I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Glutinous Rice Ball (Mandarin: Tang Yuan)

The 15th day of the Chinese Lunar calendar marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. On this day, family gather to make glutinous rice ball as a symbol of family unity (my own interpretation).

Instead of my usual format of giving you the recipe and instructions, I will skip all of that and jump straight into using pictures to tell you the stories. This dessert is so simple, the recipe can be easily searched and they are all the same.

This flower is called the Blue Pea Flower (scientific name: clitoria ternatea; yea, you may look at the flower again to make sure the name is right). It is a kind of flower that is used regionally as natural food coloring.

I love the deep blue color liquid extracted from the flower.

Pandan leave (screwpine leave) is another plant that is commonly used for food coloring as well as for flavoring.

"Naked", blue, or green glutinous balls.

Pearly white glutinous balls after they are cooked and ready to be served.

I like the way the light reflects on the glutinous balls.

Glutinous rice balls are usually served with a sugary syrup flavored with pandan leaves and, depending on your preference, ginger.

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