Took me 3 times to get it right but no matter, because at last I managed to satisfy my tong yuen craving which had been bugging me for the past week. The previous two failures were due to my own carelessness. I used rice flour instead of glutinous rice flour. The balls made with ordinary rice flour ended up hard as pebbles and still floury on the inside….they were disgusting.
So, ladies and gentlemen. Remember, to make tong yuen, tang yuen or glutinous rice balls…GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR is your friend. Tepung pulut. Loh mai fun.
And while twittering about my tong yuen making adventure (or failures), so many people remarked how easy it is, how it’s not considered cooking cause it’s so easy, how to make them properly, etc. Talk about superiority complex! Some people do get it wrong, you know. People like me. People like me who make tong yuen until they’re on the verge of tears because the damn balls wouldn’t float!
And so, here is a pictorial guide in making tong yuens that will float when they’re cooked. First of all you need a couple of ingredients.
1. GLUTINOUS rice flour.
4. Gula Melaka (for the filling, of course you can put other filling also like azuki/red bean paste, peanuts, use your creativity etc)
5. Honey rock sugar (for the soup)
6. Pandan leaves (for the soup, optional, i can’t be bothered)
#1 – Glutinous rice flour.
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t given any quantity. I don’t cook like that. I eye, and so should you.
#2 – Add water.
Add water into the flour, little by little, mix em up.
#3 – Glutinous rice goo.
This IS NOT what you want. You want to turn it into a dough, not goo. So add more glutinous rice flour, little by little till it forms into a malleable dough.
#4 – Glutinous rice dough.
Like this! Stick it in the freezer – trust me it’s easier this way.
#5 – Chop up the Gula Melaka.
You should have estimated the size of your balls by now, so get the size of the gula melaka right! You don’t want to overstuff or understuff the balls.
#6 – Making the balls.
Get the dough out of the freezer. Tear a small chunk out of it. Roll it into a ball (between your palms). Flatten the ball, and then put a piece of Gula Melaka in the centre.
#7 – Closing the gap.
Like sealing a curry puff, just pinch the edge of the dough together to cover the Gula Melaka completely. Then roll the whole thing into a ball again. This ensures that your filling won’t ooze out when it’s cooking.
#8 – Balls
This should be the end result.
#9 – Make as many as you can till the dough runs out.
Some big, some small, makes the world a funner place. Stick the plate of balls into the freezer again.
#10 – Slice up the ginger.
Slice up the ginger for the soup. Ginger gives it a bit of kick, and you’d need that cause the balls are sweet!
#11 – Boil up the ginger, rock sugar and remaining Gula Melaka.
Now boil up the lot. If you have some leftover Gula Melaka, throw it in too.
#12 – Boil up the balls.
In another pot, boil up some water. When it’s bubbling, throw in the balls. Stir occasionally to avoid them sticking to the bottom. When they’re cooked, they will float!!!!!! Just like this picture. YAY YIPPPEE YAI YAY.
#13 – Tong yuens.
Now scoop up the cooked balls and throw it into the gingery soup. You can boil em up in the gingery soup again if you want.
#14 – The perfect sphere.
The perfect sphere.
#15 – The perfect bite.
The perfect bite.
p/s: I don’t put colouring into my balls cause I keep it real like that.
p/p/s: All pictures taken with Nokia N82.
p/p/p/s: don’t stick the dough in freezer for too long, it will crack! just 3 or 4 mins to make them easier to be handled!