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Dong Yuen (Glutinous Rice Dumpling Balls)

I called my mom in Malaysia 2 days ago,she informed me that this year Dongzhi or Tong Yuen Festival or Winter Solstice Festival fall on 21st instead of 22nd December.Luckily I have spare glutinous flour in my pantry.Usually this Chinese festivals originally were religious and ritualistic in character. According to Chinese custom, every year on this day, people make this sweet glutinous rice ball as an offering to Buddha or their ancestors.But since I live in US and A, it's not conveniences for me go to temple and pay my respect to the mighty god.So I just make some "Dong Yuen" with my daughter for ourself to enjoy and in a way to remind her of this special day.In Chinese "Dong" stands for reunion and "yuen" means round or complete.Eating tang yuan is symbolic of family unity and harmony .


1 lb glutinous rice flour

1 1/2 cup water

Various food coloring ( I used Wilton's)

500 gm rock sugar

1 1/2 liter water for syrup

1 liter water for boiling and some extra for blanched

3-4 pandan leaves ( screw pine leaves)


1:Prepare a large bowl and wooden spatula,add in water and rice flour in a little at a time.

2:Knead the dough in the bowl until it is soft and smooth. If it feels a little dry, wet your hands and knead again.

3: Divided the dough into 5 little small ball. Add different color to each individual small ball,knead until the color well mixed, set aside.

4:Roll the dough in oblong shape first,then start rolling dough into a tiny balls.Repeat the process until finish.Place all the rolled tiny balls on a large flat tray or plate.

5:Prepare a large pot boiling water,when the water is rolling boil,drop all the tiny colorful balls .Once all the tiny balls floated ,it's mean cooked.Use a large sieve to scoop the colorful tiny ball into a large cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

6:Prepare water in a medium pot for the syrup.Add in wash screw pine leaves (pandan leaves) into the pot,boil for 10-15 minutes before add in rock sugar.When rock sugar dissolved ,scoop the colorful tiny balls from cold water and add into the boiling syrup.Quickly remove the pot from heat when the syrup is rolling boil.

7:Serve warm or cold as dessert.


You can use palm sugar or brown sugar to replace the clear syrup.

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Anonymous said...
December 22, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Happy Dong Zhi to you too! Yours is very colorful!

Anonymous said...
December 22, 2008 at 6:14 PM

I love glutinous ball in syrup. This is very colorful dish and I will try it. Happy Dong Zhi to you.

Anonymous said...
December 22, 2008 at 6:29 PM

So colorful!! I feel happy just looking at the wonderful color :) Diana asked me to make some for her today but I am so lazy. Maybe tomorror. Two days late :)

Anonymous said...
December 22, 2008 at 11:24 PM

argh, I missed dongzhi this year! :P Love the multi colours of the dumpling balls u made XD

Anonymous said...
December 22, 2008 at 11:54 PM

Wow! These are like technicolor gumballs. Very pretty.

Anonymous said...
December 23, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Thank you guys:) appreciated your comment,,Happy Winter Festival to you guys too.
I used Wilton's food color for the rice balls,look good huh?.

Anonymous said...
December 25, 2008 at 8:57 PM

Very beautiful colors for the dong yuen! Not just the ordinary colors pink, green and white... :D

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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917(at)yahoo(dot)com. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.