Tang Yuan Recipe

bunny shaped tang yuan filled with black sesame in ginger soup

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Soft and chewy glutinous rice balls filled with a sweet black sesame filling, these tang yuan are a traditional Chinese treat enjoyed in a sweet ginger soup!



Black Sesame Filling

  • 50g Black sesame seeds (1/3 cup)
  • 50g White sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 60g Unsalted butter (1/4 cup), room temperature


  • 130g Glutinous rice flour (1 cup)
  • 120ml Warm water (1/2 cup)

Sweet Ginger Soup

  • 45g Brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 480ml Water (2 cups)
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • Dried osmanthus, optional


Black Sesame Filling

  1. Combine the black sesame and sugar in a food processor and blitz until it forms a fine powder
  2. Add the butter and blitz until it's smooth
  3. Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover, and chill for 30-60 minutes
  4. Once firm scoop 1/2 tbsp scoops of filling and roll into balls
  5. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the dough


  1. Combine the glutinous rice flour and water in a bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms
  2. Knead the dough until smooth, adding more glutinous rice flour or water until it's smooth and soft (it should have the texture of an earlobe)
  3. Take 1 tbsp of dough and cover the rest with a piece of cling wrap
  4. Roll it into a ball and use your thumb to create a cavity in the centre of the ball
  5. Place a ball of sesame filling in the center and smoothen the edges of the dough over the black sesame filling to enclose it
  6. Roll the ball between your palms to smoothen the edges and form a smooth ball
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling
  8. (To make the bunny color 1 tsp of the dough pink. Roll a small ball of white dough into a tail and attach it to the back of a tang yuan with some water. Form two small logs with white dough and top them with a bit of pink for the ears. Stick black sesame seeds into the dough for the eyes and a small dot of pink dough for the nose!)

Sweet Ginger Soup

  1. Combine the sugar, water, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Reduce it to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring until the brown sugar has completely dissolved
  3. Divide the soup among your serving bowls
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat and add the tang yuan
  5. Stir gently to prevent the tang yuan from sticking to the bottom of the pot
  6. Once the tang yuan floats to the surface of the water boil for another minute
  7. Remove the tangyuan and divide them among your serving bowls
  8. Top with osmanthus flowers and serve

Keywords: tangyuan, lunar new year, chinese new year, winter solstice, black sesame, mochi, glutinous rice, soup

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