Boiled Tang-Yuan/Sweet Dumplings
Celebrate the End of Chinese New Year
The Lantern Festival began around 25 – 220 AD during the Han Dynasty. Being a believer in Buddhism, Emperor Hanmingdi heard about some Chinese monks lighting lanterns to show respect to Buddha on the fifteenth day during the first lunar month. He liked the idea and ordered all the people in the land to light lanterns that evening every year. Once the lanterns are lit, they are released into the air to symbolize letting go of the past. This time also declares all Chinese New Year taboos to end until the next New Year.
Need an idea for preparing a yummy meal to serve for the Lantern Festival? Look no further, Tang-Yuan is a perfect addition to any meal and even better, it symbolizes reunion and harmony.
Tang Yuan, Sweet Dumplings or Glutinous Sweet Rice Balls
Level of Difficulty –
Total Time Prep – 45 minutes – 1 hour
Serving Size/Amount –
Makes approximately 20 – 30 balls depending on size
1 ½ cups glutinous rice flour, plus more to dust
2 tablespoons regular rice flour or tapioca starch
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons red bean paste which can be purchased at most Asian markets, sesame, peanuts, and/or other sweet fillings
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil or lard
Grind the sesame seeds or peanuts to a fine consistency. Melt the lard or oil in a small saucepan. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, ground nuts, paste, and or other sweet fillings and lard. Place bowl in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.
Mix the flours together and add water a bit at a time to make a soft, non-sticky dough. Divide the dough in half. On a flour-dusted surface, roll each half into a cylinder 1 ½ inches thick. Cut the dough into segments approximately 1 inch thick. If a sharp knife just isn’t “cutting it,” use plain dental floss.
Making the dumplings:
Take one piece of the dough and push down in the middle with your thumb to flatten the middle without making a hole. Place the filling into the middle and pull the side of the dough up and around the filling creating a ball. Gently roll the dough into a ball and put aside on a plate or tray sprinkled with the flour. If a dough ball does not easily form, add a teaspoon of water at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Cooking the dumplings:
Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Carefully add the dumplings and stir to prevent the dumplings from sticking to the sides and bottom of the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure the water isn’t boiling too rapidly otherwise the skin will tear. When the skins are almost translucent, remove the dumplings and the water into a bowl and enjoy!
- Chinahighlights.com – https://www.chinahighlights.com/festivals/lantern-festival.htm
- telegraph.co/uk – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/02/21/what-and-when-is-the-lantern-festival-what-you-need-to-know-abou/
- Seriouseats – http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/05/glutinous-rice-balls-tang-yuan.html
- KCET.org – https://www.kcet.org/food/recipe-tang-yuan-glutinous-sweet-rice-balls