Monday, February 11, 2013

Making Sweet Rice Balls with my Preschooler

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!  It is the year of the snake.  Click here to read my post from last year explaining this popular holiday celebrated in many parts of Asia.

So here was a fun activity I did with my five year old... we made "tang yuan" or glutinous rice balls... which is a chinese dessert that is yummy and so easy to make.

-  sweet rice flour (or glutinous rice flour) which can be bought at an Asian grocery store
-  water
optional - food coloring (or we used pink sprinkles... the kind you can put on cupcakes)
-  brown sugar
-  you can also make these balls larger and put other things inside like red bean paste or even fruit etc.  but we didn't this time...

In a bowl, we spooned about 1 cup of the sweet rice flour.  Then I had my five year old spoon in water with a teaspoon until the consistency is just right... (comes out to be about 4 oz total).   Basically, you want the dough to be sticky so you can roll it into tiny balls.  We made some white balls and some pink balls by just adding pink sprinkles... she sprinkled and I mixed with my hand until we liked the color of the dough.   Just for fun since Valentines Day is around the corner we made some into a heart shape...  My daughter was specifying who she wanted each ball was going to be for.. so she made some real small (like the ones for her little brother or her baby cousin) and some she made real big... as you can see below...  she likes pink so we made more pink balls =)

To cook just drop them into a pot of boiling water.

They are done when they float to the top!  (about 5-10 min)

So add brown sugar to the water and then you have a sweet dessert soup...

You can also add these glutinous rice balls to other famous chinese desserts like red bean soup...
or green mung bean soup...

Anyways, this was fun, easy to make, and yummy... and an activity I could do with probably all my kids... even the one year old if I can stand the mess!  I didn't this time... maybe next time...