, peanut paste and others). The stuffed balls are always served in syrup flavored with ginger. The plain ones can be enjoyed in sweet soup (such as ginger, red bean, or black sesame) or savory soup.
Step 1: Ingredients.
200g glutinous rice flour
Food coloring (optional)
5 - 6 pandan leaves (tied in a knot)
1 thumb size ginger (cut to thin slices)
150g rock sugar
Step 2: Prepared Glutinous Rice Flour.
Add flour into a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: (a): Knead Plain Dough.
The amount of flour & water is very adaptable. Add water gradually and knead the dough until soft, smooth and easily kneadable.
If the dough are:
Too wet: sticky to the fingers (Add a bit more flour).
Too dry: crumbling (Add a bit more water).
Step 4: (b)Natural Food Coloring.
Repeat above step by adding fruit or vegetable juice.
Step 5: Resting.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Step 6: *Optional - Divided the Plain Dough for Few Portions(food Coloring).
Divide the dough (depending on the number of different colours you intend to make).
Add food colouring. One drop at a time to each portion. Knead until the colour is distributed evenly.
I skip this step because I am using natural food coloring in STEP 2.
Step 7: (a): Shaped.
Dip your fingers in water before shaping them if feels the dough dry.
Shape the dough to balls or any others cute forms. (i.e. Panda, cat paw, alphabet, dice, flower etc).
Step 8: (b): the Uncooked Tang Yuan.
The uncooked tang yuan in various shapes and colours.
Step 9: (a): Boiling Water.
Bring a pot of water (which enough to submerge them completely) to boil.
Add the tang yuan into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface.
Step 10: (b): Transfer Dumplings to Cool Down.
Transfer tang yuan immediately to a bowl of (room temperature) water to cool down.
This prevents them from sticking to one another or discolour the soup.
Step 11: Syrup Preparation.
Add pandan leaves, gingers and sugar for sweet soup in a pot. Reduce heat to a simmer until the sugar is fully melted.
Step 12: To Serve.
Add cooked dumplings to a serving bowl and ladle the sweet soup over.
Step 13: TIPS:
Natural dyes from fruits and vegetables can be used to create a rainbow of dumplings.
Orange = 2 tablespoon carrot juice
Green = 2 tablespoon spinach juice
Blue = 3 tablespoons blueberry juice
Purple = 2 tablespoons black berry juice + 1 teaspoon beet juice
Brown = 4 teaspoon coca powder