Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tang Yuan and Happy Dong Zhi

Today is Winter Solstice (冬至) celebration for Chinese. It's the time where Chinese family will prepare tang (soup) yuan (round), which implies reunion and also full satisfaction. It's one of the most important celebration in Chinese culture.

The main ingredient to make traditional tang yuan is the glutinous rice flour. Mix the flour with water then stir it with hand until the flour become enough glutinous and sticky. (How glutinous should it be? Well, I think this question is for my mum, honestly I don't have idea! )

[Glutinous rice flour - main ingredient]

[Stir rice flour with water]

Then, you can choose not or add in some white sugar into the glutinous mixture. However, my mother choose to use some sweet potatoes to get its natural sweet flavor. Mix them well.

[Add some sweet potatoes into the flour mixture]

[Properly mixed ingredients to make tang yuan]

After the ingredients are properly mixed, it is time to roll the mixture between your palms to make it into round/ball shape.

[Rounded glutinous balls ready to be cooked]

The glutinous balls will then put into the boiled water to cook. This boiled water will then become the soup of tang yuan. Therefore, you can add in some pandan leaves or ginger or both when boiling the water to add more aroma to the soup. Floating glutinous balls indicate they are properly cooked and ready to be eaten.

[Cook glutinous balls in boiling water with pandan leave]

There are two method to serve traditional tang yuan. First, is the most traditional and original way which is tang yuan in soup. This is why it's called "Tang Yuan", where tang means soup and yuan means round - rounds in the soup.

[Tang Yuan]

2nd method will be cover the cooked glutinous balls with grind peanut mixed with sugar. Serving tang yuan in this way is more tasty and delicious in my personal opinion.

[Mixture of grind peanut and sugar]

[Tang yuan covered with peanuts and it is delicious! ]

Wish everyone, especially Chinese Happy Dong Zhi and enjoy your tang yuan with family!


  1. The Tang Yuan that my family eat is a bit different from these two traditional types. We make the tang yuan like bun, which has meat, eggs, 冬菜(winter vege?)as its filling. Unfortunately I forgot to take photo for them :(

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