|Tang Yuan aka Yuan Xiao or Mochi (in Japanese)|
|Red bean paste, water and glutinous rice flour|
|Step 1: Mix water and glutinous rice flour into a dough|
|Step 2: Take a teaspoon sized ball of dough|
|Step 3: Flatten it out in your hand|
|Step 4 (optional): Place a ball of red bean paste in the centre|
|Step 5: Wrap the red bean paste in the dough|
|Step 5: An ugly white lump is formed|
|Step 6: Roll the ugly white lump in your hand to form a sphere. Pretend you're playing with playdough or something|
|Repeat steps 1 to 6 until you use up the dough or paste|
|Step 7: Place the Tang Yuan in a pot of boiling water|
|Step 8 (optional): Once cooked through, scoop out the Tang Yuan and drain (my enemy in the lurking in the background)|
|Step 9 (optional): Cover with dessicated coconut and leave to cool -it is VERY important to use coconut that hasn't expired|
Tang Yuan are traditionally eaten during "Yuan Xiao" -better known in New Zealand as the Lantern Festival. Yuan Xiao is literally known as "first evening" as it is the first full moon after Chinese New Year. They are eaten with family and their round shapes symbolise family togetherness. The recipe is easy peasy but rolling the Tang Yuan is quite time consuming depending on how many you want.
Tang Yuan (makes 12 large filled)
1 cup Glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup Water
1 cup Red bean paste
Dessicated coconut for coating
1. Mix water and glutinous rice flour into a dough
2. Take a teaspoon sized ball of dough
3. Flatten it out in your hand
4. Place a ball of red bean paste in the centre
5. Cover the bean paste in the dough
6. Roll the ugly white lump in your hand to form a sphere.
7. Place the Tang Yuan in a pot of boiling water
8. Once cooked through (about 10-15 minutes), scoop out the Tang Yuan and drain
9. Cover with dessicated coconut and leave to cool
Alternative fillings include: a piece of rock sugar candy (it's very hot!), sesame paste (most common) or sweet peanut paste (my favourite).
Some people prefer to have unfilled Tang Yuan. In this case, you would omit the steps involving the filling and make your Tang Yuan smaller (unless you like to bite into big lumps of glutinous rice). Unfilled Tang Yuan are served as part of a sweet soup such as red bean soup, black sesame soup or just some rock sugar.
My Tang Yuan turned out quite pretty but, due to the yucky coconut, I could only persuade everyone to try only one piece each. Not even Jason would have more than one..
..It's OK though, I have binned the rest of the coconut and will make some more later. I have learned my lesson.