Make some traditional glutinous rice balls with a creative take!
Cute Baymax deco tang yuan in Osmanthus sweet soup and lava peanut filling.
Decided to give these Baymax deco tang yuan a new look (lol) for this year’s Winter Solstice 冬至. This was an old post 3 years back!
Tang yuan (汤圆, glutinous rice ball) is a Chinese dessert made using glutinous rice flour. A small amount of water would be used to mix with the flour, and which we would roll into small balls of dough. These dough would then be cooked in boiling water, and served in a sweet syrup. Traditionally, we eat this Chinese dessert on the 15th day of Chinese New Year and on winter solstice (冬至). It can also be served to a newly wed couple on their wedding day. Tang yuan usually signifies family reunion, or a “happy ending” (圆满).
若想阅读中文版本，请在网页的右边 “Google Translate” 点击选择 中文简体 (Chinese Simplified）或 繁体 (Chinese Traditional) 翻译。可能食谱读起来会怪怪的，所以如果有疑问都可以问哦！
How Can I Make The Tang Yuan?
I have made some tang yuan before, which you might have seen the recipe here: panda tang yuan and pooh bear tang yuan. That recipe makes very easy and straight-forward cute deco tang yuan! While that recipe is easy to make, it may not taste as QQ and soft as those commercial frozen tang yuan that we are used to.
For these Baymax tang yuan, I used a different recipe which I really like. It is not too complicated and the tang yuan skin is softer, and more QQ. So you can see from the pictures, that for these tang yuan, I increased the tang yuan skin ratio.
For the filling, I am using a homemade lava peanut filling! It’s not super sweet and I find it just nice for the bland tang yuan skin. I am using this brand of ground peanut, but it is not fine enough, so I blitzed it for a while in a food processor. If you would be doing that, be sure to do it in short bursts. Otherwise it may clump together and become peanut butter :p
I served the tang yuan in a simple osmanthus sugar syrup, which has a fruity peach scent! You can also serve in any sweet soup that you like. I got my dried osmanthus flowers from Phoon Huat.
Update: Also see these cute little seals tang yuan I’ve made on the actual Winter Solstice day!
>> MORE TANG YUAN RECIPES:
Are These Tang Yuan Easy To Make?
These tang yuan are quite easy to make once you get a hang of it! It is the coloring part that is slightly more time consuming.
For coloring of the tang yuan dough, I used red yeast powder and bamboo charcoal powder. Of course you can also use food coloring gel if you do not have these 2 powders. It is also usual to see dots of red in the red yeast powder dough. It will go away after cooking.
For the details, such as eyes and hat, remember to use a little water to make the dough stick to each other better. This prevents them from detaching in the cooking process.
Is the Filling Really Lava and Flowy?
Yes! Simply follow the instructions in the recipe to get lava peanut filling after the rice balls are being cooked.
The butter in the recipe helps to get the flowy, lava peanut filling, as butter melts when it is in a hot temperature.
How Do They Taste Like? I Don’t Like Thick Rice Ball Skin!
These rice balls have a higher ratio for the skin, compared to traditional recipes.
That’s because the rice ball skin actually tastes chewy and “Q Q”, somewhat similar to mochi’s texture. It also helps to cut the sweetness from the filling. They taste really nice together, and it’s quite different from the traditional glutinous rice ball recipes!
Give them a try!
One Tang Yuan Tip:
As you make the tang yuan, do keep a small bowl of water on the counter top. If the ball of tang yuan has creases, you can pat very little water on it and roll the creases out. To seal the edges, you can also pat some water around the edges before sealing. This helps the tang yuan to seal better, and the filling is less likely to spill out during the cooking process. Do remember to not use too much water, as it may make the dough sticky.
A Chinese dessert made using glutinous rice flour, with peanut filling, served in Osmanthus sweet soup.
- 130 g glutinous rice flour
- 56 g hot, boiling water
- 56 g water, room temperature
- Bamboo charcoal powder or Black food coloring
- Red yeast powder or red food coloring
- 57 g ground peanut powder
- 42 g icing sugar, sift
- 55 g butter, melted
Osmanthus Sweet Soup
- 500 ml water
- A handful of rock sugar
- 1/4 tsp dried osmanthus flower
- Prepare the peanut filling about 1-2h in advance. You can also prepare the filling the night before. Mix the peanut powder and icing sugar together. Add in melted butter and mix well.
- Place mixture into fridge for about 30 mins, for it to harden. Once hardened, portion out 15g of peanut filling. Roll into balls.
- Place into tray or airtight container and freeze till ready for use.
- For the dough, place glutinous rice flour in a bowl. Add in boiling water all at once. Stir together using a pair of chopsticks. You will see lumps of flour coming together.
- Now, add in the room temperature water in 3 additions. Mix well with each addition. If the dough is difficult to come together, you can use your hand to knead it slightly. The dough should be slightly stretchy, soft, and not sticky to hands.
- Divide the dough into 22g x 10 balls. You can place the balls of dough into airtight container to prevent drying out, while you make the colored dough.
- With the remaining dough, divide into 3 portions. Color 1 portion black and 1 portion red. This would be for the eyes and Christmas hat. Place the dough into airtight container to prevent drying out.
- Once the dough is ready, check that the peanut fillings are hardened in freezer. It will be easier to wrap hardened fillings, than softened ones. Prepare a small bowl of water for wrapping.
- Roll the dough into round ball, make an indentation with your thumb in the middle and continue thinning the dough till it resembles a “pocket” or hole.
- Place filling into dough. Enclose and roll into a round ball. You can dab slightly with water on creased areas and the enclosed “lines” to have a smoother surface. Continue for the rest of the balls of dough. Remember to place the tang yuan dough into container (with lid) once done, to prevent drying out.
- Once all balls of dough are rolled, we can do the details. Roll 2 small balls of dough for Baymax hands at the bottom of the tang yuan. Repeat for all tang yuan.
- For the eyes, you can roll a long, thin dough of black. Cut out an appropriate length. Using a small brush, brush on a little water before sticking it on the tang yuan. Then stick on 2 small round black dough at each end of the long black dough. Repeat for all tang yuan.
- For Christmas hat, roll a small ball of red dough. Roll slightly on 1 end so it becomes a tear-drop shape. Press slightly onto the other end of the tear-drop shape so it becomes a triangular shape. Using a brush, dab on some water before sticking to the top portion of the tang yuan. Repeat for all tang yuan.
- For the little heart shape, if you’d like to add it onto the Baymax, simply roll out a tear-drop shape. Use a toothpick and press onto the wider end to make an indentation. Use your fingers to further shape it into a heart shape. Stick onto the tang yuan with a little water.
- To cook the sugar syrup, simply bring the 500ml of water to boil. Add in appropriate amount of rock sugar. I usually add in a handful of rock sugar (about 1/3 of rice bowl), and after the sugar dissolves, I will taste and if needed, add in more sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, off heat and add in osmanthus flowers to steep.
- To cook the tang yuan, bring a pot of water to roaring boil. Slowly add in tang yuan pc by pc. Depending on the size of your pot, make sure the tang yuan do not “overcrowd”. Eg. I cook about 4 pcs each time as my pot is not very big. Ensure that the tang yuan do not stick to the bottom of the pot, and that they won’t knock into each other. Once the tang yuan floats to the surface of the water, it is ready.
- Scoop tang yuan directly into the sweet soup and serve warm.
Makes 10 pcs of giant tang yuan (lol). You can also adjust the filling and dough if you prefer a smaller tang yuan.
Use finely ground peanut. If your ground peanut is coarser, grind them in a blender for short bursts. You can also replace with black sesame powder (use 45g of icing sugar + 55g ground black sesame powder instead).
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Chinese