Thursday, 17 February 2011

Tang yuan, fermented rice and egg drop sweet soup 酒釀蛋花湯圓

Tang Yuan 湯圓 are boiled soft chewy balls normally made with glutinous rice flour.

Today is the last day (day 15) of Chinese New Year called Yuan Xiao Festival 元宵節. It's also a full moon day today. CNY starts on the 1st day of lunar month and end on full moon. To end this festive season, many Chinese will eat soft chewy tang yuan. Most people will have the sweet type but savoury ones are also popular. Tang yuan can be plain or filled with sweet filling or meat filling

In Chinese tradition eating tang yuan is auspicious to end the festive season with a sweet ending i.e. in Chinese sayings 甜甜蜜蜜 (tian tian mi mi) and 圓圓滿滿 (yuan yuan mang mang)

甜甜蜜蜜 (tian tian mi mi) = literally translated as honey sweet, to symbolise a sweet and happy life

圓圓滿滿 (yuan yuan mang mang) = literally translated as round and full, to symbolise everything will have a successful and happy ending

See previous posts for other tang yuan recipes one and two

This is what I just made and eaten. Sweet, sticky, fragrance and yummy. Great tong sui 甜水 (Chinese dessert sweet soup)


Tang yuan, fermented rice and egg drop sweet soup 酒釀蛋花湯圓

Ingredients:
about 1 cup glutinous rice flour
about 40 ml room temp.water
1 tbsp sugar

few tbsp sweet fermented rice 甜酒釀 (much as you like)
1 egg, beaten
few tbsp sugar (to taste)
1 tbsp ginger juice (grate a chunk of ginger squeeze out juice)
a little dried osmanthus flowers, optional
boiling water

* osmanthus flowers or gui hwa 桂花 are fragrant edible yellow flowers from China, used mainly for tea or make into fragrant syrup for desserts. The dried flowers are not easily available in UK, can get from Ebay or some far east tea supplier website. I got mine from Hong Kong.

Method:
  1. Put glutinous flour in a mixing bowl, pour in half the water, mix then gradually mix in the rest of the water bit by bit while mixing with hand till no dry flour left and dough is not sticky to hand. If too wet add a bit more glutinous flour, too dry add few more drops of water. 
  2. Boil a pan of water (about 3 - 4 cups).
  3. Take a lump of the dough, roll between palms into a sausage, break into small pieces then roll each tiny piece into a ball. Drop the dough ball straight into the boiling water. Continue forming the dough ball till finished. 
  4. When the balls float onto the surface they are cooked. Remove balls and put into a pan of cold water. 
  5. When all the balls are cooked and removed. Discard the boiling water. If you don't mind you can use this water for the soup base but I find it a little thick for my taste. 
  6. Fill the same sauce pan with some fresh boiling water about 3 cups.
  7. Mix fermented rice with a little water to make sure rice grains are separated and not lumpy. Add to the pan of boiling water. 
  8. When the liquid is boiling rapidly add in the cooked balls, add enough sugar to taste. 
  9. Boil for a little while till liquid is boiling rapidly again. Pour in the beaten eggs in a thin long stream while stirring the liquid to form fine egg ribbons. Heat off soon as the egg is poured in. 
  10. Stir in ginger juice and sprinkle on a little dried osmanthus flowers. 

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