Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls or ‘Tang Yuan’ (汤圆) is a popular dessert and is eaten during Dongzhi (冬至) or Winter Solstice festival which is one of the most important celebrations for the Chinese. It’s also an auspicious dessert because of the round shape of the glutinous rice balls which signifies unity within the family. Making and eating these Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls together is a long practiced tradition for the Chinese families to commemorate Donghzi, or arrival of winter. Coincidentally, every year, Dongzhi (冬至) always seems to fall just a few days before Christmas Day so it is sometimes known as Chinese Christmas and festive mood is always in the air.
Making Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls is so simple and fun. Simply mix glutinous rice flour with water and knead till you get a smooth dough. Then break into small pieces, form into small balls with the palm of your hands and cooked in boiling water. These Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls are then served in cooled syrup infused with pandan and/or ginger flavour. Of course, you can make the rice balls in BIG or mini size or in multi-colours so they are really pleasant and beautiful to look at besides delicious to eat too. Making our own Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls can be really fun especially when all the family members gather to shape the balls together.
The Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls skin owe their pleasantly gummy texture to the glutinous rice flour used, which produces a chewier dough. Nowadays, these Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls are the hallmark dessert served at festivals, Chinese New Year,or any occasions that is celebrated with families.
Wishing All A Happy Winter Solstice! and As Always, ENJOY!