Chinese rice balls

I noticed that quite a number of people liked my ‘Mooncake’ post, so here is another one on Chinese rice balls.

(Photo by my friend, Irene Soo)

Chinese rice balls, also pronounced as ‘Tangyuen’ or ‘Tongyuen’, is a Chinese dish that is usually eaten during Chinese New Year. However, many people would still have the dish during every other days. The rice balls are made from glutinous rice flour, and the food colourings are added onto it. But it’s optional. The rice balls can be made into any sizes. The common fillings include sesame, peanuts, and sweet bean paste. Some people also prefer no fillings. The rice balls are then served in boiled rock sugar water.  

(Photo by my friend, Irene Soo)

I love rice balls. And I love mines without any fillings in it. When I used to make rice balls with my mother, she always made sure that I make the shape of the balls as round as possible. If not, she would sigh loudly and in frustration as she picks up the ones that are not round and re-do them again. It didn’t matter if she had to re-do one hundred or a thousand rice balls. She always made sure that they all looked perfectly round. As for me, I didn’t have the kind of patience to make it perfectly round, because I just wanted to eat them. My mother did not like colourful rice balls, therefore, our rice balls would be coloured pink and white. According to my mother, rice balls should be perfectly round, because it symbolizes ‘togetherness’ amongst friends and family coming together. There is also another saying that people should eat the number of rice balls according to their age. So for instance, if you are ten years old, you should eat ten rice balls. But for me, I would end up eating a thousand of it.  

The photo above with the smiley rice balls is made by my friend, Wewe. Her rice balls are served in chocolate syrup, which is new to me.

The photo above are my rice balls. I like to play and experiment with the colours.