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Tong Yuen






Today is 'Winter Solstice' festival or 'Dong Zhi' and making and eating Tang Yuan/Tong Yuen in Cantonese, or glutinous rice  balls, which symbolises reunion is customary.  In Chinese culture, by eating Tong Yuan, you welcome in the winter and become 1 year older.  Also families would gather for a sumptous dinner, celebrating the arrival of winter and the lengthening of days.
According to Chinese custom, every year on 'Dong Zhi' people make these Tong Yuen as an offering to Buddha and/or their ancestors.
Traditionally, Tong Yuen are just plain colourful glutinous rice balls but nowadays they are readily available  with peanut, red bean paste and black sesame fillings.  Personally, I still prefer the authentic plain ones.





Glutinous rice flour mixed with water to form a dough, then separated into small portions, add food colouring, ready to be rolled into small balls.







Colourful tong yuen, in syrup made with rock sugar and screwpine leaves.



Happy 'Winter Solstice' .......'Dong Zhi'............

Recipe for Tong Yuen

Ingredients
16 oz glutinous rice flour
Water to mix

Syrup
Rock sugar to taste
A knob of crushed ginger
Screwpine/Pandan leaves
Food colouring of your choice

Preparation
Place the rice flour in a mixing bowl,
gradually add in water to mix.
There's no hard and fast rule of how much
water to add to the flour.
Just add enough water or flour
to make the dough to the right consistency,
pliable and the dough does not stick to the hands.
Knead for a while.
Then separate the dough into small portions
and add food colouring, but leave one portion white.
Pinch off pieces of dough and roll dough
between palms of both hands
to form round, tiny balls.
Boil a pot of water and once boiling,
drop in the rice balls and once they float,
they are cooked.
Meanwhile, get ready a big bowl of boiled water
and scoop up the cooked rice balls
into this big bowl of water.
In another pot, boil rock sugar, crushed ginger and
screwpine leaves to make the syrup.
Sweetness is according to personal preference.
Once the syrup is ready, scoop up the rice balls
into a bowl and ladle in the syrup
Serve hot.

Comments

  1. I completely forgot that today is the Winter Solstice....maybe I shall just make some tomorrow!

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  2. Happy Winter Solice my daughter would love these yum

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  3. Your colourful tong yuan look so inviting! Now you have made me crave for some tang yuan!

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  4. Wow...these looks pretty and colourful. I would love a bowl to enjoy now. I'm actually very happy it's tong yuen tomorrow, not because of the cute little glutinous rice balls but because it marks the shortest daylight hours of the year. Phew....what a relief! After tomorrow, the day will start to get longer by the day.

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  5. Happy Winter Solstice! Those little colorful treats look yummy!

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  6. Mmm...very colourful Tang Yuan.

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  7. Hi
    Angie
    It's not too late to make some today.

    Chow and Chatter
    Thanks. Most kids love this because of the colour and also they enjoy playing with it, just like play-doh!

    Mary
    Oh, so you're looking forward to having longer daylight. Must be freezing cold in your part of the world. So, do warm up with a hot bowl of Tong Yuen!

    5 Star Foodie
    Yes, they do.

    Anncoo
    Thanks, Ann.

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  8. The glutinous rice balls look so PRETTY! I love all the pastel colors. I forgot today is winter solstice. Maybe I should make some of these too :)

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  9. The colors are beautiful. Thanks for the history lessons.

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  10. These are so pretty! I've never eaten them, but I like them already!

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  11. I love how these look like the Easter Chocolate Eggs in America :)

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  12. I've never seen these before - they're just beautiful - I almost want to try making steamed versions with sweet fillings - like bao! They look fairly simple, too. Thank you for sharing!

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  13. I've just missed out this! However, Happy 'Dong Zhi' to you too! Hope you've a wonderful time with your family. Sounds like our Chinese New Year is getting near LOL! Isn't it? It's actually fall on the 14th Feb 2010! We have both celebrations at the same day! Fun huh! haha.... I'm actually started planning for my New year cookies & goodies. What about you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi
    ICook4Fun
    So, did you manage to make some for the festival?

    You are most welcome, Divina

    tastyeatsathome
    You should try them out, very simple to make.

    experimentalculinarypursuits
    Now that you mention it, they do resemble Easter eggs, at least the colours!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi
    Mae
    You can also add fillings inside, but this is the traditional ones.

    Crystal
    Oh, they are nice.

    My Little Space
    Yes, CNY is just round the corner. I will only make a few types of cookies, but I do like to try out varieties.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've never tried making these and I didn't know these were to celebrate the winter solstice. I thought that was a European tradition - maybe I should still make them this week. Is it too late? ;)

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  17. Cin
    It's never too late to try. Nowadays these are easily available in the supermarkets, frozen ones with different fillings.

    ReplyDelete

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