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Dong Zhi Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)

>> Dec 22, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi 冬至) everybody.


I got up early this morning to make some tang yuan (湯圓) which is enjoyed by many Chinese families, normally celebrated around 22 December.




Together with Hubby and the little one, we made some. To me they all turned out beautifully, does not matter that they are different or odd sizes but made as a family.


This is a simple recipe, made enough for three of us, please double, triple, quadruple...the recipe to fit your family. 


Tang yuan is glutinous rice balls, some made with fillings, but in this simple recipe, mine are plain small dainty ones in fragrant syrupy soup.




Feel free to add various colours to brighten the dainty glutinous balls.


You can read more about tang yuan and the history here.


100g glutinuous rice flour
4 tsp icing sugar 
2 tbsp boiling water
1/4 tsp pandan flavour


4 pcs pandan (screwpine) leaves
5-6 pcs sliced ginger
1 litre water
5-6 tbsp brown sugar





  1. Add in icing sugar into the glutinous flour. 
  2. Take 1/2 of the glutinous rice flour, add in boiling water little by little till you get a dough...then add in the rest of the flour
  3. Add in some pandan flavour (I like some flavouring) 
  4. Please add in more water little by little or if the dough is too wet, add in more flour...mix till you get a soft and pliable dough
  5. Shape them into small balls between your palms
  6. Prepare a large bowl of boiled water cooled to room temperature 
  7. In another pot, bring water to boil, add in ginger slices, pandan leaves and brown sugar to prepare the syrupy soup. Alternatively, you can use rock sugar
  8. In another pot, bring 2 litres of water to boil, drop the small balls into the water...they'll sink to the bottom
  9. After a few minutes, they'll float, give it another couple of minutes then remove them to the large bowl of room temperature water (fresh cool dip)
  10. After that, remove them and drop them into the syrupy soup. Bring to boil and turn off flame
  11. Dish up and serve

The tang yuan in sweet gingery screwpine fragrant soup is our favourite.



Chinese believes that as we celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival, we are 1 year older...so 1 year older 1 year wiser yah! :-)

Happy Dong Zhi!


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