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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


For many Chinese families in mainland China as well as overseas, Tangyuan is usually eaten together with family. The round shape of the balls and the bowls where they are served, come to symbolise the family togetherness.

Historically, a number of different names were used to refer to tangyuan. During the Yongle era of the Ming Dynasty, the name was officially settled as yuanxiao, a name derived from the Yuanxiao Festival, also known as the Lantern Festival. This name literally means "first evening", being the first full moon after Chinese New Year, which is always a new moon. This name prevails in northern China.

In southern China, however, they are called tangyuan or tangtuan. Legend has it that during Yuan Shikai's rule from 1912 to 1916, they disliked the name yuanxiao because it sounded identical to "remove Yuan" (元宵),[citation needed] and so they changed the name to tangyuan instead.

This new moniker literally means "round balls in soup". Tangtuan similarly means "round dumplings in soup". In the two major Chinese dialects of far southern China, Hakka and Cantonese, "tangyuan" is pronounced as tong rhen and tong yun respectively. The term "tangtuan" (Hakka: tong ton, Cantonese: tong tyun) is not as commonly used in these dialects as tangyuan.

Ingredients A
80g tapioca starch  |  200ml water  |

Ingredients B
400g glutinious rice flour  |  250ml water  |

Ingredients C (ginger soup)
2500ml water  |  250g rock sugar  |  3 knotted pandan leaves  |  20 ginger (sliced)

Method (Tangyuan)

Mix ingredient A and stir with lowest heat until slightly thick.

Add in ingredient B and mix until dough and no longer stick to your hand, add little bit of pink food colouring to half portion of the dough, leaving another half plain.
cover and keep it rest for an hour.

Roll the pink and plain dough into small ball.

Bring a pot of water to boil, drop in the “Tangyuan” and cook until the “Tangyuan” floats.

Remove and soak in cold water for a short while. dish and drain.
place into ginger syrup.

Serve hot.

Method (ginger syrup)

Bring Ingredient C to boil until aromatic.

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