Flavours of WUR: Tang Yuan (汤圆)

Xiaoyong Zhang, China coordinator at WUR, shares a Chinese New Year dish.
Xiaoyong Zhang, promovendus Consumer Behaviour uit China

All the flavours of the world can be found in the WUR community. Xiaoyong Zhang, China coordinator at WUR, shares a Chinese New Year dish.

‘Tang Yuan is a rice ball with sugar, black sesame, peanuts, Osmanthus flowers or bean paste. The round shape of the rice ball symbolizes family reunion. In my hometown Hubei, Tang Yuan welcomes the New Year like the oliebol in the Netherlands! I adapted my Tang Yuan recipe by replacing sugar with Wageningen honey. I would say it is a Chinese Tang Yuan with a Wageningen twist.’

 Ingredients (20 rice balls)

  • 80g black sesame seeds
  • 6-8 tbsp Wageningen honey
  • 130g glutinous rice flour
  • 6 tbsp lukewarm water


  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over low heat.
  2. Let the sesame seeds cool off and grind them fine.
  3. Add honey and mix until the mixture is a firm, smooth mass.
  4. Divide into 20 portions. Shape each piece into a ball. Set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add lukewarm water to the rice flour while stirring with chopsticks.
  6. Knead with your hands until a smooth, soft dough forms
  7. Roll the dough into 20 balls.
  8. Flatten a piece of dough into a round wrapper with your fingers.
  9. Put a honey-sesame ball in the middle. Gently close the dough around it. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough.
  10. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently slide in the Tang Yuan one by one.
  11. Push them around with the back of a cooking spoon to stop them sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  12. When all the balls float to the surface, it is cooked.
  13. Dish out along with some soup and serve warm.

Which dish reminds you of home? Share it with Resource by mailing to resource@wur.nl and win an Aurora dining voucher worth 10 euros if your recipe is published!

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