Traditionally eaten on the last day of Chinese New Year, these jewelled, sweet dumplings have been given an all-natural twist
6 Bowls
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Tang Yuan, or Chinese glutinous rice balls, are typically filled with a sweet filling, usually sesame or peanut (though variations abound) and served in a simple soup.

Eaten with the family on the last day of Chinese New Year, they symbolise togetherness and are the perfect way to end off 14 days of celebration.

Fun to make together, this recipe offers a healthier twist on these dessert favourites by keeping them free of artificial colouring.

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Tang Yuan Balls

  • 300 g glutinous rice flour
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 pandan leaves
  • 0.5 red dragon fruit

Sweet Soup

  • 1 liter water
  • 80 g ginger
  • 80 g rock sugar
  • 1 pandan leaf

To make the tang yuan dough, divide flour and sugar equally into three bowls. Gradually add water to first bowl and knead the dough until soft, smooth, easily pliable but not sticky to the touch (too wet), nor crumbly (too dry).


Blend shredded pandan leaves with water and strain to get pandan juice. Add to second bowl of flour-sugar mix and knead as above.


Purée dragon fruit and add to third bowl of flour-sugar mix and knead as above.


Roll out the Tang Yuan dough into strips, cut up into even-sized pieces and roll into balls.


Start preparing the sweet soup base by bringing 1 litre of water to a boil. Then add ginger, pandan leaf and rock sugar to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer until sugar dissolves.


Add the Tang Yuan balls into the water and cook until they float to the surface.


To serve, transfer the Tang Yuan and its soup into individual bowls.

Photo: Alexander Ow/SPHM

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