Today's recipe was adapted from Cook, Snap, Savour's adaptation of Rasa Malaysia. Ever bought an ingredient for a certain recipe and then been left with so much of it you're not quite sure what to do? Well, that happens to me far too often! This time it was glutinous rice flour from the mochi I made, and a sesame and mixed nut mixture from Chinese New Year Dinner.
These little sweet things are called Tang Yuan in Chinese meaning, sweet & round. They're usually made for special occasions though you can find them all year round in various food stalls and the variety offered is astounding!
They can be made without any filling, or with peanut, yam, black sesame or red bean fillings. I'm sure there are loads more fillings I have yet to discover. The soup generally comes in 2 flavours: ginger & peanut. The best ginger soup is almost clear but potent once swallowed. Ok, so not potent in the sense that you'll die, just that it'll burn and feel oh-so-good. The peanut soup is far more mild.
Yes, you can buy ready-made frozen tang yuan from almost any supermarket here in Singapore or in an asian grocery store in a western country. But it is great fun to make this! And really simple! I originally thought it'd be a downright mess and such a chore to make these but they're as simple as it gets! So let's begin! :D
INGREDIENTS (makes about 24 balls)
- 80g finely ground peanuts (you can replace with some sesame & mixed nuts)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 4 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 300g glutinous rice flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 4oz peeled ginger, sliced and crushed
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling and stir until well mixed
- The mixture should be slightly crumbly but should hold together if gently pressed together. If it's too crumbly, add a bit more peanut butter; if too sticky, add more sugar or ground nuts
- Divide mixture into 24 portions and roll gently into balls before setting aside (feel free to make more or less balls depending on the size you desire)
- In a separate bowl, pour the water in 3 portions into the rice flour, stirring well after each addition
- The dough should be smooth and be handled without to much getting on your hands
- Divide the dough into 24 balls and set aside
- Flatten one dough ball into a disc and place one ball of peanut filling in to centre
- Gently wrap the dough around the ball and pinch closed
- Roll the finished ball between your palms to make smooth before setting aside
- Repeat until all 24 balls are done
- In a large pot, boil the ginger in the water for about 15 minutes
- Taste the soup. If it's too spicy for you, add some water and scoop out the ginger. If it's still too mild, cover the pot and boil for longer.
- When the soup is to your liking, add in the sugar and stir until dissolved
- Remove from stove and strain any floating ginger or stuff out
- In a separate pot, bring some water to a rolling boil and drop a few of the dumplings in. Be careful not to let them touch the sides of the pot before hitting the water or else they'll stick and break apart.
- Once the ball has hit the bottom of the pan, immediately roll it over or else it'll stick again!
- Gently stir the balls around to prevent any from sticking to anything or each other
- The balls are done when they float to the top
- Remove the balls from the water and let cool if not serving immediately
- DO NOT leave balls in the water/soup as they will eventually swell. Only place in soup immediately before serving.