Pin It
Monday, January 31st, 2011

Chinese New Year Recipe: Yuanxiao (sweet rice balls)

By
rasamalaysia.com/

Yuanxiao, or sweet rice balls, are traditionally eaten on Lantern Festival, which is the last day of the two-week Chinese New Year holiday. Lantern Festival falls on the first full moon of the new year and people traditionally go out on the street at night carrying lanterns, and light fireworks and visit friends and family. They also eat this sweet dessert, which has a round shape symbolizing family unity and happiness (and the full moon). The ingredients can be found at Asian supermarkets.

 

Ingredients:

 

4 1/2 cups glutinous (sticky) rice flour
7/8 cup (14 tablespoons) butter
7 oz (200 g) black sesame powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp white wine

 

Instructions:

 

1. Mix butter with sesame powder, sugar and wine. You may need to heat the mixture a little to soften it. Let the mixture cool and then form into very small balls (as big around as a penny).

 

2. Put the rice flour in a bowl and mix with a little water at a time until it holds together and is soft like play-doh.

 

3. Make the dough into balls a little smaller than a golf ball. Make a deep indentation in each ball and put the smaller balls of sesame powder mixture inside, and then close it up completely.

 

4. Cook them in boiling water. Make sure to keep stirring gently in one direction while cooking. When the water reaches a boil, add some cold water and let it boil again. When they float on the water, continue to boil for about one minute at a lower temperature.

 

5. Remove from the pan immediately. Serve them while hot in a bowl covered with the water they were cooked in. You can also add some ginger and sugar to the broth to make a sweet syrup.

 

*This recipe has been partially adapted from: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesenewyear/r/yuanxiao.htm

© 2011 – 2013, Sophie Beach. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Circumcision Wars

She fought her Turkish in-laws on it--did she succeed?

The West's Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

How the West sleeps is different from the rest

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

The secret of why African babies don't meltdown like Western ones.

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

Our top picks for Muslim and non-Muslim kids alike

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sophie Beach lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and edits the news site China Digital Times. She and her husband are raising their two children bilingually in Mandarin and English. Sophie also runs the Hao Mama blog as part of a never-ending quest to find and share resources that make learning Chinese a fun and organic part of her children's lives.

Leave us a comment!

9 Comments
  1. CommentsHao Mama 好妈妈 » Blog Archive » Year of the Rabbit   |  Thursday, 03 February 2011 at 3:54 pm

    […] has done in four years of school. Simple and lovely and befitting the holiday. ICP also posted a recipe I put together for yuanxiao, a sweet treat for the holiday which is enjoyed all year around in our house (usually not made by hand, […]

  2. CommentsLunar New Year: January 23, 2012 | InCultureParent   |  Monday, 16 January 2012 at 10:28 pm

    […] Eve is a time for feasting with family and friends and many traditional foods are eaten such as yuanxiao (sweet, stuffed rice balls) in China, bánh chưng (steamed sticky rice with pork) in Vietnam and […]

  3. CommentsChinese New Year Celebrations Continue… | Editorial Creatives   |  Friday, 27 January 2012 at 5:19 pm

    […] rice flour with sugar fillings, are consumed, as they resemble the shape of the full moon. Click here for a […]

  4. CommentsChinese New Year Blog Party and Giveaway! « Miss Panda Chinese – Mandarin Chinese for Children   |  Friday, 08 February 2013 at 8:03 pm

    […] – Chinese Near Year Recipe: Yuanxiao (sweet rice balls) […]

  5. CommentsInCultureParent | Travel to Beijing with 5 Children’s Books   |  Thursday, 08 August 2013 at 8:19 pm

    […] about cooking a Chinese dessert with your […]

  6. CommentsMOONCAKE & YUANXIAO | DAILY DOSE OF ART   |  Saturday, 07 June 2014 at 9:54 pm

    […] you enjoy cooking, here is a recipe you can try out:Yuanxiao Recipe SourceIngredients: 4 1/2 cups glutinous (sticky) rice flour7/8 cup (14 tablespoons) butter7 oz (200 g) […]

  7. CommentsChinese New Year Symbols and Elements - Multicultural Kid Blogs   |  Friday, 06 February 2015 at 4:00 am

    […] Yuanxiao: sweet rice balls that are served in a bowl and eaten on the first night you can view a full moon in the New Year. They symbolize families gathering together for the festival. […]

  8. CommentsMOONCAKE & YUANXIAO | DAILY DOSE OF ART   |  Friday, 06 February 2015 at 10:19 pm

    […] you enjoy cooking, here is a recipe you can try out: Yuanxiao Recipe  Source Ingredients:  4 1/2 cups glutinous (sticky) rice flour 7/8 cup (14 tablespoons) butter 7 oz (200 […]

  9. CommentsLantern Festival – The Red-braised Twinkie   |  Sunday, 21 February 2016 at 4:33 pm

    […] unity and eating them brings good luck. I don’t have my recipe, but I found a few good ones here, here and […]









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

More Recipes