By | February 11, 2017

~ Homemade Glutinous Rice Balls (Tang Yuan) in Red Bean Soup Dessert ~

Did you have Tang Yuan (glutinous rice balls) during the Chinese festive seasons? I learnt from my mum that the Tang Yuan dessert is served on Dong Tzi (Winter Solstice Day) and from the Chinese community that it is served on Yuan Xiao (15th day of the Lunar New Year). As today is the last day of the Lunar New Year celebration, many believe that it is a good practise to serve Tang Yuan as a dessert. Family members, old and young, come together to have this festivity dessert which symbolises reunion and perfection in life.

There are a wide variety of Tang Yuan, ranging from sweet, savoury ones to those with or without fillings. The more traditionally served ones that I am used to are usually served in ginger broths. However, for my family, it is very much based on the family members’ taste buds and most importantly, the “chef’s skills and preference (and mood too!). My family members do not fancy much of Tang Yuan served traditionally with ginger broth. So, I prepared red bean soup instead.

I am making the most straight forward Tang Yuan that is plain  sticky rice balls to be served with the Chinese Red Bean Soup Dessert. This saves the hassle of having to wrap fillings in the rice balls which may be time consuming and skills driven. If you are good at playing with clays and have gentle hands, perhaps it is easier but for me, I think the plain boring ones are good enough when served with red bean soup.

The Tang Yuan making process can be of great experience for the family. After this year’s celebration, I think I will make it a point to make them on a yearly basis as I get to engage my little one in this meaningful cultural practise, just like the way my mum influenced me when I was little. I feel like this is a celebration of togetherness. It is from activity like this that I learnt more about her. That easy to please little girl is truly enjoying herself in the making. She reminds me again how happiness can be achieved from simple moments in life.

Homemade Glutinous Rice Balls in Red Bean Soup Dessert Recipe (Serves 6) :

A. Red Bean Soup

  1. 200 grams of Red Beans
  2. 1 litre Water
  3. 1 bunch Pandan/Screwpine Leaves (6 strips tied in knot)
  4. 150 grams Brown Sugar

B. Glutinous Rice Flour Balls

  1. 120 grams of Glutinous Rice Flour
  2. 100ml Water (for dough mixing)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Homemade Goji Berry Powder (for red colour)
  4. 1 litre Water (for cooking)
  5. 1 bunch Pandan/Screwpine Leaves (6 strips tied in knot)

AMC Healthy Cooking Method :

A. Red Bean Soup

  1. Rinse red beans in an AMC 20cm 4.0 litre Pot unit. Add pandan/screwpine leaves (tie a knot for easy removal) and add water into pot.
  2. Cover pot with AMC 20cm Secuquick Softline unit. Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on knob, indicating “Turbo” and set on 45 minutes to cook.
  3. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. Set pot aside to depressurised and work on making the Tang Yuan.

B. Glutinous Rice Flour Balls (or Tang Yuan)

  1. Add glutinous rice flour in an AMC 20cm Combi Bowl unit. Add water into the Combi Bowl unit. Mix well with a spoon. Separate the dough into 2 portions. Add the goji berry powder into 1 of the dough portion and mix well. Make the dough into mini balls by rolling them round in your palms. Leave them on a tray or in an AMC Softiera Insert unit.
  2. Boil a litre of water with an AMC 20cm 3.0 litre unit. Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on knob, indicating “Carrot” and set on 1 minute to boil up to 98°C.
  3. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. Place the AMC Softiera Insert with “Tang Yuan” in the Pot unit with boiled water.
  4. Switch on the Navigenio again on automatic mode “A” to cook the “Tang Yuan”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on knob, indicating 80°C or “Carrot” window and set for 5 minutes to cook.
  5. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. Lift up the Softiera Insert with cooked “Tang Yuan”, place it on an up-turned lid and scoop the “Tang Yuan” into serving bowls. Serve with the red bean soup cooked earlier.

Tips : Cook the red bean soup base first before working on making the glutinous rice balls with the family. When the red bean soup is cooking automatically, you may work on the making the Tang Yuan or glutinous rice balls wholeheartedly, without worrying about over-spilling. By the time the red bean soup is ready to be served, the glutinous rice balls will be ready too.

Red bean soup cooked with screwpine leaves and brown sugar blocks is used as a soup base for this Tang Yuan recipe.

Cook with the AMC Secuquick Softline Lid on Turbo mode for 45 minutes as I prefer my red beans to be of softer texture. You may cook for 30 minute too.

Red Ban Soup prepared ready as a soup base for Tang Yuan dessert. Remove the knot of screwpine leaves when cooked.

Red beans appeared round and nice on the outside but soft and tender on the inside.

I started off with adding half of the glutinous rice flour into the AMC Combi Bowl, just to show my little girl how she can begin with making Tang Yuan.

I added some water to dilute the flour so that my little girl would follow suit.

It was her turn to repeat after me with the rest of the flour…

… and then the water added to the big Combi bowl.

I then mixed the flour and the water with a spoon.

Separated the dough into two to make two different colours of Tang Yuan.

From the two big doughs, she then rolled them into small balls like she is playing with her clay doughs.

With the help of the little one, the Tang Yuan making was pretty fun!

Supposed to get the girl to put the rolled Tang Yuan into the AMC Softiera Insert to save onestep, i.e. transferring them from the tray into the Softiera Insert but everything took place too quickly, it slipped my mind.

Bring the Pandan leaves in a litre of plain water to boil. The Pandan leaves are optional. I had extra, so I just dumped them in.

Put the Softiera Insert into the pot of boiled water after removing the Pandan leaves.

Boil the Tang Yuan for 5 minutes from 80°C or “Carrot Window” point, automatically.

Remove the Softiera Insert from the Pot when cooked.

Serve with the red bean soup prepared earlier.

Enjoy!

 

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