As mentioned, yesterday was the 15th day of Luna New Year, known as the lantern festival (元宵). TangYuan (汤圆), or the glutinous rice balls, is one of the most traditional food for the festival. Yuan (圆) means round, full filling, a symbol for family reunion. TangYuan often has a sweet filling and served in a syrup. Some years ago, my sister made a savory TangYuan soup that was really tasty. I had a go this year.
I first made the chicken stock white cook style. This means slow cook a whole chicken in water to get delicious chicken meat and a mild broth. Ginger and green shallot were added to enhance the flavor. Chinese mushrooms, dried shrimps were added later to the broth, together with garlic chive, enoki mushrooms, bok choy and white cooked chicken meat.
The TangYuan was made with glutinous rice flour and hot water, mix and roll, pretty simple.
Recipe is as follows:
- 2 cup of glutinous rice flour
- 1 cup of boiling water
- a little cooking oil (optional)
To make the TangYuan, place glutinous rice flour in a large bowl; gradually add hot water at the same time stir the mixture with a pair of chopsticks towards one circular direction; you may need a little more or less water, depending on the flour; once the flour is pretty much mixed with the water; leave it aside to cool briefly until it is cool enough to handle.
Roll the mixture into a dough; roll the dough out to a snake and cut into small pieces; dust your palms with glutinous rice flour and roll the a small piece of dough into a small ball; repeat with the rest of the dough.
Here is a quick video on how to make TangYuan from one of my previous posts.
Bring a large sauce pan of water to boil; add a little cooking oil if desired (optional); drop in the rice balls; stir constantly so the balls won’t stick together; once the balls float to the top of the water, they are cooked; I like them soft so I let them cook for further 1 minute.
Drain the rice balls with a sieve; immediately soak the rice balls in a large bowl of cold water.
- 1 whole free range chicken (you can taste the difference)
- 1 lpiece of ginger (quantity to your liking)
- 20g shallot (quantity to your liking)
- 1 tsp of salt
Bring a large pot (preferably a good quality stock pot with a heavy base and a lid) of water to boil; add salt, ginger, shallot and the whole chicken (breast side down); make sure the water covers the chicken completely; you may need to put a place over the chicken to keep it down in the water; bring the pot of water to boil again; turn off heat, close the lid and leave the pot aside; turn the chicken over in 2 hours, bring it to boil again; remove from heat and leave it aside for another 1 hour; if the chicken is not cooked within 3 hours, bring the broth to boil again and put it aside again for further 1 hour.
Once the chicken is cooked; remove the chicken from the pot; pull all the meat off the chicken and slice the meat to bit size.
Pour the broth into another pot via a sieve to remove any impurity. This is the chicken broth base.
- 1/2 cup of dried shrimps, washed
- 12 medium Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, remove stems, thinly sliced
- meat of 1 chicken (see above, chicken broth base)
- 1 bunch of bok choy, split off the green leaves, washed
- 30g garlic chive, washed
- 1 enoki mushroom, remove stalk, separate the needles and washed.
- 20g red capsicum, thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tbsp green shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp coriander, roughly sliced
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (use a GF soy sauce for a GF option)
- salt and white pepper to taste
- sesame seeds, to garnish
- a little cookin goil (to blanch the bok choy)
Blanch the bok choy briefly in a pot of hot water with a little cooking oil; drain and leave aside to cool.
Bring the chicken broth base, dried shrimps and Chinese mushrooms to boil; turn the heat to low and simmer the broth for 30 minutes with a lid on; add sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste; add garlic chive, capsicum and enoki mushroom; turn off the heat immediately.
In individual bowls, add a few bok choy greens, some chicken meat, a few TangYuan balls, shallot and coriander, pour over some hot soup (with some of the yummy bits the soup); garnish with some sesame seeds. Serve hot.