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Lantern Festival Food-Sweet Soup Balls/Tang Yuan

According to Chinese tradition, the 15th day of the first lunar month is the first opportunity of the year to view a full moon. To symbolize a full moon and all the brightness associated with it, festive lanterns are hung from elevated heights while people enjoy spherical balls of glutinous rice filled with sweet or savory ingredients.

chinese lantern

For many Chinese families in mainland China as well as overseas, Tang Yuan is usually eaten together with family. The round shape of the balls and the bowls where they are served, come to symbolize the family togetherness
Actually our hand push food truck makes lantern food preparation a piece of cake, as it has enough space to cook and is equipped with almost all western cooking utensils.
The ingredients of cooking sweet soup balls

the directions

3 tbsp peanut butter  3 tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1½ tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Filling: First, toast the sesame seeds and coconut. You can do this in a dry frying pan on medium heat, and stir continuously until they are a uniform golden brown. I prefer to toast the ingredients separately as coconut can go from perfectly toasted to burn very fast.
2 cups glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp oil
about 1 cup water

Dough: Measure out the flour. Make a well in the middle and add the oil and half the water. Stir until the dough turns stiff and lumpy. Then add the water a little at a time, stirring it in until everything comes together in soft dough and it doesn't stick to the sides of your bowl. You may not have to use all the water for this. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap while we make the syrup.
3 cups water
1 stick brown sugar
star anise (optional)
Syrup: If you have access to a Chinese grocery store, you can buy brown sugar in neat bars. If you don't, measure ½ cup of regular brown sugar and put it in the pot with the water and sliced ginger. I usually slice about 1½"-2" of ginger which is enough unless you like things spicier. I put a star anise in mine for a little exotic flavor. Bring the syrup to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then cover and keep it on low heat until the dumplings are ready.


✿ Enjoy: Ladle out the tang Yuan into small bowls with some of the syrup and serve immediately. Eat them while they are still hot! If the tang Yuan has been sitting a while in the bowl, they will start to stick together.
Feel free to experiment with different fillings. Traditional fillings include red bean and black sesame paste, but maybe you could try making them with chocolate? Fruit? Poppy seeds? Custard?