Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls with Gingko Nuts (Tang Yuan) 杏仁糖汤圆

by Angie Liew
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A Popular Sweet Dessert with Gingko Nuts

Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls with Gingko Nuts is a popular dessert and is traditionally eaten during Dongzhi (冬至) or Winter Solstice festival, which is one of the most important chinese celebrations. Glutinous rice balls (Tang Yuan 汤圆) is 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 Dongzhi, or arrival of winter. Coincidentally, every year, Dongzhi  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.

Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls Recipe (Tang Yuan)

Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls with Mochi Like Texture

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.

Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls Recipe (Tang Yuan)

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 also 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!

Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls Recipe (Tang Yuan)

Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls Recipe (Tang Yuan)

Do see our other step by step recipe and cooking video on

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

Or, Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls, 黑芝麻汤圆.

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Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls with Gingko Nuts (Tang Yuan) 杏仁糖汤圆
By Angie Liew of Huang Kitchen
Making Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls is so easy. 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 leaves and/or ginger flavour.
Serving For
6people
Prep Time
45minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Serving For
6people
Prep Time
45minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Ingredients
Ingredients To Make Syrup:
Ingredients To Make Glutinous Rice Balls:
Other Ingredients:
Change Servings?
people
Change Unit?
Change Servings?
people
Change Unit?
Instructions
  1. First, prepare all ingredients needed to make syrup.
    First, prepare all ingredients needed to make syrup.
    First, prepare all ingredients needed to make syrup.
    First, prepare all ingredients needed to make syrup.
  2. Put water, sugar, crushed ginger and pandan leaves into a pot.
    Put water, sugar, crushed ginger and pandan leaves into a pot.
    Put water, sugar, crushed ginger and pandan leaves into a pot.
    Put water, sugar, crushed ginger and pandan leaves into a pot.
  3. Bring to a boil.
    Bring to a boil.
    Bring to a boil.
    Bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the ginger juice to infuse into the syrup.
    Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the ginger juice to infuse into the syrup.
    Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the ginger juice to infuse into the syrup.
    Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the ginger juice to infuse into the syrup.
  5. Remove pandan leaves and allow syrup to cool.
    Remove pandan leaves and allow syrup to cool.
    Remove pandan leaves and allow syrup to cool.
    Remove pandan leaves and allow syrup to cool.
  6. Next, have ready ingredients to be added into the sweet glutinous rice balls dessert.
    Next, have ready ingredients to be added into the sweet glutinous rice balls dessert.
    Next, have ready ingredients to be added into the sweet glutinous rice balls dessert.
    Next, have ready ingredients to be added into the sweet glutinous rice balls dessert.
  7. In a separate pot, slowly simmer the peeled gingko nuts in syrup for about 30 minutes or until softened.
    In a separate pot, slowly simmer the peeled gingko nuts in syrup for about 30 minutes or until softened.
    In a separate pot, slowly simmer the peeled gingko nuts in syrup for about 30 minutes or until softened.
    In a separate pot, slowly simmer the peeled gingko nuts in syrup for about 30 minutes or until softened.
  8. When done, set aside to be added into the sweet dessert and we're ready to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
    When done, set aside to be added into the sweet dessert and we're ready to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
    When done, set aside to be added into the sweet dessert and we're ready to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
    When done, set aside to be added into the sweet dessert and we're ready to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
  9. Have ready all ingredients to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
    Have ready all ingredients to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
    Have ready all ingredients to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
    Have ready all ingredients to make the sweet glutinous rice balls.
  10. Cut the carrot into pieces and blend well.
    Cut the carrot into pieces and blend well.
    Cut the carrot into pieces and blend well.
    Cut the carrot into pieces and blend well.
  11. Use a strainer to strain the juice and set aside for later use.
    Use a strainer to strain the juice and set aside for later use.
    Use a strainer to strain the juice and set aside for later use.
    Use a strainer to strain the juice and set aside for later use.
  12. Cut the pandan leaves (screw pine leaves) into pieces and blend well for the juice.
    Cut the pandan leaves (screw pine leaves) into pieces and blend well for the juice.
    Cut the pandan leaves (screw pine leaves) into pieces and blend well for the juice.
    Cut the pandan leaves (screw pine leaves) into pieces and blend well for the juice.
  13. Strain the juice for later use.
    Strain the juice for later use.
    Strain the juice for later use.
    Strain the juice for later use.
  14. Boil the blue pea flowers in a pot slowly to extract the blue colour.
    Boil the blue pea flowers in a pot slowly to extract the blue colour.
    Boil the blue pea flowers in a pot slowly to extract the blue colour.
    Boil the blue pea flowers in a pot slowly to extract the blue colour.
  15. Strain the blue colour extract for use as colouring for the dough.
    Strain the blue colour extract for use as colouring for the dough.
    Strain the blue colour extract for use as colouring for the dough.
    Strain the blue colour extract for use as colouring for the dough.
  16. Then, sieve glutinous rice flour into a large mixing bowl.
    Then, sieve glutinous rice flour into a large mixing bowl.
    Then, sieve glutinous rice flour into a large mixing bowl.
    Then, sieve glutinous rice flour into a large mixing bowl.
  17. Slowly add in lukewarm water.
    Slowly add in lukewarm water.
    Slowly add in lukewarm water.
    Slowly add in lukewarm water.
  18. Mix the glutinous flour into a firm and stiff dough.
    Mix the glutinous flour into a firm and stiff dough.
    Mix the glutinous flour into a firm and stiff dough.
    Mix the glutinous flour into a firm and stiff dough.
  19. Place dough on a work surface and knead well for about 10 minutes.
    Place dough on a work surface and knead well for about 10 minutes.
    Place dough on a work surface and knead well for about 10 minutes.
    Place dough on a work surface and knead well for about 10 minutes.
  20. Divide dough into two equal portions and keep one half of the dough for white glutinous balls.
    Divide dough into two equal portions and keep one half of the dough for white glutinous balls.
    Divide dough into two equal portions and keep one half of the dough for white glutinous balls.
    Divide dough into two equal portions and keep one half of the dough for white glutinous balls.
  21. Divide remaining half into 4 smaller equal portions.
    Divide remaining half into 4 smaller equal portions.
    Divide remaining half into 4 smaller equal portions.
    Divide remaining half into 4 smaller equal portions.
  22. Add each portion with a few drops of the different natural colouring prepared earlier.
    Add each portion with a few drops of the different natural colouring prepared earlier.
    Add each portion with a few drops of the different natural colouring prepared earlier.
    Add each portion with a few drops of the different natural colouring prepared earlier.
  23. Knead each portion of the dough separately until the colour is well distributed. Be sure to wash your hands each time after kneading a different colour to avoid discolouring.
    Knead each portion of the dough separately until the colour is well distributed. Be sure to wash your hands each time after kneading a different colour to avoid discolouring.
    Knead each portion of the dough separately until the colour is well distributed. Be sure to wash your hands each time after kneading a different colour to avoid discolouring.
    Knead each portion of the dough separately until the colour is well distributed. Be sure to wash your hands each time after kneading a different colour to avoid discolouring.
  24. Then roll each portion of dough starting with the white dough into a long roll.
    Then roll each portion of dough starting with the white dough into a long roll.
    Then roll each portion of dough starting with the white dough into a long roll.
    Then roll each portion of dough starting with the white dough into a long roll.
  25. Pinch the dough into small pieces.
    Pinch the dough into small pieces.
    Pinch the dough into small pieces.
    Pinch the dough into small pieces.
  26. Then roll each small piece firmly with the palm of your hands into the size of a marble ball.
    Then roll each small piece firmly with the palm of your hands into the size of a marble ball.
    Then roll each small piece firmly with the palm of your hands into the size of a marble ball.
    Then roll each small piece firmly with the palm of your hands into the size of a marble ball.
  27. Repeat the same with the orange, blue, red and green dough. Place the rolled marble balls onto a plate lined with parchment paper. This can prevent the dough balls from sticking to the plate.
    Repeat the same with the orange, blue, red and green dough. Place the rolled marble balls onto a plate lined with parchment paper. This can prevent the dough balls from sticking to the plate.
    Repeat the same with the orange, blue, red and green dough. Place the rolled marble balls onto a plate lined with parchment paper. This can prevent the dough balls from sticking to the plate.
    Repeat the same with the orange, blue, red and green dough. Place the rolled marble balls onto a plate lined with parchment paper. This can prevent the dough balls from sticking to the plate.
  28. Next, we need to cook the glutinous rice balls. First bring a wok or saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
    Next, we need to cook the glutinous rice balls. First bring a wok or saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
    Next, we need to cook the glutinous rice balls. First bring a wok or saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
    Next, we need to cook the glutinous rice balls. First bring a wok or saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
  29. Gently drop the rolled glutinous rice balls into the boiling water.
    Gently drop the rolled glutinous rice balls into the boiling water.
    Gently drop the rolled glutinous rice balls into the boiling water.
    Gently drop the rolled glutinous rice balls into the boiling water.
  30. Cook until they float to the surface.
    Cook until they float to the surface.
    Cook until they float to the surface.
    Cook until they float to the surface.
  31. Once all the rice balls have risen to the surface, allow to cook for another 1 minute.
    Once all the rice balls have risen to the surface, allow to cook for another 1 minute.
    Once all the rice balls have risen to the surface, allow to cook for another 1 minute.
    Once all the rice balls have risen to the surface, allow to cook for another 1 minute.
  32. Then, remove the cooked rice balls with a perforated ladle.
    Then, remove the cooked rice balls with a perforated ladle.
    Then, remove the cooked rice balls with a perforated ladle.
    Then, remove the cooked rice balls with a perforated ladle.
  33. Drop the cooked rice balls immediately into a bowl of cool boiled water for about a minute.
    Drop the cooked rice balls immediately into a bowl of cool boiled water for about a minute.
    Drop the cooked rice balls immediately into a bowl of cool boiled water for about a minute.
    Drop the cooked rice balls immediately into a bowl of cool boiled water for about a minute.
  34. Drain thoroughly the cooked rice balls and place in the cooled syrup. And we're done!
    Drain thoroughly the cooked rice balls and place in the cooled syrup. And we're done!
    Drain thoroughly the cooked rice balls and place in the cooled syrup. And we're done!
    Drain thoroughly the cooked rice balls and place in the cooled syrup. And we're done!
  35. Serve the sweet glutinous rice balls in individual bowls with added gingko nuts. As always, Enjoy!
    Serve the sweet glutinous rice balls in individual bowls with added gingko nuts. As always, Enjoy!
    Serve the sweet glutinous rice balls in individual bowls with added gingko nuts. As always, Enjoy!
    Serve the sweet glutinous rice balls in individual bowls with added gingko nuts. As always, Enjoy!
Notes

You can use any kind of syrup. Traditionally, only sugar and pandan leaves are used, making a clear, sweet soup. For taste, brown sugar and a crushed ginger are added together with pandan leaves.

You can also stuff the glutinous rice balls with fillings like ground peanuts, black sesame seeds or red beans.

Uncooked glutinous rice balls can be frozen and cooked only when needed.

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