2021 Winter Solstice [Dongzhi Festival], I prepared these glutinous rice balls in sweet syrup. A little different from the past Kuih Ee [Tang Yuan 汤圆 ] that I have prepared. There are various versions to make them and unending recipes to follow. All turned out to be cute lovely round Tang Yuan, that are chewy and edible. Great to enjoy with the sweet, gingery flavour soup. Ample choice of recipes that you can follow.
The difference here is mainly the syrup, which uses Brown Sugar In Pieces [冰片糖]. For those who are not familiar with this type of sugar, below is a description which I have obtained from Google: "Brown sugar in pieces is a traditional sugar used for desserts in Southern China. These delicious bars of Brown Sugar are made from sugar cane which enhances the colours and flavour of Chinese style desserts. The ingredients are Cane Sugar (85%) and Water.
For this recipe, I have used 2 pieces with about 800 ml water. It is rather sweet but goes well with the kuih ee. Just adjust the water portion to suit you preference for the sweetness that is acceptable to you.
This recipe is adapted from K L Liew Youtube Video with slight modifications.
Ingredients for Syrup
800 ml water or more according to preference
2 pieces of the brown sugar in pieces
4-5 blades of screwpine [pandan] leaves
a few slices of ginger
- Bring water, pandan leaves and ginger to boil in a soup pot until aromatic. Add in the sugar and continue to boil until sugar dissolves. Taste to adjust the sweetness according to your preference [the sweetness should be able to flavour the glutinous rice balls]. Leave to cool before use, then remove the pandan leaves and ginger slices.
Ingredients For 5-Colour Glutinous Rice Balls [Tang Yuan]
300 gm glutinous rice flour [+-]
10 gm rice flour + 100 gm water [to be cooked]
green colour - 5-6 pieces screwpine leaves + 100 ml water
yellow colour - 50 gm pumpkin puree
blue colour - 50 pieces blue pea flower [bunga telang] + 100 ml water
50 ml water or more to knead into a soft and pliable dough
- Blend screwpine leaves with water. Squeezed and strained to obtain the pandan juice. Set aside.
- Boil blue pea flowers with water until it is of dark blue colour [indigo colour]. Strain away the flowers to obtain the blue solution. Set aside until required.
- Mix rice flour with water in a small saucepan. Boil over low heat, stirring constantly into a thick paste of runny consistency. Immediately, mix into the glutinous flour. Rub with your finger tips. Divide into 5 equal portions [estimate amount].
- Take one portion of the flour, add the pandan water gradually. Meanwhile, knead to incorporate into a soft and pliable dough. You may not use up all the pandan juice.
- Take one portion of the flour, add the blue pea flower water gradually. Meanwhile, knead to incorporate into a soft and pliable dough. You may not use up all the blue colour water juice.
- Take one portion of the flour, add the pumpkin puree gradually. Meanwhile, knead to incorporate into a soft and pliable dough. You may need to add some water if it is too dry.
- Mix the remaining flour with about 50 ml water or more into a soft and pliable dough. Divide into 2 portions. Set aside one portion for white colour and add a drop of pink colouring to the remaining portion. Knead until the dough is pink in colour.
- NOTE: you may have to add a little more glutinous flour if the dough is too wet, soft and sticky.
- Shaping of Kuih Ee [Tang Yuan] - take a portion and divide it into smaller portions and roll each one into a round ball. Place in a tray or plate. Do the same until all the dough are shaped into round balls.
- To Cook The Rice Balls - Bring a big pot of water to boil then drop in the shaped rice balls in batches to cook. Once the rice balls floats up, they are cooked. Use a serrated ladle to remove them and drop them into a pot of cooled boiled water before dropping them into the syrup.
- Scoop tang yuan into small bowls to serve.