Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dong Zhi (Winter Solstice Festival)



Today is Dong Zhi (冬至). Like the Chinese New Year, this is also another important festival celebrated by the Chinese. Glutinous rice balls (湯圓) which symbolise reunion are consumed on this day. These white or coloured (usually light pink/red) rice balls may be plain or stuffed (with peanut paste, red bean paste or black sesame paste) and are usually cooked in a sweet soup.

Home-made Plain Glutinous Rice Balls cooked in Sweet (brown sugar added) Soup

People will usually prepare the glutinous rice balls or nowadays, buy the instant ones (which are stuffed with one of the above mentioned paste) from supermarkets.

Instant Stuffed Glutinous Rice Balls


Stuffed (Peanut &
Black Sesame) Glutinous Rice Balls cooked in Sweet Soup

Unlike mooncakes which are only available during Mid-Autumn Festival, glutinous rice balls are available all around the year and they are one of the desserts widely found at many dessert stalls.

Besides the glutinous rice balls, my chef also prepares the Muah Chee [麻芝 or 糍粑(hakka)] during Dong Zhi. These are steamed glutinous rice dough which is cut into small pieces and then mixed with a mixture of finely grinded peanut and sugar.

Muah Chee

?Thoughts?:

There are a wide variety of rice dumplings (粽子) and even more fanciful mooncakes available during Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival respectively. However, for stuffed glutinous rice balls, there are only 3 flavours, namely peanut, red bean and black sesame. Wonder why there are no new flavours, such as durian, green tea, chocolate, coffee or even pomegranate, etc...???


21 comments:

Gattina said...

Although I thought to know a bit about chinese kitchen, I never tried these or even saw it. Looks yummy !

Drowsey Monkey said...

I've never seen these rice balls before, they look delicious and so pretty! :) Mooncakes I have had before, yum.

maiylah said...

we have something similar here, too!
that muah chee looks so good ... wonder if toasted sesame seeds can be added to the sugar and grinded peanut... :)

Napaboaniya said...

Happy 冬至!! :)

My Weekend Snapshot is here :)

arielle said...

interesting.. looks yummy as well.. let me taste them.. aaaah... :-0

Olga said...

I've never tried anything like this, but the colors look really pretty.

Little Inbox said...

I just have the plain tang yuen.

Willa said...

we have those too in the Philippines, we call it "Butchi", but I don't like it, I prefer mooncake instead.
thanks for stopping by. :)

MArites said...

yes, we have those in the Philippines. But we don't have the prepacked ones, so am curious how your glutinous rice balls taste:) looks yummy though

julie said...

I thought the small objects were quail eggs at first (only pink and white) :D

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Dora :)

Lynn said...

We both have these in the Philippines...our rice balls is called butchi and muah chee is palitaw. I love palitaw, it's very filling.

Duckie said...

hi thanks for dropping by. your blog name reminds me of our christmas decorations in one of our shopping malls in penang ... doraemon!!! merry christmas!!!

Ibyang said...

those rice balls look yummy. i haven't tasted it, but maybe soon i will.

Allie said...

Hie Dora..
dropping by..

milet said...

i haven't tasted those but they sure looks delicious.

happy holidays!

Kero said...

I really like those rice balls. We Filipinos add coconut milk into them for a delicious guinataan. my entry is up here http://kcelebration.blogspot.com/2008/12/weekend-snapshot-32.html

alpha said...

i like rice balls, especially in guinataan (like kero above) ;)

Heart of Rachel said...

We have something similar in the Philippines but I didn't know you can buy instant ones. We usually make it from scratch and they are usually white.

Food Lover said...

Tang yuan is nice man ha! It is a good dessert actually haha.

Food For Tots said...

I luv tang yuan with black sesame and coated with peanuts. Best to go with red bean paste dessert. I used to eat muah chee with a sprinkle of fried shallots. Simply delish! ;)

cookie said...

interesting!! and they look so yummy :)

my entry is up..Weekend Snapshot