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Friday, March 1, 2013

Glutinous rice balls/Tang Yuan/Red Bean Dumplings - A Chinese Dessert Recipe

Glutinous rice balls/Tang Yuan is a Chinese dessert which is served on any auspicious family celebrations.  These round and sticky balls can be unfilled or filled with sweet fillings like red bean, sesame, peanut etc.

These balls are similar to our pal kozhukattai but made with sticky rice flour and then dropped into the ginger syrup.  I prepared these red bean dumplings for this Chinese New Year. You can use home-made red bean or store bought red bean paste. I used home-made red bean paste, recipe coming soon….
Recipe adapted from here.

  • Glutinous rice flour/Sticky rice flour – 1 cup
  • Red bean paste – ¾ cup (home-made or store bought)
  • Water to knead – about 100ml
  • Water for boiling the dumplings

For Ginger Syrup

  • Water – 3 cups
  • Fresh Ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Rock Sugar – ½ cup
  • Pandan leaf/Screwpine leaf – 1 optional (tie into a knot)


Take glutinous rice flour in a bowl, add water little by little and knead into soft dough, no longer sticks to your hand.

Make equal sized balls out of the dough. Divide red bean paste into equal number of rice flour balls and shape them into balls.

Flatten a sticky rice ball into a disc using your palm and place a red bean ball in the centre. Fold the edges and seal it tightly.  Roll it again with your palms to form a ball, place it in a greased plate or parchment paper.

For ginger syrup, add 3 cups of water in a bowl bring it to boil. Slightly pound the ginger with the back of a cleaver and add it to the boiling water and boil it for 10-15minutes on medium heat. Add pandan leaves if using. Add rock sugar and boil for another 5 minutes and reduce the heat to simmer.

Take another bowl; add enough water to boil the rice balls.  Bring it to boil drop the dumplings into boiling water.  As soon as they float on top transfer the balls immediately to cold water.(Keep another bowl of cold water ready. This avoids balls sticking together.)

Once the balls are cooled down take out the balls from cold water and transfer the balls into ginger syrup, turn off heat. Serve the red bean dumplings immediately.


Some people add food colour to the rice dough and make colourful balls. As per my knowledge white, green and pink colours are used. If you want to make colourful balls divide the rice dough into 3, add green into one portion, pink into another portion keep one portion white and follow the other steps.


Julie said...

Thanx Jeya for sending across such a beautiful recipe,looks very tempting & delicious!!

Raksha said...

Seen this first time.
Looks yummy.

There is a wonderful event and a giveaway happening at my blog. Check the below link.

Priya R said...

Never heard of this dessert but sure looks nice :)

Swathi Iyer said...

Glutinous rice ball looks delicious.

Amila Wickramarachchi said...

this looks delicious...I have tasted this before,A tasty dessert!
Thanks for sharing with the event!
& Congratulations on your award!

Love to Experiment said...

That is tempting and delicious.

Shweta said...

so yummmm....come and participate in my event. Cook mela food

Amelia said...

Hi Jeya, delicious tang yuan, you too love this? I only make this once a year during the Chinese winter festival which falls on the 22nd Dec.

Best regards.

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