Festival Food…Tang Yuanfeatured

Why eat Tang Yuan?

As you know this week I have covered the Chinese New Year and The Lantern Festival and tempted your taste buds with these little  Tang yuan glutinous rice balls so I thought I would give you a little insight into why Tang yuan are eaten…

Filled with azuki bean paste with ginger syrup..one of my favourites.


The Chinese New Year is the first significant festival in the Chinese calendar and these balls symbolise family and unity…togetherness…

Tang yuan are made into either small or larger balls and can be filled or unfilled. the unfilled ones are served in a sugar water( Tang Shui) the sweet filled ones are served in a ginger-infused syrup.

I just love wandering from stall to stall before deciding which ones I am going to eat…I just love soaking up the atmosphere there is nothing like the tradition for me…

Street food at its best

Filled with a variety of filling such as a chocolate paste, fruit preserves, a piece of sugarcane rock candy, Azuki bean paste, chopped peanuts mixed with sugar /peanut butter or a black sesame seed paste. They can be rolled in a sesame seed mixture which is really nice.

Tang Yuan is also traditionally eaten on the Winter Solstice celebration and Chinese New Year.

These delicious morsels can also be found on a grander scale at Chinese weddings or any family occasions I would say this tradition is upheld more in the villages now as they are also mass-produced and found in the frozen section in Asian shops and supermarkets.

Made by forming balls made from sweet glutinous rice flour and then steamed or boiled filled or unfilled you can see big pans of steam frying on the street stalls…to me the best way to eat Tang Yuan is finding a seat among all the revellers and sit and people watch whilst enjoying these little balls… atmosphere enhances the pleasure we get from eating our food  doesn’t it?

Similar dishes can also be found in Indonesia ( Wedang Ronde) in Myanmar they are named (Klepon) served topped with palm sugar and coconut shavings..these are very nice…I love anything coconut…

In Thai, the dish is named is Bua Loy.

Served in coconut milk sometimes topped with a sweet poached egg. They can also be found in different shapes and colours here… Personally I have not eaten ones topped with a sweetened egg…not something which appeals to me I prefer ones made with coconut and azuki beans but with so much choice and different fillings ..It is every foodie’s dream…That is why I love street food for the variety the local differences it is just amazing…

Such pretty natural colours.

Coloured such as with pumpkin paste which gives the bright orange colour or pandan paste which give the green colour… I will say though that although they look bright which generally sets off alarm bells and for me not liking artificial colours … I have been pleasantly surprised at how much natural based colours are used here most colouring is made using leaves or fruit or vegetable pulp to colour the food which to me is better than all these nasties that big manufacturers use and the effect artificial colours have on our health is also very worrying.

That’s better my little rant over…

Do you always pack everything? I know I have made some massive boobs…leaving my wedding outfit on the hanger on the outside of the wardrobe was the biggest clanger of all… But That is another story…

Just for you and in case I have handpicked a few favourites of mine as mementoes or if you have forgotten something for your trip I hope these jog your memory…I hate arriving or being halfway there and thinking… Oh No! I have left it on the kitchen top…How many of you have done that??


I hope you have enjoyed the posts this week if you have been following me and are loving what you read please share on your favourite social media. If you haven’t got your free pdf yet then you need to hurry and sign up for the newsletter it is for recipes on how to make your own authentic Thai curry pastes.

If you would you like to read all my posts in one place here is my link to my weekly roundup

Enjoy! Thank you for reading and sharing xx

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About the author


Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them. I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling. Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing. I will be showing you cooking pots and dishes used here and local traditionst hat I discover on my travel and interesting places to visit. I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to.......Then, I will be happy!

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