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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tang Yuan (Chinese Glutinous Rice Balls Dessert)

. . . . S T A T U S
Mood : so-so

I am sick again. I recovered the day before yesterday and the virus hit my troop of immune system again. = ( They lose. I'm sick. Tsk.. This round, the sore throat is much severe compared to the one accompanied with the flu. I cannot eat many things.. = (

I cooked tang yuan (Chinese glutinous rice balls dessert) for lunch. I thought of eating something made from flour and with hot soup base. So, that's the choice-tang yuan!

Tang Yuan
Chinese Glutinous Rice Balls Dessert 

My soup base is made from spicy ginger and Gula Melaka. That is why it is brownish in colour. Using Gula Melaka is better than white sugar because it is less sweet. I'm not a sweet tooth person. 

Glutinous rice flour
Gula Melaka
White sugar
Crystal sugar
Red colouring liquid
Pandan leaves

Big bowl
Chopping board

Be careful! 

  • You HAVE TO use glutinous rice flour. No other flour is allowed to substitute this flour to make this dessert.
  • Clean your fingers and fingernails properly before you start. This is for hygiene purpose. 
  • Do not wet the Gula Melaka when you are chopping them on chopping board. Wipe your knife and chopping board with a cloth prior chopping them into pieces.

Reminder: Wash your hands first! Don't leave any soap stain on your hands or you will be eating soap dessert. =P

1 : Prepare your ingredients. 

Always remember to sift the glutinous rice flour (any kinds of flour) before anything. 
The ingredients you need to prepare are: glutinous rice flour, a bowl of water and some fresh pandan leaves. 
I didn't measure the ingredients.
There is no such necessary to measure unless you are really bad at estimating the hardness/softness of dough or you have really bad tongue in tasting. = (
This dessert is all about adding or subtracting ingredients. 

2 : Knead into dough.

Add a little by little water into the glutinous rice flour and knead them into a dough. 
Use your fingers. Try not to involve your palm. 
The moment you get all the flour into a solid dough, you are done with this step.
If you accidentally added too much of water, you can save your dough by adding a little more flour. 
And if it is too dry (pieces-liked), add a little more water.
See what I meant? It's all about adding and subtracting. ; ) Easy like a piece of pancake!

3 : Colour your dough! 

First, separate the big white dough you have made in (2) into two equal dough.
Come on, don't try to get the kitchen measuring tool to measure the dough's weight. 
A rough estimation will do. 
For mine, I only used 1 drop of red colouring to make it as red as shown in the picture.
Basically, you don't need to put as much as 4-5 drops to make a small dough red. 
The more drops you put, the darker the red is. 
For tang yuan, it's best to have it light pink in colour. 
All scary red balls in the soup look scary! 
Always try with 1 drop and slowly add more if you think it is not red enough.
Don't be greedy to add too much at a time! ;)
After adding a drop of red colouring, knead and see the results amuse you.
If not, add another drop of red colouring.

4 : Cook the soup base.

Bring half of the pot of water to a boil. 
Add in slices of ginger.
I tied the pandan leaves with a simple knot (You don't have to if you don't know how.) 
Just dip in the leaves into a pot of boiling water will do.
Make sure the leaves are submerged in the water as the leaves will be burnt if it contacts with the side of the pot. 

5 : Add in white sugar, crystal sugar and Gula Melaka.

1 and a half spoon of white sugar. 

That's the crystal sugar I'm talking about!
Darn.. The steam burned me when I was snapping the photo this way. 
I heated the pot of water at a high temperature because I boiled the water from room temperature.

That's how much Gula Melaka I put into my soup base. 
The amount varies from people to people. 
It all depends how sweet you want the soup base to be.

If you are a person with sweet tooth, add more sugar. 
All the 3 sugars (white sugar, crystal sugar and Gula Melaka) are sugars. 
However, crystal sugar and Gula Melaka are less sweet sugars. 
They are healthier than white sugar.

After you have put in all sugars and they have dissolved,
get the Pandan leaves out. 
We are going to put in the glutinous rice balls.

6 : Chop the Gula Melaka finely as filing.

This is optional if you want empty filing tang yuan. 
I had half pot of tang yuan with filing and half empty. 
Chop the Gula Melaka (cylinder-liked) into fine pieces (as shown in the photo). 
Be careful! Don't let water/liquid stain to Gula Melaka. 
It has to be COMPLETELY DRY or else you will have a hard time wrapping them later.

7 : Shape the tang yuan to fill in filing. 

Pinch a little dough from the big dough. 
Roll and round the dough with both palms into a ball. 
Then, use 1 of your fingers (definitely not the last one, it's too small!) to make a hole in the middle.
Don't press too hard or the filing will drop out at the back when you wrap it. 

Fit in the Gula Melaka filing into the hole you have molded earlier. 
Do not be greedy! Do not put in too much because it will "overflow" and cause the dough to turn brownish instead of pink.

Now, press it horizontally like a surgeon sewing the patient's wound. 
Then roll it on your palm to make it round again.
Easy, isn't it?

There you go, it is round again with Gula Melaka filing inside.
See how nice the colour of the ball is?
Pure pink without any Gula Melaka brownish stain. ; )
Practice makes perfect.
Just remember, do not put in TOO MUCH filing.

8 : Once you are done rolling, putting in filing, throw the ball into the boiling soup base.

Those floated tang yuan are cooked.
Those underneath are still uncooked.
Once the tang yuan float on the surface, it is cooked.
The reason why the soup base is golden brownish is because of Gula Melaka.
If you don't use Gula Melaka, the soup bas will be crystal clear in colour.

9 : Cook tang yuan with low fire once the water is already boiling.

See? Low fire. 
Cuties tang yuan are floating.. 

10. When all float up, it's done!

Check if all tang yuan are floated. 
Then, switch off the fire. 
They are ready to be served while it is hot.
Man.. The white colour balls look like dinosaur's eggs!
Hahahah.. So cute! 

Tang yuan tang yuan, yum yum.. 

The two pink ones have filing and the white one is empty. ;) 

Everybody knows how to make tang yuan because it is just so easy! 
; ) Have fun with the sweet dessert. 
It eases my sore throat pain because the soup is hot. 


Uncle's side parking drawing (step-by-step)
I thought it would be useful for most amateur drivers who suck in side parking. 
I have adjusted the brightness of this joined photo drawing using Photoshop. 
I snapped it using C905 without lights on (I'm lazy to switch it on =P)
So, it's a little dark but after editing, it looks acceptably OK! ; )
Hope it helps!


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