Peanut Tang Yuan (Tong Yun/汤圆) Cantonese Dessert Soup

Tang Yuan (mandarin) or Tong Yun (cantonese) is a dish of glutinous rice balls served in a sweet broth. In Southeast Asia Chinese culture, it is traditionally served on Dong Zhi or known as winter solstice. This is the time when winter is welcomed by eating tong yun. My favorite is made with peanut filling inside and since Mother-in-Law (MIL)has come to stay with us for the past few days until Sat, I’ve been trying to soak up every recipe I can before she leaves. =P The first one being tong yun. I was busy writing down the recipe and taking pics, so really didn’t help much except the end when it’s time to fill the dough. MIL did the bulk of the work. =D

Don’t let this pic fool you. I ate 2 b/4 I remembered to take a pic!

First start off with a bag of glutinous flour, which you can find in any asian market, and 1 3/4 cup of boiled water.

Then start adding 1 cup of boiled water, mix by hand and then the last 3/4 cup, add a little at a time so that you get the right consistency of the dough. Be careful not to burn your hands since the water is very hot. If you want, you can try wearing rubber gloves to help with the mixing. The dough should look like this when done. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough and pat around, then let sit with moist towel over bowl while you do the fillings.

Now you can actually have whatever fillings you like for the inside of tong yun. I’ve seen them being filled by red beans, black sesame seeds and in this case, peanuts. If you want a creamier texture, you can always just use peanut butter as the filling and skip this step. If you want to have crunchier texture, continue on to make the filling. =)

Pour handful of peanuts in pan to toast over stove on medium. After few minutes, turn to low. Continue to toss peanuts in pan until toasted.

Now peel off the skins on the peanuts, put in blender and pulse till blended.

Next sprinkle about 2 T of sesame seeds, 2T of peanut butter and 1T of flour over the blended peanuts and mix by hand.


Now sprinkle a bit of flour over plate and uncover dough bowl.  Grad a piece of the dough and mold it lengthwise then start forming little dough balls around the edge.

Next, roll the dough into a ball shape, flatten it with your fingers and then add peanut filling to center. Bring all the edges up and close the ends together and roll into ball shape. Try squeezing gently to make sure no air is inside and roll again.


It should look like first pic below. Repeat process till you have a whole bunch of them to place on floured pan.


Now for cooking them, boil some water with ginger in it and place the desired amount of tong yun that you want to eat. Once cooked which should only be a few minutes (like 5 or so) or until the tong yun starts to rise to the surface. Add desired amount of sugar to the pot, for me that’s like 3 TB. =P Now it’s done and ready to serve.


You can freeze the rest and when ready, just cook the same way frozen but timed it for about 9 mins or so and should be ready to eat.

For more recipes, head over to my food blog. Enjoy! =)


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  1. Wow amazing, you make them from scratch! I only know how to heat up the frozen ready-made ones. haha.

  2. haha.. that’s what i’ve been doing until she came! now i will be making these fresh and then freeze them myself =)

  3. WOW – you make your own from scratch! I am impressed! I have to try this sometime when I’m not cramming for finals!

  4. Ooo you make it peanut filling? My mom likes red bean or sesame filling… but I don’t like sweet tan yuan, so I go for the meat filling HAR HAR HAR! xD

  5. yum this looks delicious!!!

  6. OMG so much diligent work!! Make some red bean ones! 😛

  7. yumm! before this I only made it with the ball and nothing inside. It’s weird that my mother used to make it without any… recipe or knowledge that it was a dish.. I used to think it was bizarre but yummy! I’m glad it’s actually a dish! If she were still living, I’d tell her many great thanks and hug her forever!

  8. hehe.. this was actually pretty easy to do and same recipe for dough just switch out the filling.. hehe.. red bean ones are pretty good too.. aww diane, hugs! i’m sure she knew how much you appreciate her without expressing much..

  9. wow. I love tong yun =) Never had peanut onces though, only had the black sesame ones =)

    Might have to try this over the holidays, thanks mel!

  10. 0: I haven’t had tong yun in so long !

    I’m going to scramble around the freezer tomorrow to see if we have any…

  11. anytime! =)

  12. YAY for food recipe!! My family likes making it with Black seaseme with tiny balls with nothing inside to go along. YUM! Great post!

  13. I’ve never had filled tong yun from scratch before, it looks super yummy! I really like the red bean filling ones.

    Going to ask my mom to make some for me ^__^

  14. Sounds so interesting! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us Mel! 🙂

  15. wow. so much work!
    I love tang yuan too, but i just boil the ready made ones. Haha!
    Peanut filling is my favourite!
    But I didn’t know that peanut butter have to be added in them.

  16. anytime girls! glad this recipe helped =D


    yay for wedding pressies!!!

  18. haha! that’s freaking insane jen! those plates are just beautiful, aren’t they? hehehe

  19. omg, i can’t believe u made that from scratch! my grandma used to make those for me when i was younger.. it brings back memories! thanks so much for this!

  20. Wow over here it’s served in hot soybean milk and it’s delicious! Anyway thank you so much for leaving a comment at my blog! Your blog is amazing, following it on google reader from now on <33

  21. aww.. i’m glad it brings back good memories.. i’m hoping to make many more to come! oh really, served in hot soybean milk? unfortunately i’m not a fan of it but seems there’s tons of ways to make tong yun =D

  22. wow… you made it from scratch! looks really good!

  23. Ommmgoosshh. Those look soo yummmy! I’ve never had Tang Yuan with peanut filling though, always with black sesame.

  24. hehe.. i always prefer the ones with the peanut fillings when discovered few years back! since then i was hooked =D

  25. i love seeing recipes on the bloggers pages. i lovee it.. i am def. going to try this.. looks super yumm.

  26. Wow, it seems quite easy. Have always wanted to try making it. Erm..I have a few question here, if you dont mind.
    1. If I have boiled (‘cooked’) all the dumplings but couldn’t finish all, what should I do after putting it into the fridge? And also the syrup? Make it hot again or just leave it on the table the next time?
    2. Can i replace ginger with pandan leaves? But I guess ginger would taste better with peanut fillings, right?
    Anyway, your blog is really good….especially with the pictures. A picture speaks a thousand words. Thanks alot.

  27. hi there! you should only boil what you will eat like possibly 5 at a time bc it doesnt’ hold well in the fridge. the uncooked ones can be frozen and good for awhile.. just take the amount you want to eat and boil it frozen for about 10 mins or so and should be ready. Ginger is best for the authentic taste. hope that helps! =)

  28. I am going to give this recipe a try next weekend. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.