Glutinous rice balls in ginger soup

Tangyuan ginger

After the rather misshapen tang yuan the last time, I made more of an effort today. I think the tang yuan taste nicer today too: small, round and very smooth (^_^).

With the cool weather and regular monsoon storms (I sleep with a fleece blanket and no air conditioning!), I really felt like a warming food, which is why I thought a strong ginger soup – a common warming tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine – would be ideal to go with my tang yuan.

Ginger is not free from salicylates, however, and this was my first foray into ginger consumption since my salicylate intolerance shot through the roof some months back. The good news that I survived – hooray! ^.^v

While some people have their tang yuan in a simple light rock sugar syrup flavoured with pandan leaf and a couple of slices of old ginger, such as this recipe, I wanted a potent ginger brew.

Couldn’t find old ginger in the supermarket so I made do with regular ginger and used a large bowlful and bashed it up with a rolling pin (looks like cooked chicken, doesn’t it?).

ginger bashed

The ginger then went into the electric crockpot with just twice the volume of water to ginger, and three pandan leaves.

After simmering for five hours, the ginger brew turned out deliciously strong! I stored half in the freezer and half in the fridge.

To serve with tang yuan, I mixed in half as much water to dilute the mind-blowing ginger heat. Heated it up with sugar to taste and some of the tang yuan I made earlier using the method I described here. I’ve also been drinking it straight as a hot drink.


12 Responses

  1. Brings back good memories!

    One of my favourite activity to do with my high school friends was actually sit around a table, make tang yuan, and gossip (I know, we’re such “cool” teens). We used to add ground black sesame paste to the middle. :D

    When you mix the rice flour and the water, do you use warm/hot water or room temperature water? I heard that using warm water can help make the texture smoother, but I haven’t experimented to test if this statement is true.

  2. Hi commoi,

    I’m a novice tang yuan maker so thanks for sharing your words of experience here :). I’ve not heard the warm water tip; I’ll try that next time.

    What recipe did you use for making the sesame filling? Adding filling in the middle will be a new challenge to my cooking skills :P!

  3. Niceties,

    Being our lazy selves, we didn’t make the filling ourselves but instead bought it from a supermarket. I think adzuki/red bean filling is probably easier to make (as least I can envision the process roughly in my head). My mum and I once tried to make those black sesame “dessert-soup” and failed miserably, so I don’t think I can give you any good advice on working with black sesame. XD

  4. Haha, :) thanks for sharing. I once did try to make red bean filling – without a recipe because I thought it would be easy – disaster!!

    OK, I’ve just had a look at the Taiwanese recipe book I bought the other day, it’s all about ‘muah chee’/ mochi. The sesame filling recipe says:
    black sesame seed powder 236g
    butter 142g
    fine caster sugar 92g
    (quite hard to weigh out those odd numbers, I think!!)
    Melt the butter and mix all ingredients together. I wonder if it works well…?

  5. Wow, those are really precise numbers, although I don’t think it’s all that necessary. XD

    Hmmm… adding butter and sugar to the sesame seed powder… Interesting. It reminds me of the ingreidents for making “ji-wei-bao”/”chicken-tail” buns (you know, those buns from Hong Kong pastry shops that have coconut filling).

  6. hey,
    like u, i am also a great fan of ginger. (my TCM constitution is “cold” and so I’m the sort who eats lots of durians at one go without getting heaty).

    just to share with u, recently cuz of my allergy attack, i’d been coughing nonstop and drinking ginger drink (just boiled plain ginger, no sugar, nothing else) nonstop didn’t help – until the TCM doctor told me that i’d gone overboard and the ginger had ‘scorched’ my lungs. so do use the ginger wisely.

    blessed Christmas! (am leaving for hols and not back till Christmas eve :) )

  7. Hi CP,

    Aiyoh~! thanks for the warning not to overdo the ginger. That’s a very important reminder about maintaining balance in our bodies.

    BTW, thanks for all your tips on everything. I went to SKP today and would have gone to Nature’s Glory, if they didn’t close at 2.30 on Mondays :(.

    Have a great holiday and hope that food intolerances won’t get in the way of having a good time :)!

  8. thanks MMMM!
    you’ll hear from me when i’m back. :) i really enjoy reading your blog, and have really learnt a lot from u!

    natures-glory is a very tiny shop, and would suggest u call before going if there’s anything in particular you want to get. did i tell u that when i asked them about the spelt flour, the sales assistant (they obviously looked like they dindt use ANY of their products) cldn’t tell me whether it was whole grain or white flour, and only told me what i cld already see with my own eyes – that its brown in colour!!!
    only after baking with it then i realised it’s wholegrain!

    also, when i asked them what’s the purpose of the coconut oil in their shop, all 3 of them at the counter couldn’t give me an answer. and just said that Indians use it for their hair. you get the picture. :)

  9. […] my other posts on glutinous rice balls in hot ginger soup and the variety of ways in which you can eat […]

  10. […] 2007 by niceties I’ve already written about glutinous rice balls in sweet red bean soup and in hot ginger soup, but there are a multitude of ways to serve tang yuan, and it’s always good to have a look at […]

  11. Hi Commoi,

    Re: your question about using warm water to make tang yuan. The Korean tang yuan recipe I just posted says to use warm water.

  12. […] rolled smoothly. I’ve read some recipes that specify warm water, and Commoi mentions in the comments here that it’s supposed to make the texture of the dough more […]

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