Tang Yuen

Dessert December 22nd, 2007

Tang Yuen

Tang Yuen marks the winter solstice and it is a tradition for the chinese to have glutinous rice balls in syrup to celebrate this occasion. Having its history in China, the chinese who now live in Malaysia and Singapore still practice this tradition. For my family, we make our own Tang Yuen rather than purchase them from the market or store.

Chocolate Tang Yuen

Last year, my wife experimented by making a few Chocolate Tang Yuen and it was good. The bitter sweet taste of the melted dark chocolate filling complemented the natural aromatic sweetness of the gula melaka syrup. This time around, we tried the recipe again and we enjoyed it so much that there was not enough to go around. I think we need to make more next year.

This is my wife’s recipe for Chocolate Tang Yuen


  • 300 grammes glutinous rice flour
  • Water
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate


  • 1 piece gula melaka
  • 5 pieces pandan leaves (knotted)
  • 500 ml water


Gently rub a little bit of water gradually into the glutinous rice flour till it forms a dough. Take care not to add too much water as the dough will appear runny.

Cut dark chocolate into small pieces about the size of green peas. Alternatively, if you can find them, get Cadbury dark chocolate bits (used for decorating cakes). They are about the size of green peas or smaller.

Take a dough the size of a large marble and roll it into a ball. Gently press the center till it forms a small well. Place a piece of dark chocolate into the center and fold the edges of the dough over it. Roll it on your palms till it forms a ball. Continue with the rest till all completed.

To prepare syrup, melt the gula melaka in the boiling water with pandan leaves. Keep warm.

To cook the glutinous rice balls, cook the balls in rapid boiling water. The balls are cooked once it floats to the surface. Remove quickly and place them into a bowl of iced water. This helps to keep the tang yuen balls separate rather than sticking to one another. Moreover, it gives it a nice springy texture.

To serve, scoop desired number of balls into a serving bowl and pour warm syrup over it.

My Recommended Recipes


  1. 1
    Steven Goh
    December 23rd, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    I had tasted crunch peanut as inner only. But I didn’t tried the chocolate 1. This is the first time I notice that. Can you send some for me to try out?

  2. 3
    December 24th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Chocolate tang yuen? Wah, very unique leh!

  3. 4
    Sri Kebakat
    December 24th, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t like to eat dumplings at all. But why your one looks so delicious ??? mmmmnn yummy ! I added you in my blog roll. Hope you don’t mind adding me too..

  4. 5
    Rasa Malaysia
    December 25th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Cry cry I miss these, haven’t had these for soooooo many years…:(

  5. 6
    Mama BoK
    December 25th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Hmmm.. different.. i’ll have to say.. πŸ™‚
    Merry Christmas.. and happy holiday to you and yours.. πŸ™‚

  6. 7
    December 25th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Steven : It’s easy enough to make on your own πŸ˜‰

    tigerfish : Just buy some dark chocolate and stuff it inside. It’s simple πŸ˜€

    Sri Kebakat : Thanks.

    Rasa Malaysia : You don’t make these over there?

    Mama Bok : Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too!

  7. 8
    December 30th, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Choc tang yuen. Hmmm……now that is interesting. I have never tasted chocolate tang yuen before. I like black sesame tang yuen in giner syrup. They are awesome. Maybe I should give this version a try and impress my friends with it. They may not like tang yuen but I am sure the chocolate innards will tempt them to eat it by the bucket.

  8. 9
    December 31st, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Reese : Believe me, the chocolate will convert many to love Tang Yuen πŸ˜‰

  9. 10
    January 2nd, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    HAHA! I can’t wait to try this out. They have dango here in Japan (some rice cake similar to mochi only softer and made of cooked rice instead). My caucasian friends here doesnt like the sticky sweet soy that goes with it but said that they will eat it if it is coated with caramel instead. Maybe the same concept applies. We shall see when I make that for CNY party.

  10. 11
    January 3rd, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Reese : Yes, I think that is quite similar but I don’t know if it can withstand boiling?!?

  11. 12
    August 26th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    oh! u r a male chef! thot u were a woman!! correct me if i am wrong! regardless of what, u are a great cook!

  12. 13
    August 27th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    wen : LOL! Yes, I am a guy πŸ˜€ and this was cooked by my wife πŸ˜€

  13. 14
    December 23rd, 2008 at 9:58 am

    I prefer to soak the cook tang yuen in the cooled syrup water. That way, the sweetness will penetrate into the bland glutinous ball. That way, one less work also ma. No need to prepare a bowl of cool water.


  1. History Of China

Leave a Comment

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs