Tangyuan Fun, the traditional dessert from Yangshuo, is usually made during the Lunar New Year. However, if you come to Yangshuo in different time and you want to know how to make the delicious glutinous rice balls, you can get around the city and find the cooking class that teach how to make the dessert. Basically, making the dessert is very easy.
There are three parts that you will have to make: the balls, the filling and the soup/ syrup. The balls are essentially glutinous rice powder mixed with water. You will have to work quite hard here to make the dough smooth and shiny. Then, you need to form the dough into small balls, probably in the size of smaller golf balls. The next step is to make the filling.
Modern Tangyuan Fun
Even though the fillings for modern Tangyuan Fun are numerous right now, including fruits, chocolate and even cheese, there is nothing to beat the traditional fillings.
Traditional fillings for the dessert are black sesame and peanuts. Black sesame and peanut are roasted and then mashed together to form a thick paste, almost in a consistency of modeling wax. The filling is then inserted inside the glutinous balls. When they are ready, they will be boiled in large pot until the balls are floating, indicating that they are already cooked inside.
Now, the only thing left to do is to make the broth or the syrup to serve the dessert. The syrup is basically water, ginger and sugar. You just mix all these ingredients together and strain it. To serve the dish, you simply put three or four balls on the bowl and the pour in the ginger broth.
Even though this is a dessert, it is served hot and the taste is simply comforting and relaxing. This is why everyone visiting Yangshuo needs to try Tangyuan Fun.