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
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.