【Purple Marble Tang Yuan – Glutinous Rice Balls】
Chinese love to use the sweet rice, also known as glutinous rice, and glutinous rice flour to make desserts. The sweet and soft glutinous rice balls, called Tang Yuan in Chinese, with black sesame or red bean filling, are a must-have dish during the Chinese New Year celebration. It symbolizes a happy time and a prosperous beginning for the family.
Prepare time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 servings
1) 1/4 cup roasted black sesame seeds (27g), 2 tbsp brown sugar (18g), 1 tbsp corn starch (9g), 1.5 tsp corn oil, 1.5 tbsp honey;
2) 1 small purple yam (95 g) peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, 2 tbsp water;
3) 1/3 cup glutinous rice flour (47g), ¼ cup lukewarm water (60g);
4) 1 cup glutinous rice flour (141g), 1/2 cup lukewarm water (120g);
5) 1 cup fermented glutinous rice (available in Chinese stores), 4 cups water, ¼ cup sugar.
1: Black sesame filling: Place roasted sesame seeds in a plastic bag, seal and roll with a rolling pin (Picture 1). Transfer the crushed seeds to a medium size bowl. Add 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp corn starch and mix well. Add corn oil and honey (Picture 2), mix to combine well (Picture 3). Divide into 12 equal portions, and set aside.
2: Purple yam dough: Place the yam cubes in a microwave safe bowl, add 2 tbsp water and cover the bowl (Picture 4). Microwave at high for 2-3 minutes until yam is fully cooked. Mash yam with a spoon then transfer to a medium sized bowl. Measure in 1/3 cup flour and ¼ cup warm water (Picture 5), and mix with mashed yam to form a dough. Knead a few times, cover and set aside (Picture 6).
3: Plain dough: Measure flour and water of Ingredient 4) in a medium sized bowl and knead to form dough (Picture 7). Shape the dough into a 20 cm log and place it in the centre of a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out into a 15 cm wide rectangle (Picture 8), set aside.
4: Roll the purple yam dough into a similar sized rectangle (Picture 9). Remove the top layer plastic wrap. Gently place the yam dough on top of the plain dough (Picture 10). Then roll from bottom edge to form a log, use the plastic wrap to help in handling the sticky dough (Pictures 11-12).
5: Remove plastic wrap, and cut the log into 12 equal sized portions (Picture 13). Keep them covered with a damped towel or plastic wrap. Take a piece, indent with your thumb and shape it into a deep bowl. Spoon in 1/12 of black sesame filling (Picture 14). Carefully work the dough up to cover the filling, seal the opening, and gently roll into a ball with your palms (Picture 15). Make sure the dough is not stretched too thin, otherwise the filling will leak out. Repeat the process to finish all 12 balls.
6: Fill a medium saucepan with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Put the marble balls in gently (Picture 16). When the water boils again, reduce heat to low and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
7: Meanwhile, fill another small saucepan with all ingredients of Ingredient 5) and bring to a boil on high heat (Picture 17). Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked marble balls into the sweet fermented rice sauce (Picture 18). Sever immediately.