Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tang Yuan Festival

Tang Yuan are round balls of glutinous rice (sticky rice), sometimes rolled around a filling of sesame, peanuts, vegetable, or meat. Some are sweet and some are not.Tang Yuan are often cooked in red-bean or other kinds of soup. The round shape symbolizes wholeness and unity.

I went through many websites about Tang Yuan. There are all talking about tang yuan is one of the dish during the winter and connected to the Lantern Festival. hmm.. Weird ne..


I came across an article from The Star. Check it out below:

‘Tang yuan’ to welcome winter

PENANG: Today, the Chinese celebrate Dong Zhi or the Winter Solstice Festival, marking “the arrival of winter”.

FAMILY EFFORT: Ong B Chen (left) and her sister B Bee making the ‘tang yuan’ in Georgetown Wednesday.
One of the must-haves for the festival is the marble-shaped tang yuan, or glutinous rice ball.

The name of the traditional dessert carries much meaning for the Chinese as it sounds like tuan yuan (reunion).

Yuan, which means “round” or “a circle”, is also an auspicious word that suggests yuan man (perfection).

As such, said tang yuan-seller Ng Suan Kooi, families would gather together on Dong Zhi in the old days and make the glutinous rice balls to remind themselves that they were a family unit.

“But now modern families are too busy to make the effort to prepare the dough, cook the syrup and make the tang yuan themselves. This is where we come in to do the job for them,” she said.

Ng, 50, who has been selling tang yuan for 12 years at Pulau Tikus here, said the sweet dessert was especially popular during the festival.

“It’s more convenient for people to buy ready-to-eat ones instead of going through the hassle of making them.

“During the festival itself, I have to use 60kg to 70kg of dough to cater to the huge demand compared with 1kg on a normal day,” she added.

She said the dessert had grown even more popular these days.

“Instead of eating it once a year, you can now get tang yuan any time,” she added.

In the Chinese calendar, the festival falls six weeks before Chinese New Year. A popular expression among the older Chinese to refer to the end of a year and the coming of the next one is: “Chi tang yuan, da yi nian (Eat tang yuan and grow older by a year).”


For this year's Tang Yuan Festival, I made some tang yuans too.
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First, mix the glutinous rice flour and water.

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Roll the 'dough' into small little balls.

Boil the little balls. After that, mix with peanut powder and sugar, or just add sugar into the soup.
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For dinner, we had steambot at home with family members. My grandparents, aunty and her boyfriend joined us. Yum Yum~~ Cook what you want to eat. Eat as much as you want. *slurps**slurps*

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