22 December, 2011

The Extreme of Winter

It's finally this time of the year where friends and family gather to make "Tang Yuan" (汤圆). The Winter Solstice Festival, or commonly known as Dōngzhì Festival is one of my favourites throughout the year! 冬至 in Chinese literally means "the Extreme of Winter", that's the title of the blog entry todae :)

I can be proud this year because this is the first year 
I make these glutinous rice balls by myself!

From the dough to the balls, I manage to complete the process. Can't believe that, coz' I never cook and I have less than 1% knowledge in this whole cooking thing.

In just 3 simple steps, I can make tasty tang yuans :D

 Step 1: Knead the dough into tiny balls 

Step 2: Boil them in plain water until they float (Approximately 5 to 10 minutes), 
then transfer them into a  boiled broth of brown sugar and water. 

 Step 3: Serve them while hot!

Left: Red Bean Paste ; Right: Peanut Paste 

Colourless but the surprise is inside the rice balls! I love tang yuans filled with various pastes to enhance the yummy-ness of the whole thing.  Red beans and peanut butter are the most common ones but nowadays tang yuan comes in many exciting flavours, for example the Pineapple Paste Tang Yuan! Ever tried before? 

 As for my Mum, she loves cooking colourful Tang Yuan but without fillings. 
Yes these look very appealing and that's the labour of love from my most respectful Mama :) 

Along with this festival, Mama prepared some homemade dishes for the reunion dinner of the day. I guess for most traditional Chinese, the winter solstice festival is one of the most important festivals other than Chinese New Year. 

#1 Steamed Arrowhead with Chinese Fermented Sausages

It's my Mum's favourite dish during festive seasons, that's why the only time I get to eat this is during Chinese festivals and New Year. Other than that, I have no chance to enjoy this :(

 #2 Braised Chinese Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce and Baby Abalones

Another authentic Chinese dish--- I don't know how great does it taste in the Chinese restaurants out there, all I know is Mama's cooking is the best! :D

#3 Fried Crispy Prawns 
 This is too oily to suit my taste, so I would never touch this.

#4 Leek with Oyster Sauce 
Another favourite of mine, which I get to eat almost every week!

Once again, Happy Winter Solstice to all,
and do give Christmas a warm welcome soon! 

Next post: Buffet for Christmas dinner 
Stay tuned! :)
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