Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rice Ball Soup - Tong Yuen

While some are celebrating their winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah , we welcome the Chinese Winter Solstice ( mom calls it the Chinese Christmas). This holiday is also called Dong Chi, welcoming the winter, this year it is Dec.22 to Jan.5.
I love this holiday when families get together to make Tong Yuen which symbolize unity and prosperity. Remembering my childhood, my mom will be the one to prep the rice flour and start rolling them into rolls so that we can start rolling pieces into bite size balls. We somehow always end up with all different sizes which was fine with me(I probably was the one not following...oops!) There was flour everywhere and on everyone. So fun!
For Winter Solstice the tradition is to make rice balls in a in a sweet or savory broth. As you can see we had the savory one last night and it was simply delicious and comforting. Ahh.......

-Rice Ball - Rice flour mix with hot boiled water until right texture , slowly add the water and knead for few minutes until it does not stick to your hands, roll into rolls and divide with knife into bite size pieces and begin to roll into balls. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the rice balls one by one. They are cooked once they float to the top. Set aside the cooked rice balls in a bowl of water to prevent sticking.

Savory Rice Ball Soup
-Broth - Bring a pot of water to a boil and add chicken ,chinese sausage , mushroom and celery leaves
Let it simmer for an hour and then add the rice balls, fish , and turnip as they are delicate . Simmer for 1/2 hour to 45 mins.
When done stir gently and serve into a bowl topped off with a healthy amount of shopped cilantro. Have it with a side dish of soy sauce mixed with white pepper.

Sweet Rice Ball Soup
-Heat a pot of water and add knobs of ginger and cane/rock sugar, simmer to a nice golden color. Make it as sweet as you like, remove the ginger and add the rice balls bring back to a boil and done!
You can also add sweet potato.

There you go! Two delicious options. I prefer the savory and 2 of the cookngs loves the sweet version. Please comment if I have missed something or your version of the Tong Yuen Soup!


Frank said...

Sort of like Matzoh ball soup, but with Rice. It has a real comfort feel to it. And I think I, without trying either, would prefer the savory. Are the rice balls seasoned with anything?

hungrysmurf said...

No the tong yuen are plain. I've had the sweet version with a little sweet bean paste tucked into the middle of the rice balls.

Mathias said...
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