Sunday, January 8, 2012

你买我心,我买你心(You buy my heart, I buy yours)

My mum like to say “You buy my heart, I buy yours” (literally means you make me happy, I make you happy).  Before the Chinese celebrates Chinese New Year, they celebrate “Dongzhi” first which falls on the 22nd of December every year. I remember my mum told me that “Dongzhi” is even more important than Chinese New Year itself. This is a festival celebrated by having a big feast at home together with family members, very much like the Thanksgiving celebration which my Quay Lo is used to. The only difference is that, they have turkey and we have “tang yuan”.  I don’t know why but we stopped celebrating “Dongzhi” since my first late husband, Mike passed away. I LOVE tang yuan and since we do not celebrate this festival anymore, my mum had not made this for a long long time and I don’t know how to make them.  I did not eat “tang yuan” at home now but when I crave for it, I can get them from the restaurant. I like those at the Chinese Restaurant at the Marriot hotel especially those with black sesame filling. I cannot believe this year, I had them at home on “Dongzhi”. No, we did not celebrate "Donzhi" still and my mum did not make it. My son, Nick’s girlfriend, Lehbin did. She made it at Nick’s home and drove all the way to mine to give me the “tang yuan”. Isn’t that sweet? They tasted far more better than those at the Marriot Hotel!! The sweetness of these “tang yuan” travels from my mouth to my heart! The texture of the “tang yuan” is silky and smooth and they are delicious!  Lehbin, the love you put into making this “tang yuan” makes it even more PERFECT!! Thanks my dear, I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and thanks for sharing your recipe with me. Love you tons! 

If only we all try our best to adhere to this Chinese saying: “You buy my heart, I buy yours”, we will definitely be able to get along better and happier, don't you think?

Allow me to share Lehbin’s “tang yung” recipe with you. This is a good recipe because the texture remained silky and soft and still tasted as good the next day.

Black Sesame "Tang Yuan"
recipe from Lehbin (my son's girlfriend)

4 oz. glutinous rice (sticky rice) flour
90 ml water
2 tbs lard
2 tbs black sesame seeds
4 tbs sugar

Ginger soup:
2 1/2 cups water
sugar (amount depends on your preference)
2 oz. old ginger (skin peeled and then lightly)
1 pandan leaves (tie them into a knot)


Lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium fire until you smell the aroma of the black sesame seeds and ground it. Add ground black sesame into a pan with sugar and lard and stir until paste is formed. formed. Scoop them out into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge for half an hour.

In a big bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with water until it forms a smooth paste and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide it equally into 8 to 10 small balls Flatten each ball and place a dollop of black sesame in the middle of the the dough. Fold the edge to seal the tong yuan. Roll the dough in both palms, very gently to shape it into a ball. Set aside.

Prepare the ginger soup by boiling the water. Add the ginger and pandan leaves and boil for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Add sugar and boil for 5 more minutes. Lower heat to simmer and reduce to about 2 cups of water. The sweetness should be according to your preference so add more sugar if you like it sweeter.

Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop the dumplings into the hot boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, transfer them out and into the ginger syrup. Turn off heat and serve the black sesame dumplings in a bowl immediately.


  1. Ahhhhh!!!! The way to a mother-in-law's heart... Hey! Picked the date yet? Send me an invitation, quick! I want an excuse to go to KL again... LOL!!!

  2. Wow that looks good! Great post!!

  3. Geezz... Cikgu... there's the way to some people's mother in law's heart, but definitely not mine. My MIL is a fault finding, unappreciative, bitter and a never happy person. Trying to make the most destructive terrorist on Earth happy would have been easier. It's not a wonder everyone avoids her, including my BIL,SIL and FIL...and boy I'm glad that we get to escape having to dine with her during the Tang Yuan festival.. or the tang yuan balls would probably choke me to my grave! *SIGH* too bad can't escape CNY eve dinner. Haizz... I suppose I'll have to endure indigestion again. She never lets us eat in peace... loves to nag and scold, even while we're eating!

  4. 去年我没有吃到汤圆,现在吃你的:)

  5. looks fabulous
    happy new year to you and family

  6. @suituapui
    Don't worry, you will be the first to know and received the "summon" when the day comes. hehe


    ROFLMAO... I wonder what you MIL will do to you if she read your comments. You are a piece of work!!

    No need to wait next year, can make and eat now also right?

    Happy New Year to you and family too. Thanks so much for dropping by.

  7. Wah! What a sweet girl. She sure loves you very much. You're so lucky.
    This reminded me that I'd made some and froze them uncooked and totally forgot about it. (Lucy moment ... again). I prefer having them in soy milk or almond milk tho.

  8. what a lovely story and so sweet of her to make and bring them to you, they sound delicous,

  9. Nah... I wun worry about her reading this. She's no modern woman lah. Not like you or Claire... she probably thinks PC is only for gaming and is an abomination. LOL! Besides, she dun read English. Mwahahahahahhahaha....

    U know... I tried to take her heart and tried to do so many things for so many years, and she still duzzin approve me as her DIL or her grandson's mother. I got fed up one fine day, and stopped trying. These days I'm happy enough if we dun cross path. LOL!

  10. look fantastic dear yesterday I saw black sesame in a chinese store but I never used but when I see this, look amazing:))

  11. awwww that's so sweet. So extra merit points for her and ur son?? heheheh

  12. I love coming over, you have food for the soul and the stomach over here. The tang yuan looks really good, hmm wonder if i would be so lucky in the future :)

  13. quite unusual to see lard being used here and for me, no problem as long as it's delicious..i think while you are eating these, you must be smiling all the way from heart inside out..i also must learn how to buy people's heart..

  14. enjoy reading your blog. I love glutinous rice ball, sounds nice to try.

    You do look so alike my sis-in-law. Hav a Nice day.

  15. I just love tong yuen ! Really good during this cold wintry day here . It's also easy to make and yours really looks delicious ;)

  16. Thanks for the recipe! Saved for future use ;)

  17. Quay Po, this is a great recipe. If I am able to find the flour in my asian grocery shop, i'll sure try this recipe coz this flavour is always my favourite. We normally buy the frozen type(imported from S'pore). We love eating them in winter, yes!

  18. I think it is so sweet of her to think of you! Sesame tang yuen is one of my fans! But now i know lard is in there.. oh no.. hahaha.

  19. What a lovely post, Veronica. Sounds like you son's girlfriend sure is a keeper:)

    There are many traditions we no longer share in our family since my husband died many years ago. I wonder why that is? You buy my heart; I buy yours" what a blessing...

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  20. You buy my heart, I buy yours, I just love this saying :) Diane

  21. Thanks for visiting my glad you did because it brought me here. I just love your mothers quote! How true it is! What a lovely recipe!

  22. Good article, I had never heard about Tang Yuan before.


  23. WOW, I love it, it looks soo delicious, I am Happy to follow you and I am New in the blog :D I would be happy to have few more followers if you dont mind :D

  24. I love your mom would have loved it too and your post made me miss her so much. Tang yuan is new to me but I'll watch for it on menus!

  25. Oh my, just what I craved. Easy to make too.

  26. This post is so sweet. Sweet with a meaning, thoughts, intentions and a delicious Tang Yuan dessert. You will be a good mother-in-law...

  27. Dongzhi is over but I miss tangyuan!
    Yours look yummy!

  28. What a lovely tribute post and memories. Great post, Quay Po!

  29. What a sweet girl. I agree with Arthur.. a way to the MIL's heart. If the MIL is happy, then hubby is also happy. Let us know when the big day takes place.

  30. Aww...that's so sweet. I dont think i will have the chance of having a daughter in law...But son in law also good enough to do heavy stuff for me..ahahhahah

  31. I agree with this Chinese saying.

    Lehbin sounds like good DIL material :)

    My MIL (late) was a lovely woman, she used to make choy geok often coz I love choy geok (the more sourish and hot, the better). She would sit with me as I makan and would keep asking "Good? Sour enough? Need more dried chillies?". Come CNY, I miss her as she is a great baker and cook. We loved her as much as she loved us.

  32. Ginger soup sounds so yum!! It's very interesting to learn about the Chinese customs :)

  33. Such a wonderful story and I love your photos! This looks amazing! Have a wonderful week!

  34. @Christine
    Thanks dear.

    Sweet story for a sweet person:D

    Hey Lucy, I like them in soy milk and almond milk too. Should I ask Lehbin to make them again?

    Yes they are so delicious. I will probably try to make some myself soon.

    It is frustrating when you have tried so hard and still she does not show any appreciation. I totally understand where you are coming from.

    Try this one, a very good way to use black sesame.

    Extra merit points for her eventho she has not done this, she is a good girl.

  35. @Lite Home Bake
    I think having something being nice to you is not so much of being lucky my dear. We can make them happen most of the time by starting to be nice ourselves but then there are also some exception where no matter how nice you be, you don't get same from some people in return. But then, it their loss not yours. I am so happy to know that you love coming here, I love seeing you here too. Hugs.

    Not healthy using lard but once in a while, I think it is okay:D You bet, I was smiling from ear to ear!! You don't have to learn how to buy people's heart, you are the expert at that. At least you have bought mine already!

    Oh do I? Who is more "Lucy" looking? hehe

    Yes it is easy to make and so not right that I do not know how to make isn't it!? Got to make my own soon.

    I have bought frozen ones before too but I don't like them.

    Yes very nice and thoughtful of her.

  36. @louise
    Yes, Yes, she is a keeper, I hope my son has that capability to keep her.

    Me too!!

    I love that quote too. Sounded so right!!

    Now you know:D

    I am not sure if you can find this in the menu at your end, can you?

    Yes, I crave for these now and then.

    I hope to be a good one.

    No problem, now you got the recipe, try making them.

  37. @yummychunklet
    Thanks my dear.

    Same thing when my DIL is happy, my son is happy:D

    @Yee Ling
    Hey why not, you are so young. Work harder. Burn midnight oil! hehehe

    Wow, you have three good women here, a great mum, a lovable MIL and an appreciative daughter and daughter in law!!! BRAVO!! It is always during festive time that we miss those love ones of ours who were gone the most. OMG!! you love Choy Geok too? ME TOOO!!! it is a DIE FOR for me. My mum makes the best choy geek. Hey when you are coming back to KL, give me a buzz, I get my mum to make the choy geek for you okay?

    It is always interesting to learn about other cultures and traditions.

    Thanks and you too have a great week.

  38. Like I said before, I am going to make some glutinous rice balls, did it, posted it, when you have time, do drop by. Thanks


I love to hear from you. Your comments mean a lot to me. Thanks!