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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mini Tanyuan (小湯圓) (圓仔)

Tanyuan is a kind of Chinese/Taiwanese snack made from glutinous rice flour. To not bored you with all the details, you can read more about it on Wikipedia. There are different types of Tanyuan. You start with the basic dough made with rice flour,  then either add different flavorings to the dough or fill the little round dough balls with sweet or savory fillings. 

Mini Tanyuan (小湯圓) (圓仔)
  • 2 cups glutinous (sweet) rice flour
  • approximately 1/2 cup warm water
  • food coloring (optional)
In a small bowl, take 1/2 cup of the glutinous rice flour and mix with 1/3 cup of warm water until it becomes dough ball, flatten the dough ball. In a small saucepan, heat up about 3 cups of water until it boils. Add the flatten dough ball into the boiling water and boil until the dough ball floats to the top. 

In a large bowl, take the cooked dough ball and add it to the rest of the glutinous rice flour. Slowly knead in the cooked dough to the rice flour with your hand. Be careful since the cooked dough is hot. Add warm water couple tablespoons at a time until the dough comes together, sort of like play dough. 

Divide the finished dough in half and color half of it with red coloring. Roll the dough into log-shape then cut into equal pieces (pending on how large you want your Tanyuan to be). Shape each pieces into rounds. 

To cook, add the finished Tanyuan into boiling water and boil until they float to the top. Once they float to the top, let them continue to boil for about 2 minutes then spoon out the cooked Tanyuan into either sugar water or red bean soup. 

I placed the cooked Tanyuan in ice water to make
them more chewy

Served with sugar water made from brown sugar. 

Keep in mind that these Tanyuan are flavorless, so you have to serve them into some sort of flavored soup. Some people also put Tanyuan on top of shaved ice. 

*I normally make a batch in advance and freeze the Tanyuan in an air-tight container. 

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