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Tang Yuan (Black Sesame Rice Balls)

Tang Yuan

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


For black sesame filling

  • 1/2 cup toasted black sesame
  • 1/2 cup sugar or as needed
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 80 ml lard or butter

Tang Yuan dough

  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup cold water


To make the black sesame filling

  1. Toast black sesame in a pan or oven (detailed guide can be find herand then ground them into powders. Smaller particles can be accepted for the filling. Or you might find them directly in store.
  2. In a bowl, mix black sesame powder with salt and sugar. Pour lard and mix well. Place in fridge for 1 hour until slightly hardened.

To make the dough

  1. Place the sticky rice flour into a large bowl, add hot boiling water in the center and wait for 10 minutes. Then pour the cold water. Grasp to form a dough and keep kneading for couple of minutes until the smooth; shape the dough into a long log so that you can make similar pieces in the following step.
  2. Take one piece and shape it to a bowl carefully (tips at Note 1). Then scoop around 1/2 tablespoon to black sesame filling into the center. Seal the rice dumpling completely. See Note 2.Shape the balls as round as possible gently.
  3. Bring water to a boiling in a pot (the water should be at least 2 cm higher than the balls). Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes after they float on surface.
  4. Scoop out with the soup and serve with sugar, or sweet osmanthus or syrup.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: When shaping the bowl, we need to make the bottom thicker while the other parts uniform. If the bottom is too thin, the balls might break during the shaping process.

Note 2: If you are not skilled at sealing balls, try to shape the filling into balls too. This will make the process easier.

Note3: If you want the filling to have a liquid texture, increase lard in the filling.

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