Savory Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls, 鹹湯圓)

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Savory Tang Yuan (tong yoon), 鹹湯圓, 汤圆

Many people take into consideration the winter solstice merely because the shortest day of the 12 months, however in Chinese language tradition it’s a crucial pageant. Dongzhi (冬至), which accurately interprets to “the intense of winter,” has its theoretical underpinning within the idea of yin yang (陰陽 / 阴阳). It’s each a celebration of the shortest day of the 12 months and the return of longer daylight within the weeks forward. Observe that dong zhi is the Mandarin pronunciation; in Cantonese, it’s dong zee.

Throughout winter solstice, households collect collectively to make and eat tang yuan (湯圓 / 汤圆) for dongzhi. (Tang yuan, which is the way it’s mostly spelled in English, is predicated on the Mandarin pronunciation; in Cantonese, it’s tong yoon.) Tang yuan are small round dumplings made with glutinous rice flour and water. The round form of the dumplings symbolizes one’s household coming collectively (or tuanyuan, 團圓 / 团圆). Some households make the candy model of tang yuan. Nevertheless, in Toisan (台山), the place my household is from, individuals typically prepare dinner tang yuan in a savory broth with seafood, greens, and meat.

Mama Lin sometimes prepares a broth that’s flavored with rooster inventory, dried shrimp, Chinese language sausage, shallots/onions, and typically lean pork. To serve, she’ll prime the bowl of tang yuan with cooked daikon, fried fish cake, scallions, and cilantro. It’s the final winter consolation meals!

By the best way, most conventional Chinese language holidays are based mostly on the lunar calendar. Consequently, Chinese language winter solstice celebrations could also be on the identical day or a day later than winter solstice based mostly on the Gregorian calendar.

SAVORY TANG YUAN COOKING NOTES

Glutinous Rice Flour Collage
Listed below are just a few manufacturers of glutinous rice flour from Thailand. My mother normally makes use of the one on the fitting (Erawan model)

USING GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR

To make tang yuan, it’s essential to use glutinous rice flour. My mother sometimes makes use of Erawan model’s glutinous rice flour (from Thailand), which is available in see-through plastic baggage with a inexperienced label. Yow will discover the flour in Asian grocery shops or on Amazon.

Don’t use common rice flour, because the rice balls is not going to flip chewy. If glutinous rice flour is tough so that you can discover, you may strive utilizing candy rice flour (similar to Mochiko). Observe that candy rice flour/Mochiko tends to be a coarser grind in comparison with Thai-style glutinous rice flour, so the rice balls gained’t be as silky tender.

Making Tang Yuan

MAKING TANG YUAN DOUGH WITH ROOM TEMP WATER

When Mama Lin began studying how you can prepare dinner tang yuan, she made the dough with boiling scorching water. Sizzling water turns glutinous rice flour into a really stretchy, pliable dough. Should you ever make tang yuan with filling, it’s essential to make the dough with scorching water in an effort to simply manipulate the dough across the filling. 

As a result of this type of savory tang yuan has no filling, you do not want to make the dough with scorching boiling water. For the previous decade or so, my mother has been utilizing room temperature water to make the dough as a result of it’s a lot simpler to deal with. This “cold-water dough,” as my mother calls it, is far simpler to knead and the dough doesn’t persist with your fingers while you roll it into balls. As soon as cooked, the feel of the tang yuan made with scorching water or chilly water are about the identical.

The downside of the cold-water dough is that the uncooked rice balls can stick to one another or the plate they’re sitting on. As you roll out the balls and switch them to a plate, ensure that the balls don’t contact one another. When you find yourself able to drop the rice balls into the broth, invert the plate and gently brush them off. You’ll see {that a} tiny little bit of dough will probably be caught to the plate, however don’t stress about it. Mama Lin, ever the resourceful one, scrapes off and collects the dough to make one final tang yuan.

Daikon

COOKING THE DAIKON

One key ingredient to Mama Lin’s savory tang yuan is daikon (which we name 蘿蔔/萝卜, lo bak in Cantonese). Mama Lin prefers utilizing what she calls “Chinese language daikon,” which is lengthy and plump versus “Japanese daikon,” which is lengthy and skinny. She claims that the Japanese number of daikon is extra bitter, although I can’t say I’ve seen a lot distinction.

To prepare dinner the daikon, she boils it with dried shrimp for umami taste, in addition to a small chunk of rock sugar (冰糖, bing tang). The sugar helps stability out the slight bitter flavors of daikon. Rock sugar may be tough to seek out, so you may change that with 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Fish Cake

FISH PASTE

My mother at all times buys fish paste from a fishmonger in Chinatown or Asian supermarkets. In Sacramento, I’ve been capable of finding some at 99 Ranch Market. I like so as to add scallions to the fish paste to provide them additional taste. If fish paste is tough to seek out, you may change them with fish balls (present in frozen sections of Asian grocery shops) or Japanese-style fried fish cake (additionally present in Asian grocery shops).

CAN YOU MAKE THE TANG YUAN AHEAD?

Sure! Line a big plate with a sheet of parchment paper. Then, organize the raw tang yuan over the lined plate, ensuring the balls don’t contact one another. As soon as they harden, switch the tang yuan to a freezer bag or container. I like to recommend defrosting the tang yuan earlier than cooking them. 

Savory Tang Yuan


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Servings: 4

Creator: Lisa Lin

Savory Tang Yuan (鹹湯圓)

This savory tang yuan is a basic dish that Mama Lin makes to rejoice the winter solstice. My mother by no means measures any of the components, so I’ve streamlined her recipe beneath. The tang yuan dough may be very forgiving. If it’s feeling dry, add a splash of water; if it’s feeling moist, add extra flour. That’s precisely how my mother would make the dough.I take advantage of a scale to measure my flour and some different components, and I like to recommend doing the identical in case you have one.To make the glutinous rice balls, it’s essential to use glutinous rice flour. We sometimes use Erawan model’s glutinous rice flour (from Thailand), which is available in see-through plastic baggage with a inexperienced label. Yow will discover the flour in Asian grocery shops or on Amazon. Don’t use common rice flour, because the rice balls is not going to flip chewy. If glutinous rice flour is tough so that you can discover, you may strive utilizing candy rice flour (similar to Mochiko). Observe that candy rice flour/Mochiko tends to be a coarser grind in comparison with Thai-style glutinous rice flour, so the rice balls gained’t be as silky tender.When cooking the daikon, my mother likes to sweeten it with yellow rock sugar, which she purchases in Asian grocery shops (additionally obtainable on Amazon). A lot of you in all probability don’t have that in your pantry, so you should use granulated or another sort of sugar.

Prep Time1 hr

Prepare dinner Time25 minutes

Substances

Daikon

  • 1 medium daikon (about 550 to 600 grams), peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, any impartial oil like vegetable, sunflower, and many others.
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup (15g) dried shrimp, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups (295mL) water
  • 1 small piece of rock sugar (about 8 grams), or 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Fish Cake

  • 1 lb (454g) fish paste, from Asian grocery shops (see be aware 1)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallions, optionally available
  • oil for pan frying fish cake

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons oil, any impartial oil like vegetable, canola, sunflower, and many others.
  • 1 giant shallot, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 hyperlinks of Chinese language sausages, sliced
  • 3 cups (710mL) rooster broth, I used Higher Than Bouillon low-sodium soup base
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra to style
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions

Make Glutinous Rice Balls

Prepare dinner Daikon

  • Trim off the inexperienced tops from the daikon. Slice the daikon into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Then, stack the daikon slices and lower into strips (about 1/4-inch large).

  • Warmth a big wok (or pot) with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over excessive warmth. Add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the dried shrimp and prepare dinner for one more 30 seconds to 1 minute. Subsequent, add the daikon and 1 1/4 cups of water. Add the sugar and canopy the wok with a lid and convey the water to a boil. As soon as boiled, cut back the warmth barely, and let the daikon simmer for six to eight minutes, till tender.

  • Uncover the wok and season with salt. (See be aware 2) Switch the daikon and all of the liquid to a bowl.

Notes

  1. Yow will discover recent or frozen fish paste in Asian supermarkets. In Sacramento, I’ve been capable of finding recent paste at 99 Ranch Market. I like so as to add scallions to the fish paste to provide them additional taste. If fish paste is tough to seek out, you may change them with fish balls (present in frozen sections of Asian grocery shops) or Japanese-style fried fish cake (additionally present in Asian grocery shops).
  2. My mother says that including the salt too early will trigger the daikon to show barely bitter.
  3. Freezing Instructions: Line a big plate with a sheet of parchment paper. Then, organize the raw tang yuan over the lined plate, ensuring the balls don’t contact one another. As soon as they harden, switch the tang yuan to a freezer bag or container. I like to recommend defrosting the tang yuan earlier than cooking them.

Vitamin

Serving: 1servin | Energy: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.8g | Protein: 36.6g | Fats: 26.2g | Saturated Fats: 4.7g | Ldl cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1281mg | Fiber: 4.8g | Sugar: 7.2g

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