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Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls (Tang Yuan) 黑芝麻汤圆

by Angie Liew

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Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Glutinous Rice Balls with Molten Black Sesame Filling

This time around, we are making the all-time favourite, Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls!

Glutinous Rice Balls, also known as Tang Yuan 湯圓 is a popular Chinese dessert usually served with sweet gingery syrup. They are usually enjoyed during the Winter Solstice Festival which symbolises the beginning of a new year. This festival is an important cultural celebration for Chinese all over the world. It is also the day when everyone becomes one year older. Traditionally it is eaten as a symbol of unity and togetherness.

The traditional variant of Tang Yuan are the plain glutinous rice balls served in sweet syrup, just like the one we have made in the earlier recipe (https://www.huangkitchen.com/sweet-glutinous-rice-balls/).

Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Unbelievably Easy To Make These Tang Yuan with Black Sesame Filling

You may be familiar with this particular variant of glutinous rice balls with  black sesame filling . Popularly served in chinese dessert shops, these chewy glutinous rice balls are usually filled with molten black sesame paste or peanut paste. With a good balance of sweetness and saltiness, this dish certainly makes for a great dessert.

Moreover, making these Black Sesame Tang Yuan is so easy and quick.  First, you need to prepare the sweet ginger syrup with fragrant osmanthus flowers. Then make the black sesame filling. After that, make and fill the dumpling dough and boil for a few minutes till cooked. Lastly, serve them in the sweet ginger syrup, either hot or cold. It is that simple!

Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Amazingly Juicy and Chewy Texture, With Fragrance of Black Sesame Paste.. Simply Addictive!

These Glutinous Rice Balls have the texture of mochi with black sesame paste stuffed inside. They are soft, juicy and chewy ….. taste so good with the fragrant black sesame filling oozing out in just a bite, one will certainly never have enough of them. Certainly a favourite in our home.

So Enjoy!

Also, do see our other step by step glutinous rice balls recipes:

Glutinous Sweet Rice Balls (Tang Yuan) in Osmanthus Ginger Syrup, 桂花姜汁汤圆.

Or, Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls with Gingko Nuts.

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Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls (Tang Yuan) 黑芝麻汤圆

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
These Glutinous Rice Balls with Black Sesame Filling (Tang Yuan) have the springy texture of mochi with delicious black sesame paste stuffed inside. They are soft, juicy and chewy ..... taste so good with the fragrant black sesame filling oozing out in just a bite, one will simply never have enough of them.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Tap or Hover to Adjust Servings

Servings: 24 rice balls


Glutinous Rice Ball Dough:

  • 250 grams glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cups COLD water

Black Sesame Filling:

  • ¼ cup Black Sesame Seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil

Ginger Syrup:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 150 grams old ginger, skin peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp sweet osmanthus
  • 2 screw pine leaves, knotted


    Boiling Ginger Syrup:

    • Peel old ginger.
      Start by boiling ginger syrup. First, peel the skin off the old ginger.
    • Cut ginger into thick pieces and lightly bruised.
      Then, cut the ginger into thick pieces and lightly bruised them to release their aromatic flavour.
    • Boil water.
      Bring a pot of water to a boil.
    • Add crushed ginger and pandan leaves.
      Add the crushed ginger and knotted screw pine leaves. Bring the water to a boil again.
    • Boil for 10 to 15 minutes.
      Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the aroma of ginger and screw pine leaves to infuse into the water.
    • Add sugar and sweet osmanthus.
      Then add in sugar and sweet osmanthus. Boil for another 5 minutes over medium heat.
    • Simmer the ginger syrup.
      Then lower heat to a simmer and boil till the liquid has reduced a little, another 10 minutes. And we're done!
    • Remove ginger and screw pine leaves.
      Remove the crushed ginger and screw pine leaves from the ginger infused syrup and set aside while we prepare the black sesame filling.

    Black Sesame Filling:

    • Toast black sesame seeds.
      While waiting for the ginger soup to simmer, prepare the glutinous rice ball filling. Lightly toast black sesame seeds over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes till aromatic.
    • Coarsely grind black sesame seeds.
      Then coarsely grind the toasted black sesame seeds.
    • Make black sesame paste.
      Transfer the ground sesame to a bowl. Add in sugar and coconut oil.
    • Chill in refrigerator.
      Stir to mix well and form into a paste. Set aside to chill in refrigerator while we prepare the glutinous rice dough.

    Glutinous Rice Balls:

    • Add boiling water to flour.
      In a mixing bowl, add hot boiling water into glutinous rice flour to half cook it.
    • Stir to mix well.
      Using a spoon or spatula, stir to mix well. Adding hot water makes the rice balls chewy.
    • Add in cold water.
      Then, add some cold water into the dough. Water should be added a little at a time, depending on the consistency of the dough.
    • Knead the dough.
      Knead until you begin to see a nice looking dough and the dough should not stick to your hand or mixing bowl.
    • Divide dough into 2.
      When the dough is ready, we can now make rice balls. First, divide the dough into two halves for easier to work with.
    • Form dough into log and cut into pieces.
      Take one half and roll into a log and cut into pieces, 20g each.
    • Roll into balls.
      Using our palms, roll each piece of dough into a ball. Repeat the same with the other half of the dough.
    • Cover to prevent drying.
      Cover the glutinous rice balls with a tea towel to prevent them from drying.
    • Wrap each ball with sesame paste.
      Take a piece of the dough ball and flatten. Then place 1 teaspoon of sesame paste filling in the middle.
    • Wrap the dough.
      Wrap the dough around the filling and roll into a smooth ball. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough balls. And we have made glutinous rice balls with black sesame filling!

    Cooking Glutinous Rice Balls:

    • Cooking glutinous rice balls.
      To cook the glutinous rice balls, first boil a pot of water. Then put in the glutinous rice balls. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
    • Cook till float.
      Let them cook for 3 to 5 minutes. When cooked, the glutinous rice balls will float onto the surface of the water.
    • Place in cold water.
      Sieve out all the cooked glutinous rice balls and place them into a bowl of cold water for about 1 minute. This process will make the rice balls more chewy.
    • Place glutinous rice balls into syrup.
      Then place the glutinous rice balls into the pot of ginger syrup prepared earlier. And we're done!
    • Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls
      These black sesame filled glutinous rice balls can be served hot or cold with the aromatic ginger syrup. So Enjoy!


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Recipe Video


  • You can choose to add more ginger when boiling the ginger syrup if you prefer a stronger taste of ginger.
  • Adding hot boiling water makes glutinous rice balls really nice and chewy.
  • If the dough sticks to your hands while kneading, dust your hand with a little glutinous rice flour.
  • You can substitute with butter instead of coconut oil for the filling.
  • As making these glutinous rice balls take time, they can be prepared the night before and cook the next morning.
  • The rice balls will become more chewy if it is kneaded longer.
  • Make sure to cover the filling completely with the dough. Otherwise, the filling will ooze out when boiled.
Course: Desserts, Soups & Stews
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Malaysian

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