How to Make – Glutinous Rice Tang Yuan with Hershey’s Kisses
It’s been ages since I last posted a recipe! I’ve been doing a lot of tastings recently for our Foodie Magazine, plus exciting press events and photoshoots! I’ll update you on those very soon
Below, is one of my FAVOURITE comfort recipes – after all, it’s hard to resist chocolate wrapped in glutinous rice. Enjoy!
Food and celebration go hand-in-hand, especially for us Chinese folks. We seem to find a distinct food to commemorate each festival, and thanks for China’s diverse geography and ethnic populations, there is always an endless array of cooking traditions to choose from. Lantern Festival, set on the 15th day after the Lunar New Year, is traditionally celebrated with ornate lanterns (often, encoded with riddles) and the eating of yuanxiao. Yuanxiao, or tang yuan, are sticky rice balls made from glutinous rice flour and filled with an assortment of sweet flavours ranging from the traditional sesame paste, to sweet peanut, to hawthrone. The round shapes of these rice balls, and the round bowls they are served in, symbolizes family togetherness and unity.
There are 2 ways of making yuanxiao / tangyuan, and the different techniques are attributed to northern and southern traditions. In the north, traditionally, yuanxiao are made by swivelling the paste-like fillings in a large bowl of loose, dried glutinous rice flour. The loose rice flour sticks to the paste filling, and water is sprinkled from time-to-time to add moisture and encourage more layers of flour to stick on to the balls. Eventually, layers of rice flour will surround the paste fillings and create little rice balls.
The southern tradition is less time consuming – glutinous rice flour is kneaded to form little balls, with the filling rolled into each ball. The texture is much softer and stickier than the northern variety, and this is the most popular way to make tangyuan.
Due to my impatient nature, I decided to make tangyuan the southern way, since I’m always looking for the easiest solution to get from A) cooking, to, B) eating. I’ve taken a modern twist by using chocolate as the filling instead of the traditional sesame paste, as what can be better than chocolate for dessert?
What you’ll need (makes 9):
- 3/4 cup glutinous rice flour
- 4.5 tbls water
- Hershey’s chocolate kisses
First of all, mix the rice flour with water. Knead the dough until it has only a slightly sticky consistency.
Unwrap the little nuggets of Hershey’s kisses. I like to cut off the pointy top of the Kisses to make it easier to roll the chocolate into the dough. (Feel free to “test” a few of these little chocolates, for quality control purposes…of course:)
Roll the dough into a column and pull off 3cm pieces. Roll each piece into little balls, then dimple the center and make each piece into little cups to hold the chocolate filling.
Roll the dough around each chocolate kisses to fully encase it.
In boiling water, cook these until they float to the surface of the water (around 2-3 minutes) and be prepared to be mesmerised!
These little balls also freeze well, so line up any uneaten ones (that is, IF there are any left!) on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.