Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Tang Yuan: Glutinous rice dumplings; this delicacy is served in various hues during the Dong Zi festival.

Ho Siew Loon is the name of our Contributor.

It’s hard to believe that we’ll be welcoming 2010 in less than two weeks.

Festivities like the Dong Zhi festival in December have always been my favorite month. The winter solstice, or Dong Zhi, has always been a significant occasion throughout Chinese history.

The Peranakan call it “Tang Check,” which signifies the beginning of winter. It’s a marker of the year’s longest night.

Tang Check is as big a deal as Chinese New Year in some communities since it is such an auspicious day in the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese ring in the new year by feasting on Tang Yuan or Kuih Ee, traditional winter delicacies.

Because of its round shape, this rice ball represents family unity in Chinese culture. On December 21st, Tang Check will be celebrated… (Follow below for the recipe for Tang Yuan)

Glutinous Rice Dumplings, or sticky rice balls, are another name for Tang Yuan. During the Dong Zi festival, this delicacy is created and comes in various hues, such as white, pink, green, yellow, blue, and orange.

Most often served with a sweet syrup, these little rice balls are now filled with anything from peanut butter to black sesame to the red bean. Some are savory. However, I still prefer the classics.

The average number of calories in one serving?

  • Each serving of this recipe contains only 418 calories.


  • 2-3 pandan leaves/ screwpine leaves
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar


  • food coloring, 2-3 different colors
  • One tablespoon of refined sugar
  • 7 oz. (200 ml.) water
  • 2 cups glutinous rice, sticky rice flour


  1. To make syrup, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the leaves of the screw pine and let it boil for 5 minutes on medium heat. After 5 minutes of boiling, add the sugar. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes before lowering the heat and removing it from the stove. If desired, you may sweeten it to taste. Set aside.
  2. Using a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.
  3. Make a paste by mixing in water and kneading the dough. Keep kneading until the mixture is no longer sticky to your hands and has formed a soft dough.
  4. Divide the mixture into three or four equal parts and tint with a few drops of food coloring.
  5. Shape into balls by dividing into little balls and squeezing them between your palms.
  6. Take a few hours or overnight to allow the dough to harden and become easier to handle.
  7. Toss in the dumplings after the water has come to a boil. Transfer it to the syrup water as soon as it floats to the surface.
  8. Serve.


  • In the syrup water, you can add a few pieces of ginger if you choose. Alternatively, you can use the same procedure to make palm sugar or brown sugar replace refined sugar.

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