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Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls (Mochi)

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Glutinous rice balls or tang yuan (meaning round balls in soup) is a Chinese dessert prepared with glutinous rice flour and water mixture. They can be small or large in size and filled or unfilled, savoury or sweet and are served in a clear soup broth or sweet gingery syrup. Sweet tang yuan can also be served in a sugary syrup or soup. In addition, they can also be served coated with sesame or nuts like cashew nuts or peanuts, or simply coated with glutinous rice flour or corn flour. Very similar to the more chewy version of Japanese Mochi.  In Southern China, the sweet fillings for tang yuan include black sesame, sweet bean paste, osmanthus flowers, sugar, sugar-coated dried tangerine peel and ground peanuts or peanut butter. For my gluten free recipe, I am filling the white tang yuan with sweet filling made of ground black sesame paste, cooked in boiled water and then coated with pistachios nuts, white sesame seeds, desiccated coconut and sugar. These mochi are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, corn free and egg free.

Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Tang yuan are customarily eaten during Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao). They are also served during special occasions like weddings and family reunion. But they have become a dessert eaten all year round all over the world. Tang yuan are conventionally white in colour, but many specialised dessert shops have invented new flavours and many distinctive colours of tang yuan by replacing the more traditional filling with fruit conserves, chocolate, mashed potato and pumpkin paste. Filled or unfilled tang yuan are also served together with other sweet Chinese dessert soup like black sesame soup, red bean soup and mung bean soup.

Black Sesame Tang Yuan

Sesame seed is believed to be the most ancient oilseed crop known to mankind. Even though it is only a tiny flat oval seed, it has enormous health benefits. The Chinese have long studied and discovered its usage for many health endorsing and anti-aging values. In traditional Chinese Medicine, black sesame seeds are used as remedy for signs of aging like grey hair, blurred vision, poor memory and hearing loss.

gf Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper but also a good source of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, vitamin B1 and dietary fiber. Furthermore, sesame seeds comprise of two distinct matters: sesamin and sesamolin. They belong to a group of exceptionally valuable fibers called lignans, which can help lower cholesterols and prevent high blood pressure. Sesamin can also protect the liver from oxidative effects of free radicals. The high content of copper provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis. Other health benefits of sesame seeds include aiding of digestion, healthy heart and skin, may prevent cancer, and promote bone and respiratory health.

gf Black Sesame Tang Yuan

Gluten Free Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

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5 Responses

  1. Amy
    | Reply

    I know mochi is best eaten fresh, but can these ones be stored at room temperature or in the fridge and still be soft and chewy?
    Yours looks amazing by the way!

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      These mochi can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days if the weather is cool and they will still be soft and chewy. If you store them in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, they will harden and require you to warm them up in the microwave for around 30 to 35 seconds to soften them. The shape and taste will defer from when eaten fresh. :)

      • Amy Chen
        | Reply

        Thank you! Can’t wait to try it out!! :D

  2. HG
    | Reply

    thanks for sharing this recipe! Wondering if you can substitute a non refined sweetener (like honey, maple syrup, etc) for the caster sugar?

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      You can substitute a non refined sweetener like stevia, agave syrup, honey or maple syrup for the caster sugar. Just adjust to taste. Enjoy the recipe! :)

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