Gong Hei Fat Choi! In case you hadn't heard yet, this weekend marks the beginning of the year of the Yin Water Rabbit. People all around the world are gathering with family and celebrating the new year. There are so many amazing traditions that are practiced during this time. Depending on what culture you are most connected to you may have some slightly different rituals, but one thing that seems to cross all borders is sharing food!
I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes for the season, Tang Yuan also known as sticky rice balls or sweet rice balls. This dish is served to signify togetherness and is considered one of the lucky foods of the new year celebrations in South China. In other parts of Asia they are served during the Lantern Festival which takes place on February 5th. The version of this recipe I am sharing is one that I have been working on perfecting for a little bit and I think I really got the texture down. It only has 4 ingredients (plus water) and while rolling the balls has a bit of a learning curve, it's a lot of fun. I hope that you enjoy and that you will share with your family!
Black Sesame Seeds (hei zhi ma): These have 3 major functions in Chinese medicine. They nourish the liver and kidneys, nourish blood and moisten and lubricate the intestines and lungs. Black sesame seeds are also said to prevent premature graying of the hair.
Glutinous Rice Flour: Glutinous Rice Flour is made from a sweet rice and is a wonderful qi building tonic for the digestive system and the lungs. It also helps facilitate healing in the skin and helps to relieve excess sweating.
Black Sugar : Black sugar (aka Chinese Brown Sugar) is warming in nature and helps with boosting energy and circulation.
Butter : Butter is warming and nourishing to the yin. It also helps to disperse cold and regulate blood circulation.
And here's how you put it all together:
Cheers to the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit!
Dr. Melissa is an Doctor of East Asian Medicine as well as a self proclaimed geek glam girl with a passion for gluten free food, self care rituals and beauty products. She is based in Petaluma, CA.