Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Countdown to Christmas - 3 Days

It's the Dōngzhì (Winter Solstice) Festival today. Traditionally, Chinese families make tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) either plain of stuffed served in sweet soup. This is the first year we made our own tang yuan. It is so easy that we recruited Baby O along.

Basically, all you have to do to make the glutinous rice balls is to pour half a cup of cooled boiled water, little by little into a cup of glutinous rice flour. Mix together until they form a soft dough ball that peels easily from the hand. You can divide the dough and add some colouring but it is not necessary.

Pinch enough to make little glutinous rice balls or big ones up to your own liking. I prefer small ones so you are not eating lots of flour at one time. We also made cut tiny pieces of gula melaka (palm sugar), placed them on a flattened ball and sealed them shut.

Cover the tangyuan and the rest of the unmoulded dough with a piece of damp towel to prevent it from drying out.  If it gets to dry, you can always add a little water and work on it again.

Result of leftover dough
For the ginger syrup, we boiled about two liters of water with a piece of ginger the size of a small palm (smashed lightly with a cleaver), five pandan (screwpine) leaves and a block of gula melaka (palm sugar) for about 20 minutes.

Once the syrup is ready, we can cook the glutinous rice balls by placing them into a pot of boiling water. The balls are cooked when they start to float onto the surface of the boiling water. Scoop them with a slotted spoon and place them into the ginger syrup and serve immediately.

I am so glad that we get to celebrate and experience such diversify and rich culture in our country!

This Mama: Drank and ate up the bowls of tangyuan and completely forgot to take pictures of the end product!

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