How I had mistaken a Winter Solstice family recipe for tangyuan | Speaking of China

15 Responses

  1. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian December 23, 2013 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    We had tangyuan too yesterday, to celebrate the festival.

    Malaysian Cantonese regard the festival as an important one, less so for the Hokkiens like myself.

    We also have a version of maqiu but we mostly coat the balls with white sesame seeds and the balls are then put in a wok of boiling oil to fry. I particularly like the ones stuffed with finely grounded roasted peanuts and sugar.

    Below is a link to the Malaysian version of maqiu, or what I think is a version of.

  2. Eileen黃愛玲
    Eileen黃愛玲 December 23, 2013 at 9:52 am | | Reply

    Wait, how come I wasn’t invited?

    “Sesame balls just fresh from the wok, coated in sesame seeds and sugar.”
    Awww. I like everything sesame. It looks like what I’ve had in Taiwan but the fact that they were freshly made. Where was I???

  3. Lina
    Lina December 23, 2013 at 9:58 am | | Reply

    what a coincidence – my husband told me about that festival important for Cantonese people and I see you made a post about it! 🙂

    I want to eat those sesame blalls! 🙂

  4. Shanghai Ronin
    Shanghai Ronin December 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm | | Reply

    Jocelyn! Happy holidays! Seems like you’re already settling into China quite well and you look very at home here 🙂

    Those sesame balls look AMAZING! (even better than tangyuan, maybe!). It doesn’t seem too hard to make, maybe I’ll give it a try.

    I love the photo as well–it really speaks volumes about just how cold southern China is at the moment, and how we have no central heating to rely on (I’m currently sleeping under 4 comforters)! Nothing says “happy holidays” (or xin nian kuai le) like eating dinner in your 2 sweaters, a down jacket, a coat and mittens!

  5. Ryan
    Ryan December 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm | | Reply


    I helped make them earlier this year, and by some act of God I created what I thought the filling should be without a recipe. I do believe that I used ground black sesame, sugar and Crisco, and the let a Chinese buddy make them and boil them. They came out great and weren’t greasy. I think the Crisco made the filling a lot easier to handle. So go down to the Giant Eagle in Hangzhou and get Crisco ;P

    Happy Holidays!

  6. Rebekah
    Rebekah December 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm | | Reply

    Those look amazing! I’m definitely going to try my hand at making them. We went for a dim sum brunch yesterday and they brought around the fried sesame balls, which make me ill (too oily), so this looks like something I would love.
    Thanks for sharing your mother in laws recipe. 🙂

  7. 孟樂嵐
    孟樂嵐 December 24, 2013 at 5:10 am | | Reply

    OMG! Mail those to me right now.

  8. Tricia
    Tricia December 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm | | Reply

    Oh gosh! How deeeelicious! Just bookmarked your recipe – thank you so so much for sharing!

    Happy Holidays!


  9. Anna Zech
    Anna Zech December 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm | | Reply

    It seems you had a lovely Christmas in China. It is great that you can share a bit of the Christmas spirit with you Chinese family. I never managed to get my Chinese family to celebrate a bit during that time. For me Christmas in China always past by like any other day.

    Luckily, this year we are in Germany with my mother and the first time my other half managed to be with us to celebrate a traditional German/Russian Christmas.

    Thank you a lot for the recipe. I will def try to make them 🙂

  10. xingfenzhen
    xingfenzhen March 2, 2014 at 8:22 am | | Reply

    I thought sesame balls has white sesames on the outside and red bean paste on the inside…. But I guess each region/family is different.

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