To start please check out our Tong Yuan recipe for all the details on making the rice flour dough and the lusciously tasty home roasted and ground black sesame filling. And then, for the details on how to wrap up your sexy little Tong Yuans come on back here for Tong Yuan wrapping rolling pinching photos and more!
The rice dough is divided in half and rolled into logs. Work fast with this dough and cover it with a towel as soon as you're done it because it dries out fast and becomes hard to work with.
Slice each log of dough into 14 equal slices. Cover up your dough again when you're done!
Grab a slice of dough and roll it into a round shape in between your palms. Should be about the size of a red grape or a very large cherry.
Use your fingers to press the dough into a flat circle with a diameter of 2" or so. Try to make the edges thinner than the middle, leaving a little budge of dough in the middle.
Scoop about 1/2 tsp of your filling onto the dough. Don't add too much filling as it will make it very hard to close properly. Also try not to touch filling with your hand at all! If you do I promise you will end up getting black spots all over your previously pristinely white tong yuan. (Guess how come I know this!)
Close up the dough by folding dough up into a cup like shape, then slowly pinching the dough close around the filling, trying to be as even with the dough distribution as possible. If at this point you have discovered that the filling is not going to allow the tong yuan to close easily, by all means get rid of some of the filling.
To get rid of excess filling or to tamp down the filling, don't use your fingers! Get something like a chopstick. It really helps to tamp down gently a bit here and there so that you can get a good closing.
When you have pinched close the entire tong yuan it's time to make it pretty and round. I gently enclose the tong yuan inside one fist and squeeze, ever so lightly. Then it's time for a gentle roll in between the palms of both hands until the tong yuan is as round as you can get it. Be really really gentle handling these tender little dumplings! Too much force will break it and you can't fix a broken Tong Yuan!
So here you go: the final product, our sexy Black Sesame Tong Yuan Rice Dumplings 黑芝麻湯圓 in Sweet Ginger Soup. Hope you enjoyed The Making of a Tong Yuan and thanks to my little girl for helping with the photos! Happy, Hippy Tong Yuan Making to one and all!
More Chinese Dumpling stuff at The Hong Kong Cookery:
Potsticker Pork Dumplings 鍋貼
How to Fold a Chinese Dumpling
Zong Zi Rice Dumpling 粽子 Google