Chinese Winter Solstice Reunion Tang Yuan

Winter solstice falls on 22nd December this year. Winter solstice is also called 冬至 (Dong Zhi) in Chinese, meaning literally the extreme of winter. Traditionally, Dong Zhi is the time where families get together and engage in the activity of making and eating of tang yuan (湯圓) or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion.

Tang yuans are made of glutinous rice flour and may be coloured with food colouring. Each family member receives a few tang yuans. Tang yuans are usually cooked in a sweet soup or savory broth with both the balls and the soup/broth served in the same bowl.  Try this recipe (Credit : Bee Lee Lau) to make your own tang yuan this year!



Ingredients 6 portions)


  • (A) White Tang Yuan
    • 150g glutinous rice flour
    • 110g water
    • 5g sugar


    (B) Green (Pandan) Tang Yuan
    • 8-10 pcs Pandan Leaves 班兰叶
    • 120g water
    • 150g glutinous rice flour
    • 5g sugar


    (C) Yellow (Pumpkin) Tang Yuan
    • 120g pumpkin (peeled, sliced)
    • 600g water
    • 100g glutinous rice flour
    • 5g sugar


    (D) Sweet soup
    • 30g old ginger (cleaned, smashed)
    • 1000g water
    • 350g sugar
    • 5 pcs Pandan Leaves



  1. Place ingredients (D) into locked image to cook for 10 min, 100C, counterclock image soft image
  2. Pour cooked ginger syrup into the thermoserver,
  3. Set asidePlace ingredients (A) into locked image to mix 1 min, Sp
  4. Divide dough into small portions and shape each into small rice balls. Set aside.
  5. For green tang yuan (B), closed locked image lid, set dial to Sp 10 and insert pandan leaves into MC hole to blend.
  6. Add in water to mix 10sec, Sp 10. Then strain the pandan juice.
  7. Add pandan juice, glutinous rice flour and sugar into locked image to mix 1 min, Sp 6.
  8. Then shape into small balls, put aside.
  9. For yellow tang yuan (C), place pumpkin slices into simmering basket. Pour 600g water into locked image to steam 15 min, Varoma, Sp 3.
  10. Add glutinous rice flour, steamed pumpkin and sugar into locked image to mix 1 min, Sp 6.
  11. Then shape into small balls, put aside.
  12. Pour 1200g water into locked image to boil. When water boils, put in the shaped glutinous rice balls to cook, 10 min, 100C, counterclock image soft image .
  13. Serve the cooked glutinous rice balls in ginger syrup. May be served hot or cold
  14. Happy Winter Solstice 冬至快乐!


For natural food colouring, you may get the following colours with these ingredients:-

  • Pink : red Dragon or beetroot or pomegranate
  • Purple: purple sweet potato
  • Green: pandan or matcha powder
  • Yellow and Orange: pumpkin or Orange or carrot
  • Brown: cocoa powder
  • Black: charcoal powder,
  • Blue: blue pea flower
  • Grey: black sesame powder