Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh Makes 3 Tong Yuen Desserts


These sweet little glutinous rice flour dumplings make a delicious festive dessert.

Glutinous Rice Balls with Red Bean Paste tong yuen


250ml water
50g castor sugar
Some pandan leaves
150g glutinous rice flour
125g potato starch

Adequate red bean paste (store-bought)

Bring water, sugar and pandan leaves to a quick rolling boil for 2 minutes. Remove saucepot from the heat and put aside to cool completely.

Place glutinous rice flour into a mixing bowl, then pour in the cooled sugared water. Stir to mix well into a runny batter.

Pour batter in a pot and cook, constantly stirring to prevent it from burning.

Once the batter is thick and sticky, remove from the heat and leave the dough to rest until it is cool enough to handle.

Sprinkle potato starch on a big, clean tray. Place the cooled dough on the tray and divide into small equal portions (about 10-12 portions.)

Coat each piece with potato starch and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc. Place a teaspoon of red bean paste filling in the centre. Roll into a ball and arrange on a serving plate. Serve at once.

Tong Yuen in Ginseng Syrup


150g glutinous rice flour
30g rice flour
180ml water or just enough
A tinge of pink food colouring

Ginseng syrup
1 dried ginseng (12g-15g), soaked for 3-4 hours till soft
15 pieces gingko nuts
10 red dates, pitted
30g dried longan
1 tbsp kei chi
100g rock sugar
1.2 litres water

To prepare syrup: Combine all the ingredients in a pot and cook to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes till the flavour of ginseng is intense.

To prepare tong yuen: Put glutinous rice flour and rice flour in a mixing bowl. Pour in water gradually. Knead until a soft dough is formed. Divide dough into 2 portions. Add a little pink colouring to one portion. Pinch into small portions and roll into tong yuen. Do the same with the other plain portion. Boil tong yuen in a pot of boiling water till they float. Dish out and soak in cold water briefly. Drain the tong yuen and serve them in ginseng syrup.

Glutinous Rice Balls with Red Bean Paste tong yuen


50g fresh beetroot, grated
A few drops apple green food colouring
200g glutinous rice flour, divided into 100g portions

Kwai Fah chrysanthemum syrup
5g chrysanthemum flowers
1.5 litres water
75g rock sugar
1 tbsp dried osmanthus flowers
5g bitter almonds
5g sweet almonds
1 tbsp kei chi

Add a little water to the grated beetroot and squeeze out 70ml-75ml of juice. Add green food colouring to another 70ml-75ml of water.

Combine 100g glutinous rice flour with the beetroot juice, and the other 100g with the green coloured water. Knead both portions into smooth doughs. Pinch off small portions and roll into tong yuen. Set aside.

Boil chrysanthemum flowers in water till fragrant. Add rock sugar to sweeten the liquid. Add dried osmanthus flowers to mix. Strain the fragrant syrup and discard all the impurities. Add bitter almonds and sweet almonds and boil for 10 minutes. Lastly stir in kei chi.

Drop the tong yuen in a pot of boiling water to cook. Once the tong yuen float, dish out into a serving bowl.

Pour kwa fah chrysanthemum syrup over the tong yuen and serve hot.

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