Tangyuan is a Chinese dumpling that is made by mixing glutinous rice flour and water together. The fillings can vary depending on what you like. Some can be sweet, with fillings such as black sesame paste or ground peanuts. They can also have savoury fillings such as ground meat and shrimp or left unfilled and plain, served in soups in place of noodles.
Traditionally Tangyuan Rice Dumplings are eaten during The Winter Solstice Festival or as a dessert at a Chinese wedding. The small round balls symbolise family and coming together. It is neither of those occasions for me, though not for the lack of wanting it to be.
I decided to make these Tangyuan Rice Dumplings because they are absolutely decadent with aromatic black sesame paste that oozes out when you bite into them, served in a fragrant ginger and pandan soup.
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 thick slices ginger
- 3 pandan leaves, tied in knots
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- black sesame seeds
- crushed peanuts
For the dough, place the flour into a clean metal bowl and slowly being to add in the water whilst stirring, evenly hydrating the flour to form a dough. The dough should be smooth and no longer stick to your hands. Cover with a damp tea towel until you’re ready to use.
For the filling, lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium heat until aromatic. Don’t take your eyes of these, they will burn very quickly. Take them off the heat and let cool. Using a small food processor or mortar and pestle grind until a fine powder.
Add the sesame powder, sugar and butter to a small bowl and incorporate everything together. Place into the fridge for 20 minutes, this will make the filling process easier. You could form into even sized balls and place onto a baking tray before popping them into the fridge to make it even easier.
Divide the dough into even sized balls. Take one dough ball and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place one filling ball into the centre of the dough and seal the dumpling. Lightly roll into a ball shape using both your palms.
Prepare the ginger syrup by boiling the water, add in the ginger and pandan leaves and boil for another ten minutes. Add the sugar and boil for five minutes. Gently place in the dumplings and wait until they float to the surface then turn the heat off.
Serve the dumplings in a bowl with the syrup and garnish with crushed peanuts and extra sesame seeds.
Watch the full recipe for Tangyuan Rice Dumplings here!