My Winter Solstice Moment – Making Tong Yuan

I love Tong Yuan. It may be just gooey glutinous rice balls but I just love the tasteless and the  meaningless eating of it.  I usually buy my Glutinous Rice Balls from the supermarket all frozen and all,  but this time mum bought it from the wet market.  SO we had hideous pink and white gooey glutinous rice mix.

Now there are varieties with black bean and red bean and even with crushed peanuts.  I have even heard of people putting kaya (coconut jam) into it… well I like mine plain, and nothing added.

It is pretty easy to make actually, all you need is glutinous rice flour and water. Just mix it till you get the right consistency and there you have it.

So here is my step by step making of Tong Yuan. All that jazz you see in the newspapers with families and neighborhood kids getting together and making the balls I reckon is all bogus and posed.  Because my brother made about five balls and ran off and my mother who was the person who bought it made about twenty balls and declared she was hungry and went off for lunch.  So in the end it was up to Eda and me to finish the job.

First I boiled sugar syrup and a couple of piece of old ginger which I whacked a little. I left the syrup to boil for about 2 hours or so.  The ginger is for heatiness to the body it being “winter” and all. For me I just love the taste of ginger in my drinks.  I forgot to take the photo here.

So you roll the balls and place it on a flat plate that is sprinkled with rice flour.

Make sure it is boiling water

Boil water, preferably in a big wok. I saw all these photos in the newspapers of families using small little pots and daintily straining the balls, well it did not happen in my house. I boiled water in a big wok.


I also had a big container of ice cube and water and so the fun began.

Pour the balls into the hot water and stir it with a frying spoon.  Once the balls floats, just leave them for a few minutes, because the first lot I rushed and took it off as soon as they floated.


Somehow it was not cooked too well, so leave it for about a minute of two. Once they all float remove them with the strainer.

I removed the balls from the hot water and poured it into the ice cold water, to stop the cooking process.  It worked out nice, could taste the balls almost instantly as well.

Once it was all done, I strained the balls and poured it into the sugar syrup which I just turned off to prevent further cooking.

Ahhhhhhh!!!! Tong Yuan…

I just love it.  I ate so much I felt like a big glutinous ball all day.


3 responses to “My Winter Solstice Moment – Making Tong Yuan

  1. karin van rijssen

    Again i love your writing…….beautiful pictures,did you make them yourself.have a wonderfull christmas with lots of good food and we talk soon to catch up ok xxxx, holiday greetings from holland to you all.xxxx

  2. interesting pic nick, never seen pink rice balls. have a lovely christmas day to you and your family.

  3. I made a batch myself just the other day. Love it!!!

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