‘Tang yuan’, or the glutinous rice balls in syrup, is well loved by the Chinese community for its symbolic meaning of family and its reunion.
My ‘tang yuan’ are colored by raspberry coulis. Some were filled with red bean paste and some were just small and plain. The syrup was infused with a cinnamon stick, cardamom, ginger and orange peel, with brown sugar for color and a dash of honey for extra flavor.
Raspberry coulis (you can skip this step and use 1/2 cup of hot water and a drop of coloring)
- 1 cup of frozen raspberry
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 1 tbsp. water
Tang yuan dumplings
- 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
- 3-4 tbsp of red bean paste
- 2 slices of ginger
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 12 cloves
- 2 cardamom, broken up slightly
- 2 pieces of orange peels
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- a dash of honey (quantity as-you-please, I use 2 tbsp)
- 2 cups of water
- In a sauce pan, add all ingredients and bring to boil; then turn off the heat and let the syrup infuse slowly.
- Place frozen raspberries in a sauce pan, add caster sugar and a small dash of water; bring it to boil; simmer briefly; use a potato mash, mash up the raspberries; extract the liquid with a fine sieve
- Reheat the coulis in a clean sauce pan, bring it to boil
- We will need about 1/2 cup of coulis, add a little water if required
- In a mixing bowl, place glutinous rice flour; add 1/2 cup hot raspberry coulis gradually, stirring towards one direction to form a dough; add a little more syrup, or flour as needed.
- Leave it aside to cool briefly, a few minutes
- Bring the dough together, by kneading with your hand
- Turn the dough into a snake, cut into 12-16 pieces
- Press a piece into a disc, place some red bean paste in the middle, roll it up into a ball; with the palm of one hand, roll it over a flat surface in circular motion until the ball is round
- Repeat with some more balls, with or without filling, as you please.
- For the dumplings without filling, we need to make them smaller to avoid a doughy taste
- Bring the syrup to boil again; add honey, stir well
- Add the dumplings to the hot syrup, bring to boil again and turn the heat down to low-medium; the dumplings are done once they are floating on top of the syrup; leave them to cook for further 3 more minutes otherwise the balls would be too doughy.
- Serve the dumplings warm, with syrup.