Hakka Savoury Tangyuan (客家咸汤圆)



There is no need to ask me when is Winter Solstice festival, it is always 3 days before Christmas , on 22nd December each year.  I am sharing this post earlier because I just want to fulfil my blogging agenda of sharing one tang yuan recipe per year.


In the first year, I have shared the basic tangyuan recipe in this post: Time To Celebrate Winter Solstice–Chinese Tangyuan or Glutinous Rice Balls . In this post, i have also shared about the background of tangyuan.


Last year in 2015, i have shared the an alternative to normal tangyuan , sweet pumpkin tangyuan in this post: Pumpkin Glutinous Rice Balls aka Pumpkin Tangyuan (南瓜汤圆)


This year, I have decided to share a savoury tangyuan recipe which my late parents used to cook though the childhood version do not have any meat fillings.


This is not my creative recipe, if you Google from the internet, this dish shall be classified under Hakka cuisines. Apparently, most hakka members in my Facebook Group do cook tangyuan in this manner. As per Chinese baike it was written clearly that:


“客家咸汤圆是一道美味可口的汉族小吃。将材料1揉成糯米团,并分为15等份。将材料2及调味1搅拌均匀作成馅,再一一将糯米团捏成圆薄形,包入肉馅并捏合即可。用少许油加热将材料4爆香再倒入调味2料煮沸後放入咸汤圆,煮至咸汤圆熟为止。接著再放小汤圆,煮熟至浮出汤面就算完成了。吃的时候可以另外加入茼莴叶或菠菜青菜等,吃起来味道更好。” (Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/244157.htm)


If you are unsure how it tastes like, just imagine that the tangyuan is a substitute of noodles in kway tiao or bee hoon or noodle soups. It is just like Fuzhou fish balls except that it is not as springy and fishy as the fish balls .



Servings: About 15 big tangyuan and some small tangyuan



  • 200 grams of glutinous rice flour
  • About 80-100 grams of plain water
  • 100 grams of minced meat
  • 1 teaspoon of dark or light soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Chinese cooking wine
  • pinches of salt
  • sugar to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion, chopped


Soup Ingredients

  • 1 stalk of vegetable greens (lettuce, caixin, tangO, some napa cabbage)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried shrimps
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 5-6 dried scallops
  • 2 shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced into small pieces
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges (optional)
  • Pinches of salt
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • Sugar to taste



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put the minced meat, chopped spring onion  and the seasonings (salt, white pepper, sugar, dark or light soya sauce, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine) in a bowl, use a chopstick to stir in one direction until well mixed. If preferred, you can add in 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch to enhance the binding . Marinate the meat for at least 1/2 hour.

  • Take out about 2 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour, put 1 –1.5 tablespoons of water, stir and knead until it form a soft dough. Flatten the dough and put in a pot of hot boiling water. Once it floats up , drained.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • While it is hot, transfer the cooked dough to the remaining flour in the mixing bowl. Gradually add in the remaining cold water and use hand to knead until it forms a pliable dough. Shape the dough into a long stripes and cut the dough into 1.5 cm cube size.

  • Take a dough, shape round, flatten it and put a teaspoon of minced meat in the centre, seal the edges, shape round and put in a tray lightly dusted with some glutinous rice flour. Perform the same for the other 14 portions.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • This step is optional. If there are left over dough, you can add some red colouring, knead until the colour is consistent and shape into smaller round balls.


  • Please ensure that the tangyuans do not touch each other and if there is a lot, you may want to cover both the dough and the completed tangyuan with a piece of wet cloth .

PicMonkey Collage4

  • In a pot, put 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic, dried shrimps and shitake mushroom until fragrant. Add about 1 litre of water or meat broth  add the minced meat and scallops. Bring to boil and once it boils, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add the tangyuan and once the tangyuan floats up, add the seasonings (salt, white pepper and sugar), tomato and your preferred greens. Simmer for o1-2 minutes and off the heat.

  • The tangyuan is best served hot immediately after it was prepared.


If you have never eaten this type of tangyuan before, do give it a try. It is tasty and there are many options in the soup. Feel free to add the ingredients that suits your taste buds.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

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You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.


If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.


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