Today we are going to show you how to make Yuanxiao (or Tangyuan), sticky rice balls. Since you may or may not have the original Chinese cooking devices or ingredients, we are going to show you several ways to make Yuanxiao and some alternative ingredients.
As candy canes are to Christmas, Yuanxiao dumplings are to Lantern Festival, the last day (which falls on the first full moon of the New Year) of the traditional Lunar New Year celebrations. Lantern Festival has also since commercialized into a sort of Chinese Valentine’s Day. The Chinese believe that the round shape of the Yuanxiao symbolizes family togetherness. By eating the rice balls, they will bring their family happiness and good luck in the New Year. For this reason, Yuanxiao are also served at Chinese weddings and any other occasion of family reunion.
We had great success in making these – not even one filled rice ball broke open. The tastiest filling was the traditional black sesame. Other nuts and the chocolate filling tasted great as well. We tried adding avocado to some but did not particularly like the result.
Lunar New Year
of Chinese Valentine’s Day
mortar and pestle
sticky rice flour
Glutinous rice flour
High definition video may help you see all of this better. This video is shot in 4K UHD setting (if you have 4K TV, you may select this youtube Setting/Quality).
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