Pumpkin Tong But Lut, Cantonese style Tang Yuan
In Chinese New Year holiday, my family would have Tangyuan for breakfast on the 7th and the 15th day of the first month in Traditional Chinese Calendar. Like jiaozi/dumpling, tangyuan is also a symbol of family gathering. Unlike people from northern regions of China, Cantonese don’t have a custom of having dumpling, but tangyuan is definitely a well-known festival food in most reunion festivals.
Tangyuan is made with glutinous rice flour as the wrap and usually with sweet fillings. Most Chinese would have them on Winter Solstice, Chinese New Year or in Chinese wedding banquette. Lantern Festival, prounounced ‘yuan-xiao jie’ in Chinese mandarin, is the 15th day of the first month in traditional Chinese calender, and will be on February the 26th this year. It is also considered the Chinese Valentine’s Day. The character “yuan” means families or lovers togetherness. Thus people would have tangyuan on that day.
What is Tong But Lut
Tong-but-lut /糖不甩 is a Cantonese dessert. This is a Cantonese style tangyuan – tangyuan (glutinous riceball), usually without filling, is poached in syrup then sprinkled with crushed roasted peanuts, desiccated coconut or roasted white sesame. It is prounouced ‘tong but lut ‘in Cantonese, with the meaning ‘sweet and stick together’, the topping on the syrup coated tangyuan and wouldn’t come off. Thus this dessert symbolizes the sweetness of loving couples.
Tong-but-lut can be seen in Cantonese tong-sui-po (Cantonese dessert specialty store) in Cantonese regions, such as Canton and Hong Kong, or even oversea. In this recipe, I make small recreation of this classic dessert, to make the tangyuan with mashed pumpkin, and use roasted almond for the topping.
Check out my other tangyuan recipes –
- Marbled Tangyuan, Black Sesame Filling
- Black Sesame Sweet Soup with Small Tangyuen
- Taro and mini Tangyuen in Ginger infused Syrup
Usually tangyuan is dessert, which means it is supposed to be sweet. However there are savoury versions. Also check out my savoury tangyuan recipes.
A similar Japanese dessert –
Pumpkin Tong But Lut
- Glutinous rice flour, 120g
- Sweet potato starch, 30g, optional, if it’s unavailable, simply use 150g of glutinous rice flour
- Pumpkin, any type, about 400g
- Slack sugar, 1 bar, about 100g, if it’s unavailable, use any sugar in dark colour
- Unseasoned roasted almond, 50g
- desiccated coconut, 2tbsp
- water, 300g
How to do –
- Pumpkin peeled and seeded, cut to chunks and steam till cooked, then mashed smoothly. I would use 300g of the pumpkin puree, and make soup with the rest;
2. Mix 120g of glutinous rice flour and 30g of sweet potato starch, which makes the texture a little less sticky on your mouth. But don’t worry if you don’t have it, just use 150g of glutinous rice flour; mix the pumpkin puree and the flour, then knead to form a smooth but unsticky dough; adjust with a little more water or flour if needed;
3. Cut into small chunks, about 20g each; then roll to balls on your palms. You may have about 22 to 24 tangyuan in this portion of ingredients and serve 4;
(uncooked tangyuan can be kept in freezer, dust a thin layer of glutinous rice flour on; no need to defrost before cooking, poach them directly in boiling water; when they float on the water surface, add a cup of cold water in, keep boiling for 5 more minutes)
4. In a saucepan, put in 300g of water and a bar of slack sugar, in medium-low heat, melt the sugar but no need to caramel;
5. Bring another pot of water to boil in high heat, put in the tangyuan, poach them till they float but no need to cook thoroughly; then transfer them into the syrup, keep poaching for a few more minutes in medium heat, set aside;
(when tangyuan expand that means they are cooked thoroughly)
6. Half portion of unseasoned roasted almond crushed finely in food processor and the other half roughly, then mix them with 2 or 3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut;
(traditionally crushed roasted peanut or sesame are used for the topping)
7. Transfer the tangyuan from syrup to a small dessert bowl or plate, and sprinkle 2 spoonful of the almond topping on top.
- 糯米粉 120克
- 番薯粉 30克
- 南瓜 约400
- 片糖 1块，约100克
- 原味烤杏仁 50克
- 椰丝 2汤匙
- 水 300毫升