Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let's Make Tāng Yuán For Winter Solstice Festival

Today is Dōng Zhì or also known as Winter Solstice Festival! I have written about its history last year, do read: Happy Dong Zhi (aka Winter Solstice) Festival. This year's edition of Dōng Zhì, I wanna show you guys the simple Tang Yuan that we have made yesterday. Last night my dad, wifey and I sat down and rolled our tāng yuán 湯圓 or the glutinous rice flour balls! We made two different versions glutinous rice flour balls-red and white. Wanna know how to make these tāng yuán?

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Let's make tāng yuán!

In order to make these tāng yuán, you will need to have glutinous rice flour. Then add some water (and even salt if you want to) to the flour. Don't add too much water, if not the dough will be very "watery" and it is not possible to make those elastic  tāng yuán. Ha :D Then knead the dough thoroughly so that it will be springy. For the red version of tāng yuán, we added the red coloring and knead the dough until it is strong and plaint. After that it is time to roll those cute little tāng yuán balls.

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First you mix your glutinous rice flour with some water.

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Then you start kneading your dough.


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Knead until it is strong and elastic.

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Done with the white dough.

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Now let's make the dough for the red tāng yuán.

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Mix it thoroughly and then knead it.

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Usually we will make more of the white tāng yuán compared to the red one.
I wonder why!

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Done! What's next?

Make sure you roll those tāng yuán to be of equal size. If not you will have difficulty trying to boil it later. We cooked our glutinous balls by throwing them into a pot of boiling water. How do you when to "save" them from the boiling pot? Well...once they are cooked, these tāng yuán will float and that is when you scoop them up. Immediately these tāng yuán should be submerged in lukewarm water to make them more elastic. Is it so? LOL :D

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Time to roll them into the small tāng yuán.

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Haha :D Not every balls is equal in size huh!

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Let's roll the red one.

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I love red tāng yuán. They look more auspicious! :)

More importantly don't forget to prepare the "soup" for your tāng yuán ok. Your glutinous balls will not taste good without their soul mates-the syrups. Usually you can prepare 2 different syrups. One is the white syrup made of well...white sugar; the other one is the brown syrup made of brown sugar or if you like it to be more aromatic, you can choose "gula malacca" which is richer. Those with sweet tooth with be savoring this special delicacy.

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What's cooking?

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Daddy throwing the glutinous balls into the boiling pot.

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Make sure they are submerged in lukewarm water once boiled.

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Brown sugar syrup!

Now you can serve your  tāng yuán. I think that's about it folks. It is easy to prepare this customary delicacy. Easy peasy right? I have taken my tāng yuán this morning after we offered it to our Gods and my late mother. Winter Solstice Festival is a time for family members to get together. We Chinese believe that all of us must eat  tāng yuán to signify we are one year older. Interestingly the number of  tāng yuán that you consume should be exactly the same as your age (Chinese age=Your actual age+1). Have you guys eaten your tāng yuán yet?

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Tāng yuán for the God.

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Tāng yuán for my beloved late mommy.

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Tāng yuán for me! 26 of them. :D

Although Christmas is just round the corner, don't forget to go back home to celebrate with your parents and family this meaningful day ok. I believe to a lot oriental parents (including me), Winter Solstice Festival is even more meaningful than Christmas. Or you should at least give your parents a call, asking them how they are doing. Again Happy Winter Solstice Festival to everyone.

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