September 20, 2018

Walnut Sesame Tang Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓

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By Published: 2018-09-20
Mid Autumn Festival is just around the corner and we've been dithering about which mooncake to make.  Will it be our Double Yolk Lotus Mooncakes, our Five Nut Mooncakes?  Or perhaps our Snow Skin Mooncakes will do the trick.  

Not only that but, as my little girl is reminding me, we must buy all the glowing paraphernalia that is needed for Mid Autumn Festival celebration, a night of moongazing and mooncake eating.  Let's see...we have got glowstick glasses, glowstick necklaces and rings, glowstick bunny ears and there's still our annual trip to pick up lovely Chinese lanterns to carry while moongazing.  

And not only all that but we are also making other festive treats such as homemade tong yuan rice dumplings, those luscious little sweet treats whose rounded shapes make it the perfect moon tribute.  This year we made Walnut Sesame Tong Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓, with a buttery nutty decadent sweet walnut sesame filling that is the perfect foil to the smooth and chewy rice flour wrap.

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A good handful of walnuts (we like these walnuts), that oh so full of goodness kind of nut.  Seriously, though, one should have a bit of nuts everyday to benefit from all the wonderful oils and minerals that they provide (and to keep from going nutty!) and there 's no better way than to eat some walnuts...and almonds, I love almond...oh, and there's pistachio...  

Argh!  Alright, I'll admit...I'm nuts for nuts!  

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Speaking of nuts, you can actually make this tong yuan with whatever combo of nuts that you like or have handy. Peanuts, almonds, pistachio, cashew, etc.  We added some roasted black sesame seeds (superfood alert!) to the walnuts  to keep it interesting.  A bit of sugar to sweeten and some butter or lard to bind it all together.  

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Now just whiz it all in your food processor, pushing the mixture down on the sides in intervals until a paste is formed.  Yum...so good!   Um, tip to self...try not to eat all the yummy filling before you get around to wrapping!

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These fluffy marshmallow looking things are actually the tong yuan rice dough mixed, kneaded, and cut.  Tong yuan dough has got to be some of easiest to make, just glutinous rice flour and hot water mixed until a dough forms.  A good trick that I've picked up is to add a couple of spoonfuls of powdered sugar in with the glutinous rice flour, it makes for a super duper delicious dough.  

And make sure to use glutinous rice flour as opposed to rice flour which often has similar packaging!  The first time I ever made tong yuan I used to wrong flour and, let me tell you, it wasn't pretty...

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Roll the fillings into little balls, set them in the freezer for a bit so that they really firm up and then wrap tenderly inside their warm rice dough coats.  For tips on how to wrap check out our post on How to Wrap a Tong Yuan.

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Roll and wrap, wrap and roll...  Soon you'll have a bowlful of tong yuan!  You can eat 'em right away by boiling in simmering water and then serving them the traditional way floating in the sweet and peppery Sweet Ginger Soup 薑糖水.  

Or if you can have them later, just freeze 'em right away and then pop 'em straight into boiling water whenever you want to have tong yuan!  Hope you like our nuttily versatile (use any nut you like!) recipe for Walnut Sesame Tong Yuan!  Stay tuned for more Mid Autumn Festival treats recipes coming up!

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Walnut Sesame Tong Yuan Recipe
核桃芝麻湯圓

(makes 28 tong yuan)  Prep time:  Cooking time:

Ingredients:

Directions:

Lightly roast sesame seeds in heavy bottom pan over low heat until fragrant.  Let cool.  Roughly chop walnuts.  Add walnut, sesame, sugar and butter to food processor.  Pulse until a paste is formed.  Chill in freezer for 10 mins until firm enough to handle.  Roll into 1/2 inch balls (about 5g) and return to freezer while making the dough.

To make dough, mix rice flour and sugar.  Add boiling water into the glutinous rice flour, stir to mix.  Add room temp water, one tbsp at a time, stirring and then kneading, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl and is soft and very slightly sticky. 

Slice dough into 28 equal pieces (approx 10g each).  Take one piece of dough, flatten and then wrap around chilled filling evenly and roll into a ball.  Be sure to cover the rest of the dough as you work to prevent drying out.  For wrapping tips check out our post on How to Wrap Tong Yuan.

To cook boil 3 inches of water in a small pot.  When the water is boiled, turn heat low and add in your desired number of tong yuan that you are going to eat right away, remembering not to crowd the dumplings.  When the tong yuan floats to the surface they are ready to remove from water.  

Add tong yuan to a serving bowl filled halfway with Sweet Ginger Soup (the recipe is on the bottom of the page of this link) and serve hot and yummiliciously delicious!

Rice-ilicious Recipes at The Hong Kong Cookery:

glutinous rice balls, peanuts, recipe, rice balls, sesame, sticky, 糖不甩Sticky Rice Balls with Sesame & Crushed Peanuts 糖不甩





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