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Homemade Tang Yuan

Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls) Recipe

Tang Yuan are popularly eaten during “yuan xiao” (last day of CNY), “dong zhi” (winter solistic) and auspicious family celebrations.

Tip when kneading the dough: If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water. If the dough is too wet, add a bit more flour. If the dough feels dry when shaping the balls, dip your fingers in water before continuing.


  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water for making dough
  • 1/2 tbsp caster or super fine sugar
  • food colourings

(A) Sweet Soup (糖水)

  • 80 grams ginger bruised
  • 1 litre water
  • 80 grams gula melaka (or rock sugar/brown sugar) to taste
  • 2 pandan (screw pine) leaves tied in a knot


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour and sugar. Gradually add water (you don’t have to use all of it) and knead the dough until soft, smooth, easily kneadable yet not sticky to the fingers (too wet), nor crumbling (too dry).
  2. Divide the dough depending on the number of different colours you intend to make. Add food colouring, one drop at a time, to each portion and knead until the colour is well distributed. Shape the dough to even-sized balls.
  3. Bring a pot of water (enough water to submerge the dumplings completely) to boil. Add the tang yuan into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface. Transfer them immediately to a bowl of room temperature water until cooled or ready to serve.
  4. To cook the sweet soup, add (A) to a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until the sugar is fully melted.
  5. To serve, add tang yuen to a serving bowl and ladle the sweet soup over.
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19 comments on “Homemade Tang Yuan”

  1. Hi! Can I know what kind of food coloring you use? Thanks!

    • hi! I use pandan paste for green. The rest of the colours are the usual food coloring bought from the baking section of supermarkets :)

  2. Is tang yuan halal?

    • based on the ingredients insyaAllah its halal, but i’ve seen some Tang Yuan recipe that used lard to bind the filling, so you just have to be aware on that.

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