There's a few things that really relaxes me.
Editing photos or blogging Recipes are some of them. Besides that, my Spotify playlist or watching sitcoms (like 30 Rock, The Office, Parks & Recreation and also my new obsession Suburgatory) typically does the trick too.
Even though I've been eating Glutinous Rice Balls (汤圆) every year for as long as I could remember, these were actually the first time I made them. Usually Mum takes care of this department. But being away from my family in Malaysia and spending my Chinese New Year here in Melbourne instead, I have come to the realisation that it is now up to me to assume this responsibility. I made these for my friends when I hosted Chinese New Year dinner at my place 2 weeks ago. Was a helluva fun. We gambled and I won a bit of money that night =)
These Glutinous Rice Balls are eaten at many special occasions within a Chinese family. The stickiness of the texture signified the bond and unity of a person with their loved ones. The round shape symbolises how family makes life whole and complete.
Personally, I am quite happy to have these without the filling. I like my syrup to have a prominent pandan fragrance with the ginger overtone that isn't too overpowering.
Chinese New Year is not over yet so you still have time to make these. Though to be honest, we do have it at other times of the year as well.
Besides these Glutinous Rice Balls (汤圆), I almost made my parents' 8 Treasure Duck (八宝鸭) which is a real treat. You can find the recipe for it: HERE
Glutinous Rice Balls in Pandan & Ginger Syrup(adapted from this recipe by Rasa Malaysia)
250g glutinous rice flour
1 cup water
85g ground peanuts
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
5 - 6 pandan leaves (tied in a knot)
1 thumb size ginger (cut to thin slices)
150g yellow rock sugar
Optional: Garnish with toasted sesame seeds
1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Mix the ingredients for the rice balls in a bowl. This will form your dumpling skin. If the mixture leaves your hands wet, add more flour. If the mixture tears too easily when you try to roll it out, add more water.
3. Take a pinch of the dumpling mixture and roll it into a ball. Flatten it on one palm of your hand with the palm of the other hand.
4. Place a pinch of the filling into the centre. Fold one edge of the dumpling to the other and pinch until filling is fully encased.
5. Roll it out with your palms again until it forms a ball. Repeat until rice balls and filling mixture is used up.
Tip: These rice balls may be stored in a container in the freezer for later use. I made these a week in advance of our CNY dinner
6. Place all the ingredients for the syrup in a pot. Bring the pot to a boil and allow to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes on medium heat.
7. Place the rice balls in a separate pot filled with water. Bring the pot to a boil. Once the balls are floating, they are ready. Drain and set aside to individual bowls.
8. Fill each bowl with syrup. Garnish with sesame seeds if using. Serve hot.