Rice Dumplings: Delectable DIY Delights for Lantern Festival

February 15, 2022 3 min read

Glutinous Rice Balls

Tang Yuan 汤圆 or glutinous rice balls are sweet, chewy colorful balls filled with a runny filling. Served with a sweet broth. This dessert is a comforting, tasty, and heartwarming treat for all the family!

The year of the tiger is here, and we are very excited for this new beginning. You can smell the spices and see eye-catching decor all across the neighborhood. There are so many traditional Chinese dishes you can enjoy this time of the year. You might be busy preparing savory dishes like dumplings or spring rolls for the Chinese New Year. But, when it comes to the Lantern Festival, we have a specific, delicious, and easy-to-make dessert you have to try!

Tang Yuan or glutinous rice balls is a simple and heartwarming dessert that is served traditionally on the Lantern Festival! (15th February.)Try this dessert and I bet you will fall in love with it.

Chinese New Year Lanterns

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Yield:18 balls 


For The Filling:

½ cup black sesame seeds

2 tablespoon sugar

2 tbsp unsalted butter softened

For The Rice Balls:

1 cup glutinous rice flour

3 tablespoon boiling water

¼ cup water, at room temperature

¼ tsp matcha powder

¼ tsp beetroot powder

For The Broth:

4 cups water

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2-inch Ginger piece, Sliced

Chinese Desserts


For the filling:

  1. Firstly, dry toast the black sesame seeds in a non-stick pan at low heat. Stir them constantly to ensure even toasting. Once the seeds are aromatic, take the pan off the heat and place the seeds on a plate to cool down.
  2. Place the cool black sesame seeds in a food processor bowl. Add sugar and process until you get a sticky paste.
  3. Take the mixture out f the food processor bowl into a mixing bowl. Add softened butter and mix well. Place the filling mixture into the refrigerator for about an hour or until the mixture is firm.
  4. Take the mixture out of the refrigerator and shape it into 18 equal balls. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking tray and refrigerate again.

For The Rice Balls:

  1. In a medium bowl, add sifted glutinous rice flour.
  2. Pour hot water slowly and continue to mix using a rubber spatula.
  3. Now pour water at room temperature slowly until you get a sticky dough.
  4. Divide the mixture into two and add beetroot powder and matcha powder in each. Knead the dough using your hands until it is smooth and soft.
  5. Divide this dough into 18 small equal-sized balls.


  1. Start assembling the balls by flattening the balls into a disk.
  2. Now place the sesame seed filling ball in the middle of the disk and cover it by pushing the sides upward so that you get a nicely sealed ball.
  3. Repeat until all the balls are ready.

For The Broth:

  1. In a pot, pour water and add light brown sugar and ginger slices. Place the pot on medium heat and occasionally stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Once the mixture starts to boil, slowly place tang yuan into the water. Let them simmer until they begin to float.
  3. Spoon the balls out of the pot into a serving bowl. Pour the sweet broth on top and enjoy!

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