Tangyuan 汤圆


Chinese Name: 汤圆

English Name: Tangyuan; Tangtuan; Dumpling

Category: Snack小吃

Main Ingredients: Glutinous rice flour

Tangyuan 汤圆

Tangyuan汤圆, also known as “tangtuan汤团” and “fuyuanzi浮元子”, is one of the representatives of traditional snacks of the Han nationality汉族. At the same time, tangyuan is also the most characteristic food in the Chinese traditional festival Lantern Festival元宵节, which expresses the longing and expectation of the ancient people for a happy life.

Tangyuan 汤圆
Delicious tangyuan

It is said that Tangyuan originated in the Song Dynasty宋朝 and was a novel food in Mingzhou (now Ningbo, Zhejiang Province) at that time. At that time, the inside of the tangtuan was filled with black sesame, lard and a little white sugar, and the outside was rubbed into a circle with glutinous rice powder. After the tangtuan are cooked, they taste sweet, soft and glutinous with endless aftertaste.

Tangyuan 汤圆
Hand-painted Tangyuan

Eating Tangtuan is a traditional custom of Han people, especially in the Jiangnan area. There is a saying among the people that “one year older after eating Tangyuan吃了汤圆大一岁”. “Ningbo Tangyuan宁波汤圆” is the most famous Tangyuan in various places. It is a round dessert made of glutinous rice powder. “Yuan圆” means “Reunion团圆” and “consummation圆满”. Eating Tangtuan during festivals symbolizes family harmony and auspiciousness, so Tangyuan is also called “fuyuanzi浮元子”.

Tangyuan 汤圆
Tempting tangtuan

The Winter Solstice冬至 is also commonly known as “Winter Festival冬节”, “Long Solstice Festival长至节”, “Asian Year Old亚岁” and so on. It is a traditional festival of the Chinese nation. The winter solstice custom originated in the Han Dynasty汉代 and flourished in the Tang唐朝 and Song dynasties宋朝. Qingjialu清嘉录 even said that “the winter solstice is as big as a year冬至大如年”, which shows that the ancients attached great importance to the winter solstice. Because of this, the food culture of the winter solstice was rich and colorful.

After thousands of years of development, a unique festival food culture was formed. The custom of eating glutinous rice balls at the winter solstice is particularly popular in the Jiangnan area. Eating Tangyuan at the winter solstice can be used to worship ancestors or to give gifts to relatives and friends.

Tangyuan 汤圆
Wrapped tangyuan

Sweet tangtuan has a sweet taste, so there is no need to add sugar to the soup to reduce calorie intake. If it is a small dumpling without stuffing, the soup can be replaced by sweet osmanthus, sweet wine, flower tea, longan red jujube soup and longan ginger soup, which can have the effect of nourishing the body and dispelling cold. If it is salty dumplings, add some vegetables when cooking to increase the intake of cellulose.

How to make Tangyuan?

Tangyuan 汤圆
Lovely tangyuan


  • 100g sesame seeds
  • A handful of walnuts
  • 30g salt butter
  • 70g sugar
  • 200g glutinous rice powder
  • A proper amount of gluten-free flour无筋面粉
Tangyuan 汤圆
Tangyuan with exquisite shape


  • Step 1, Put the sesame seeds in the pot to bake until fragrant and then put the sesame seeds and walnuts together in the blender to break them.
  • Step 2, Mix the white sugar and melted butter well, put them in the refrigerator, and wait until the butter temperature drops down and solidifies.
  • Step 3, Put about 20g of gluten-free flour in the basin, add boiling water and stir it into a ball with chopsticks.
  • Step 4, Add a spoonful of sugar to about 200g glutinous rice flour, add water and knead it into a dough, and then knead it with the previous gluten-free flour dough.
  • Step 5, Take an appropriate amount of dough, press it into a flat shape, put in the appropriate filling, and then seal it. Note that the technique of wrapping tangtuan should be light. Otherwise, the tangtuan will break when cooking.
  • Step 6, After the tangtuan are wrapped, cook them and you can eat them.
Tangyuan 汤圆
Tangyuan in nice bowls


  • The excess tangtuan can be put on the plate, and the plate can be put into the freezer of the refrigerator. After the surface of the tangtuan is frozen hard, they can be taken out and put into a box for storage like quick-frozen tangtuan. Take them out and cook them when you eat.

Video Guide

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