Sunday, December 20, 2015



Wishing everyone a heartwarming  and happy Dongzhi (22/12/2015)

Sweet Potato Tong sui with Glutinous Rice Balls filed with black sesame paste

The Malay lady at the market had a variety of sweet potatoes for sale on Saturday.   So I bought a piece each of the purple, orange and yellow ones intending to cook them as "tong sui".  The vegetable vendor was selling packets of the pre-mix glutinous rice paste as the Dongzhi Festival falls on 22/12/2015.      
Why not combine the two into 1 tong sui...

I realised that whenever  I cook the trios (purple, orange, yellow)  in the tong sui, the syrup could ended up a murky colour. This time I wanted to have a clear syrup.  Instead of cooking them in the syrup,  I decided to steam the sweet potatoes beforehand (just diced and steamed over high heat for 10 minutes). Set aside  to cool. 

Next prepare the syrup using rock sugar, pandan leaves and a large piece of ginger.The aroma of the boiling syrup was wonderful.    Boil for around 30 minutes and leave aside to cool... yes, cold syrup as I remember this was the way my Cookery Teacher taught me in school.  

The wet glutinous rice paste bought from market. Instead of having them plain, decided to fill them with some black sesame paste.  

Round one, according to my sister-in-law, it is best to make sure that rice balls are quite dry.  So roll them and let them rest on paper towels.   

You can see that paper has absorbed some of the water from the rice balls. 

Round 2 - to fill the rice balls with the black sesame have to do this patiently... too much black sesame paste, you get a messy rice ball. Soon I realised that you have to mold the rice balls like a tiny cup and then spoon a just less then a teaspoon of the filling before sealing properly and rolling GENTLY.   

A few messy ones otherwise pretty satisfied with the result.

Ready to cook them 

Bring a pot of water to rapid boil, drop in the rice balls and the rice balls will float to the surface once they are cooked.
Again, following the way I was taught, have some cold water ready and ladled the cooked rice balls into the cold water.    This way the rice balls will remain chewy ("QQ").

When ready to serve, combine the sweet potatoes and rice balls in the syrup. (see clear syrup!... happy).

Have a wonderful Dongzhi. 


  1. A relative gave me some yesterday and it was so plain white with no special flavours. Yours look good!

  2. Hi Elaine, your colourful tang yuan so pretty. Mix with sweet potatoes look delightful.

    Happy Dongzhi to you.