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Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {红豆汤圆}

Hong Dou Tang Yuan {红豆汤圆} Yuan Xiao {元宵}

by Shirley
Published: Last Updated on
Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings

Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Hong Dou Tang Yuan 红豆汤圆} is a traditional dessert in China’s Yangtze River Delta area. People love them for their super soft and smooth sweet rice flour wrapper filled with candied yummy red bean paste.

The secret to the amazingly smooth wrapper is the water-milled version of sweet rice flour. It is the same sweet rice flour used to make the Red Bean Mochi Soup {Hong Dou Xiao Yuan Zi 红豆小圆子} and Pork Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Rou Tang Yuan 肉汤圆}.

homemade red bean paste
Homemade Red Bean Paste

Red bean paste is a popular dessert filling in the Yangtze River Delta area, home to the naturally delicious Huai Yang Cuisine. Homemade Red Bean Paste made of whole adzuki beans is super healthy and tasty, a perfect way to enjoy it. Besides the classic Red Bean Mochi Soup, Red Bean Steamed Buns featuring red bean paste filling are another Chinese traditional food.

Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings Fun Facts

People typically refer to Sweet Rice Flour dumplings as Tang Yuan {汤圆}. “Tang” means “Soup” and “Yuan” means “Round or Circle”. The name gives away the typical way of serving sweet rice flour dumplings is in a bowl of soup. The soup is coming from the water in the pot.

sweet rice flour dumplings
Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {汤圆}

They feature a smooth wrapper made of water-milled sweet rice flour with various fillings, including both savory or sweet versions. Pork is the favored savory version. Red Bean Paste is a common sweet version.

People sometimes also refer to Tang Yuan {汤圆} as Yuan Xiao {元宵}. It is a custom to eat Yuan Xiao around the Chinese Lantern Festival which occurs on the Luna calendar on January 15th. For that reason, we also know the Lantern Festival as Yuan Xiao Festival.

Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Yuan Xiao 元宵}
Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Yuan Xiao 元宵}

How do you make Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings From Scratch?

Gather ingredients:

You will need water-milled sweet rice flour, room temperature water, and red bean paste to make Red Bean Tang Yuan.

Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumpling Ingredients
Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumpling Ingredients

For Sweet Rice Flour, make sure you get the water-milled version and not the regular version. The former is much smoother and softer.

For Red Bean Paste, homemade red bean paste works great and is easy to make. See here for a detailed recipe and step-by-step tutorial. Or you can get a store-bought red bean paste.

Make a stiff but pliable sweet rice flour dough:

Because rice, including sweet rice, doesn’t contain gluten, it is tricky to make a smooth dough out of it. The dough needs to be stiff, but pliable enough to shape it like pottery.

making sweet rice flour wrapper
Water-Milled Sweet Rice Flour Wrapper

How to wrap Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Tang Yuan}?

1. The ratio between water and water-milled sweet rice flour needs to be just right

Since this matter requires more precision, it is easier to use metric systems gram. For every portion of water, we will need 20% more water-milled sweet rice flour. This means if we use 100 grams of water, we will need 120 grams of sweet rice flour.

2. Use room temperature water

Use room temperature water, preferably that was previously boiled and then cooled to room temperature.

3. Rub your palms with room temperature water

As you work on the sweet rice flour dough, whenever you feel the dough is a bit dry, dab your fingers into room temperature water and then rub between palms to keep your hands moist. This helps the dough to stay pliable.

Rub hands with room temperature water
Rub hands with room temperature water

Make one wrapper and wrap one sweet rice flour dumpling at a time

Check out here for a detailed tutorial on how to make sweet rice flour wrappers.

Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumpling Wrapper
Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumpling Wrapper

Check out here on how to wrap sweet rice flour dumplings.

How to Make Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings
How to Make Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings
Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings

Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Hong Dou Tang Yuan 红豆汤圆} Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Hong Dou Tang Yuan 红豆汤圆} is a traditional dessert in China’s Yangtze River Delta area. People love them for their super soft and chewy sweet rice flour wrapper filled with candied yummy red bean paste.

Ingredients

For Sweet Rice Flour Wrappers:

  • 454 g water-milled sweet rice flour, 1 lb Shui Mo Fen {水磨粉}
  • 380 g water, room temperature, filtered or previously boiled

For Homemade Red Bean Paste:

  • 1 cup dried adzuki beans, also known as Chi Xiao Dou {赤小豆} in Chinese
  • 70 g coconut oil, organic virgin preferred
  • 25 g cane sugar, organic preferred
  • 25 g turbinado sugar, also known as "sugar in the raw"
  • 4-6 cups of water for soaking the beans
  • 2-4 cups of water for cooking the beans

Instructions

Make the Red Bean Paste in advance:

  1. See here for a detailed recipe and step-by-step tutorial on how to make red bean paste from scratch.
    homemade red bean paste ingredient


Make Sweet Rice Flour Wrapper:

  1. This sweet rice flour dough recipe makes about 20 dumplings. Divide the dough into 20 equal portions, each weighing about 40 g.
  2. See here for a detailed tutorial on how to make a sweet rice flour wrapper from scratch.
    sweet rice flour wrapper for dumplings

Wrap Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings:

  1. See here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to wrap sweet rice flour dumplings.
    freshly wrapped sweet rice flour dumpling

Cook the Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings:

  1. Fill a large stockpot (8 Qt.) with 70% water, bring it to a boil.
  2. Add 10 red bean sweet rice flour dumplings to the boiling water, immediately stir gently using a skimmer to avoid them sticking to each other and/or to the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and wait for it to reach a boil again.
  3. Once the water is boiling again and the foam is almost rising to the top of the pot, pour a cup of tap water into the pot, gently stir and cover with a lid and wait for it to reach a boil again.
  4. Repeat this 3 times. Now all dumplings are floating to the top of the water surface and look plump.
    Boil Sweet rice flour dumplings

Serve the Red Bean Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings:

  1. Serve immediately using a ladle, add dumplings along with the water in the pot into a bowl and enjoy!
    Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings {Yuan Xiao 元宵}

Notes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 10gSugar: 23gProtein: 13g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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