Taiwanese Tang Yuan

Julie’s second dish is Taiwanese Tang Yuan, which is Glutinous Rice Balls. The twist from the regular Glutinous Rice Balls which is served in a light syrup is that the Taiwanese version is served in a soup with egg swirls and fermented glutinous rice.

Julie made two types of glutinous rice balls; plain ones and another stuffed with red bean paste. The large ones are the one with filings. Most people preferred the those stuffed ones which are sweeter.


The Taiwanese Tang Yuan has a winery taste in it due to the addition of fermented glutinous rice.


  • one packet of glutinous rice flour
  • red bean paste
  • 4 eggs
  • fermented glutinous rice
  • water

Fermented glutinous rice can be purchased from Chinese grocery stores. One of the member told us that she made it at home by steaming the glutinous rice and then add yeast to the steamed glutinous rice and let it ferment for a few days.


The fermented glutinous rice is slightly sweet and tastes like wine.


SA140307004_edited-1Julie made the glutinous rice ball with glutinous rice flour and water.
SA140307005_edited-1Add enough waster to form a dough and if you roll the dough and it falls in a string form, then the consistency is right. You may add some food coloring to the dough to make it more presentable. I remembered my late mum and grand mother usually put some red coloring to the dough and we get pink glutinous rice balls. We made this during the Winter festival which falls on the 22nd of December.
SA140307008_edited-1Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 cm in diameter. If the dough dries out, damp your hands with some water so that the ball will not cracked.
SA140307014_edited-1For glutinous rice balls with filing, you need a slightly bigger ball, about 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter. Flatten the ball on your palm.

Put a teaspoon of the filings into the ball.

SA140307012_edited-1Cover up the filings with the dough and roll into a round ball.
SA140307019_edited-1Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Put the glutinous rice balls into the pot of boiling water. The glutinous rice balls will sink to the bottom initially.

When the glutinous rice balls are cooked, they will float to the top.

SA140307024_edited-1Transfer the cooked glutinous rice balls to a smaller pot with just enough water to cover the glutinous rice balls and bring it back to a boil. Add the beaten eggs into the boiling water and stir to form egg swirls.

Add the fermented glutinous rice and bring it back to a boil and its ready to serve. You may add some sugar at your preference.

Julie, thank you so much for sharing your Taiwanese cuisine expertise with us.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Chubbypanda

    I don’t believe I’ve ever had rice balls in that sort of soup. I must have missed out!

  2. tigerfish

    I remember the 1st time I smelled a (Shanghainese) dessert with fermented glutinous rice, I almost puked!:O …But on tasting it, my taste buds became accustomed and accepted that hint of “alcohol” the dessert brought 🙂

  3. Rasa Malaysia

    Yes you can ferment the glutinous rice with the yeast and make it at home. My mother used to do that a lot when I was little. I bought some yeast back this time around…will make it and will blog. 😉

  4. Passionate Eater

    So delicious! My Mom makes these too, and she adds peanut butter or black sesame seeds. But I’ve never tried it with egg drop or jo-liang (the rice alcohol). I learn so much from you friends at Chow Times! Thanks for a great post Julie, Suanne, (and Ben)!

  5. toot

    Hi everyone! I’m from Singapore. I love this featured dessert! When I came across this recipe, I rushed straight to my local supermarket to buy the “fermented glutinous rice”. Unfortunately, it is not sold here as I suspect there is no market for it. Hence I would like to try to make it myself but after scouring the internet, I have yet to find any recipes on how to make the fermented glutinous rice. 🙁 Does anyone out here know how to do it? Please share your recipe!! Thanks.

  6. Ann


    We are a Magazine for English as a second language learners in Taiwan. In Dec. issue, we are introducing tangyuan in winter solstice. We wonder if the instructions photos of making tang yuan are available for us to use in the layout?

    Contact: ann.tai@English4u.com.tw
    Thank you very much

Leave a Reply