International Dumplings Incident Party – Tang Yuan

International Dumplings Incident Party
Masterchef Australia has began and in its first challenge, the contestants were told to create something from their childhood memories. We were away in Hobart and so I missed out on that series but I heard that almost everyone had tears! I guess that is the part of being on reality TV. They need tears and stories to hit top ratings. I am sure they succeeded. Even though many will think that contestants should not cry on TV but if it is something touching as childhood memories, then I am sure tears will flow irregardless. It is just that TV makes use of the opportunity to capture it as this is what most audience are after. They love the tears and it is something to bitch about.

Rolled tang yuan

Rolled tang yuan

I am not going to cry but to introduce one of my childhood favourites. When grandma was around, we will have tang yuan during the Lantern festival or yuanxiao. Tang yuan or glutinous rice dumplings are round and therefore it symbolises family unity. Since all her kids are working, Grandma and I will be the onest that will sit around the old laminate table and roll little different coloured tang yuan. Some will have fillings and some don’t. The balls are always in odd sizes but it still tasted very good. In the evening, all her kids will be back for dinner and had at least a bowl of tang yuan each after dinner. But alas, everyone are in different places now and since she has moved on, we hardly get together as often as we used to.

Tang yuan

Tang yuan

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 150g of white gluntinous rice flour
  • 140ml of luke warm water
Glutinous rice dough

Glutinous rice dough

Fillings – Black sesame

  • 20g of black sesame seeds, roasted and grounded
  • Brown sugar
  • 20g butter
black sesame paste

black sesame paste

Fillings – Peanut

  • 50g of raw unsalted peanut
  • 1tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1tbsp of icing sugar (taste and add more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of grounded ginger
peanut paste

peanut paste

Ginger syrup

  • 50g of fresh ginger
  • 80g of sugarcane rock sugar
  • 10g of pandan leaves
  • 10g of chrysanthemum flowers
  • 3 cups of water
Ginger

Ginger

Sugarcane rock sugar

Sugarcane rock sugar

Method:

  1. Place flour in a mixing bowl and make a well. Pour water into the well and slowly combine it together till it becomes a nice dough that lifts away from the sides of the bowl. Cover with a cloth and set aside. You can prepare this overnight
  2. For the peanut filling. Lightly fry the peanuts in hot oil. Drain and use a towel and rub the peanuts in a rolling method to remove the skin from the flesh. Pound or grind the peanut (without skin) till it form a nice paste. Add sugar and peanut butter and mix well. Set aside
  3. For the black sesame filling. Lightly toast the sesame seed and then grind or pound it into a paste with the brown sugar. Place it back into a low heat pan and add the butter and combine through. Set aside
  4. Prepare the ginger syrup by boiling 3 cups of water in a pot. Add pandan leaves, ginger pieces and sugar and allow it to slowly simmer till the syrup is reduced to approximately 2 cups. Taste and add sugar if you prefer it even sweeter. The syrup should turn into a nice deep golden clear colour
  5. To prepare the tang yuan. Divide the dough into roughly 16 pieces (more or less depending how big the ball is). Flatten the dough gently on the palm, scoop peanut filling and place onto center of the dough. Lift the ends up and slowly press together. Give it a gentle roll and finish the rest. Please note, do not over fill the dough or it will burst while boiling
  6. The black sesame filling is more tricky. Spoon a small amount of filling. Press the ends together very gently. Do not roll first. Lightly pat the dough into shape first and then very lightly roll. If not, the dough will burst.
  7. Boil the tang yuan in a separate boiling water and not the syrup so the syrup will not turn a cloudy colour
  8. The tang yuan will float to the top when ready. Scoop and place in the bowl of ginger syrup and serve hot or even cold

I could have added more black sesame but I had a few failed attempts in trying to roll the dough. Just take care in this tang yuan. It is very delicate.

black sesame tang yuan

black sesame tang yuan

The peanut filling is much easier to handle. Which do I prefer? I actually like them both very much. I did make a couple with a combination of both in one dumpling! It tasted pretty awesome :)

Peanut tang yuan

Peanut tang yuan

If it was in summer, I will serve this cold. But as it is a cold almost-winter evening, it is best served warm. You can use colouring to differentiate between peanut and black sesame. I chose not to so that I can be surprised with every single tang yuan. Enjoy!

Flickr Album

Tang yuan in ginger syrup

Tang yuan in ginger syrup

I just like to thank everyone again for participating. More importantly, I will like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all the MAY babies:

There will be a round up shortly! But here is the list of fellow party people. Sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy :)

And also remember to stay tune for next IIP – Noodles on the 20th of June!