Black Sesame Dumplings (Tang Yuan)

3 Apr

What could be more satisfying than having a bowl of black sesame dumplings (tang yuan) for dessert? Especially when it’s home made and not bought from NTUC or Cold Storage πŸ™‚

I would suggest that you ought to be really patient when doing the dumplings. Don’t do this at midnight and rush through the process. Because you need to do these dumplings right before you boil them and serve them in a bowl of hot ginger syrup. Even though my outcome doesn’t look pretty at all, but it sure does taste awesome nonetheless. Here’s one more recipe for the Chinese themed weekend!


  • 225 gm glutinous rice (sticky rice) flour
  • 180 ml water (3/4 cup water)
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 1/4 cup)

Ginger Syrup

  • 5 cups water (reduced to 4 cups after boiling)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 inch old ginger (skin peeled and then lightly pounded with the flat side of a cleaver)
  • 2 pandan leaves (tie them into a knot)


Lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium fire until you smell the aroma of the black sesame seeds. Take note that the sesame seeds will start popping when they are heated, so use your lid to cover. Don’t burn the black sesame seeds; transfer them out and let cool as soon as they smell aromatic.

Use a mini food processor to grind the black sesame seeds until they become fine. Transfer the ground black sesame into a wok, add sugar and butter and stir well to form a thick paste. If they are too dry, add more butter. Dish out and let it cool.

In a big bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with water until it forms a smooth paste and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide it equally into 16 – 20 balls. Flatten each ball in your palm, and then use a pair of chopsticks to pick up some black sesame paste and lay it in the middle of the flatten ball. Fold the edge to seal the dumpling. Lightly roll it into a ball shape using both palms, very gently and delicately. Set aside.

Prepare the ginger syrup by boiling the water. Add the ginger and pandan leaves into the water and boil for 10 – 15 minutes with medium heat. Add sugar and boil for another 5 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and reduce to about 4 cups of water.

Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop the dumplings into the hot boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, transfer them out and into the ginger syrup. Turn off heat and serve the black sesame dumplings in a bowl immediately.

2 Responses to “Black Sesame Dumplings (Tang Yuan)”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide April 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM #

    I’ve never made dumplings, but after reading this really want to try. Great inspiration and instructions.

    • cadymcbronzie April 3, 2011 at 11:36 PM #

      Hi there!

      Glad that you’re inspired to try this out too. Am sure you’ll be delighted at the outcome. Good luck πŸ˜‰

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