Dish Stories

Tang Yuan | 汤圆

Origin - China

#dessert #filling #sesame #sweet


Traditional tangyuan with black sesame fillings

Tang Yuan (汤圆)is a glutinous rice flour ball that's usually filled with sweet ingredients such as black sesame, red bean paste, peanuts, etc. It's a common Chinese dessert that can be traced back to the Song dynasty (960 - 1276 AD).


The traditional Tangyuan uses very fine glutinous rice flour to make the balls, then add black sesame, sugar and a tiny bit lard as fillings. Over the time, different areas in China had developed their own styles of tangyuan, people are getting more and more creative with the fillings: mashed dates, crushed peanuts, red bean paste, osmanthus flowers, rose pedals, taro, and many more ingredients have been experimented with Tangyuan. Nowadays, you can easily find tangyuan in the supermarket with chocolate fillings even!


People are also getting more creative with the skin as well. By adding flavors like pumpkin, sweet potato, matcha, people have added more colors to the skin, making Tangyuan more beautiful after thousands of years.


Color tangyuan with a variety of flavors

Because of its pronunciation is similar to "get together" in Chinese, tangyuan is a must-have food during Chinese lantern festivals, which is the first full moon in a lunar year. It has been a cultural tradition for Chinese families to gather around and eat the sweet tangyuan together and enjoy the sweet family time.