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5 from 1 vote

Sweet Rice Dumpling Recipe (Tangyuan 汤圆)

Tangyuan, glutinous rice ball, is a ceremony dessert that is served during the Lantern Festival. Today we are making the sesame version. The glutinous rice ball is smooth and sticky. The filling is sweet and packed with nuttiness. This is how it is supposed to taste like and why it is a blessing dessert. May all of us have a smooth and perfect life. You and your partner are sweet to each other and always stick together just like these sweet and sticky rice dumplings - Happy lantern festival.
Servings: 32 glutinous rice balls


For the filling

For the wrapper

To cook the tangyuan


  • Blend the roasted sesame seeds and sugar with a blender until fine. If your sesame seed is raw, bake it in a 350°F oven for 12 minutes. If you are allergic to sesame, use a different nut, such as almond.
  • Thoroughly combine the sesame sugar powder with the melted butter and honey. Freeze for 30 minutes or until semi-frozen. For the vegan option, use coconut oil instead of butter.
  • To portion out the sesame filling, wet a small round measuring spoon (3/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp) to prevent sticking then scoop the filling just like how you scoop ice cream. The filling should ball up naturally. Roll it between your hand until round and smooth. Each filling should be 8 grams.
  • Freeze the sesame filling balls for 1 hour or until rock hard.
  • While waiting, you can make the wrapper. Bring 160 grams of water to a boil then pour into 300 grams of glutinous rice flour. Stir to mix well. Pour 75 grams of room temperature water in batches. mix until a rough dough forms.
  • Knead the rough dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and stretchy. Feel free to sprinkle some glutinous rice flour to prevent stickiness.
  • Roll the dough into a long even log. Then cut it into 30-35 even pieces. Cover with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
  • To wrap the glutinous rice ball, shape one small dough into a little bowl then put the filling in. Use your thumb and your forefinger to squeeze it around to push the wrapper up then pinch to close it. Roll the ball in between your hand until it is round and smooth. If you feel like the filling gets too soft while you are wrapping, stick it back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes and continue to wrap the rest.
  • To cook the Tangyuan, bring 6-7 cups of water to a boil. Drop in the glutinous rice balls and stir gently until the tangyuan float to the top of the water.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of glutinous rice flour and 1/2 cup of water. Pour it into the pot to thicken up the soup. Add rose jam and sweet glutinous rice wine as sweeteners. You can use honey, syrup, sugar, or even monk fruit extract.