Watching a dragon dance is fun but cooking is even better!
Tang Yuan (汤圆) are round dumplings. The dough is made of glutinous rice flour and water, the filling usually consists of ground nut, sugar and butter/ lard. It’s pure yumminess to eat freshly cooked Tang Yuan. Absolutely delicious!
Prepare the filling
- Toast black sesame seeds in a pan over low heat
- In a food processor, grind cooled black sesame and sugar until they turn into a paste texture.
- Add butter (or lard if you are not vegetarian). Mix to combine then keep refrigerated until the mixture is firm enough to form balls.
- Divide into small portions. Shape each piece into a ball. Put them back in the fridge while preparing the dough.
Make the dough
- In a mixing bowl, pour a little hot water into glutinous rice flour while stirring with a spatula.
- Add room temperature water little by little. If you like food colours.
- Knead with your hand until a smooth, soft dough forms.
- Divide and roll into 20 balls.
Make Tang Yuan
Flatten a piece of dough into a round wrapper with your fingers.
- Place a ball of filling in the middle. Gently push the wrapper upwards to seal completely. So there should be no holes.
Cook Tang Yuan
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently slide in some Tang Yuan
- Push them around so they don’t get stuck on the pot.
- When all the balls start to float on the surface, cook for a further minute.
- Dish out (along with some cooking water if you like) and serve warm.
Freeze Tang Yuan
- Freeze Tang Yuan right after they are assembled.
- Firstly you need to lay them on a tray lined with baking paper to freeze. Then put them in an air-tight bag when totally frozen.
- Follow the same cooking procedure (do not defrost).
Another Chinese New Year activity I did was make some Ox cupcakes! I made a normal cupcake recipe, let them cool down, got some icing and decorated them to look like Ox!