26 Nov 2009

红豆沙金瓜汤圆 - pumpkin glutinous ball with red bean dessert

Tang yuan/ yuan xiao is traditionally eaten during the Chinese Lantern Festival which occurs every year on the first and fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Tang yuan symbolizes reunion therefore it is traditionally eaten every year with the whole family. Something like that...I myself am not really sure about Chinese history however, I'm sure Thangstahh could tell you pages and pages of Chinese history. History is just really not my thing.

Back to the topic of food, tang yuan can be filled and unfilled. Fillings can include azuki bean paste, gula melaka (palm sugar), sesame paste, peanut paste etc. Generally the ingredients for tang yuan can be found in a typical Chinese household pantry.

White glutinous rice flour, white rice flour
This tine round, is actually my second time eating tang yuan. First time was when I was overseas in Malaysia, where everyone helped Grandma make a whole pot full of tang yuan. And because the society around us is getting busier and busier (typical thing of me to say in detail study) it is more convenient for people to buy tang yuan since they are available in the frozen section in all good Asian grocery stalls.
And before you go ranting on about the use of pumpkin and read bean together, there was absolutely no pumpkin taste. I think it's only used for its natural food colour.

红豆沙金瓜汤圆 - pumpkin glutinous ball with red bean dessert
adapted from Famous Cuisine no.53
(Malaysian/Singapore food and lifestyle magazine) RM 13 @ Popular Bookstore
later edited by my mum

makes around 40 tang yuan
  • 200 grams pumpkin (without skin)
    (original was 150 grams without skin, but we had 200 grams left, so we put it all in. didn't make a difference)
  • 250 grams glutinous rice flour
  • 25 grams rice flour
  • 30 grams sugar
  • 120 mL boiling water
  • some azuki bean paste(probably around 1/2 cup maximum)
1. Peel and cut pumpkin into thin wedges. Place into a plate and steam until softened (about 10 minutes).

2. When pumpkin is soft, mash it with a fork into a smooth paste.

3. Mix the pumpkin with the flours and sugars. Gradually pour in boiling water and knead lightly to form a dough.

4. Divide the dough and azuki paste into small portions. Make sure the azuki paste is smaller than the dough.

5. Flour your hands with glutinous rice flour, flatten the dough and wrap the azuki bean paste inside. Seal the openings and roll until the dough is smooth.

6. Cook the tang yuan in boiling water. When it floats to the top, drain the tang yuan and it is ready to serve in a steaming bowl of sweet red bean soup* (see below).
Note: My mum made her own version of the red bean soup, so I don't have a recipe. I'll copy the one from the magazine, in it's original form.
sweet red bean soup
  • 200 grams azuki beans, soaked overnight
  • 250 grams rock sugar
  • 4000 mL of water
  • 4 blades pandan leaves
    (you can leave this out, since pandan leaves are not readily available in Australia)
To make red bean dessert, cook the red beans in water until soften, then blend in the blender until finely paste. Pout in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in rock sugar and pandan leaves, cook for 20 minutes.
My mum cooks it a different way though, she doesn't blend the beans that's for sure.