Tang yuan, also known as glutinous rice balls in other parts of East Asia, is a beloved Chinese treat with a delightfully chewy texture. While traditional fillings like black sesame and red bean paste are well-known, I wanted to make a longer post here on 10+ Tang Yuan Fillings to ignite your creativity and expand your tang yuan horizons. Get ready to explore a wide range of unique and delicious filling ideas that will take your tang yuan to the next level!
1. Chopped Nuts
This filling combines the crunchiness of chopped peanuts with the smoothness of nut butter for a delightful texture and nutty flavor. To make the filling, simply chop peanuts into small pieces and mix them with your favorite nut butter, such as peanut or almond butter. The combination of the two creates a rich and satisfying filling that adds a delightful nuttiness to the tang yuan. This healthy twist on traditional fillings offers a tasty option for nut lovers and adds a satisfying crunch to the chewy tang yuan.
2. Impossible Ground "Meat"
This plant-based filling provides a delicious and meat-like filling for tang yuan. To make the filling, combine ground impossible meat, chopped onion, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture until the flavors meld together and the filling is well-seasoned. This filling offers a great option for those following a plant-based diet, as it replicates the taste and texture of traditional meat fillings while being entirely vegan.
3. Black Sesame Seeds
This Sweet Black Sesame Paste filling recipe is made from ground black sesame seeds, melted coconut oil, and a touch of honey. The ground sesame seeds make it smooth and creamy, while the melted coconut oil adds a rich texture. With a bit of honey for sweetness, this filling truly balances the nutty flavors of the sesame seeds.
4. Sweet Red Bean Paste
Here's another popular tang yuan filling that I never get tired of using. For convenience, I used a ready-made red bean paste that you can find at your local Asian grocery store, but you can also make your own using a Food Processor method. The red bean paste is smooth and luscious, with a delightful sweetness that pairs perfectly with the chewy tang yuan casing. Simply roll the red bean paste into balls before using and use it to fill your tang yuan. It's a classic and scrumptious choice that goes well with almost any tang yuan recipe!
5. Sweetened White Bean Paste
Just like sweet red bean paste, you can find sweet white bean paste at your local Asian grocery store, or make your own from scratch (Here's my Shortcut White Bean Paste if you want to try). This creamy sweet filling is made from cooked butter beans, offering a unique and delicate flavor that pairs well with the glutinous rice balls. I love pairing darker-colored tang yuan recipes like the black sesame tang yuan below, so that the white bean paste stands out more.
6. Purple Sweet Potato
Want to add a pop of color and a burst of flavor to your tang yuan experience? This colorful and delightful Purple Sweet Potato Filling is made by mashing purple sweet potatoes and combining them with melted coconut oil and honey. The result is a creamy and naturally sweet purple sweet potato paste that adds a burst of beautiful color to your tang yuan.
7. Sweet Taro Paste
Are you looking for a healthy but delicious filling for your tang yuan? This easy Sweet Taro Paste filling not only tastes amazing but is also good for you. Taro is full of fiber, which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling satisfied. With the addition of coconut oil, this filling becomes even smoother and adds a nice touch of healthy fat.
Chocolate lovers, here it is! It's so easy to make chocolate filled tang yuan. Just use chocolate chips! These small morsels of semi-sweet chocolate chips not only add a delightful sweetness but also make shaping the tang yuan easier. As you cook the tang yuan, the chocolate chips transform from solid bits into a luscious and creamy chocolatey filling. It's a delightful surprise when you take a bite and experience the smooth and velvety texture of melted chocolate inside the chewy tang yuan. It's sure to satisfy any chocolate lover's cravings.
9. Sweet Coffee Bean Paste
Get ready for a unique and flavorful twist to your tang yuan with this 2-Ingredient Sweet Coffee Bean Paste filling! This one-of-a-kind filling combines sweet white bean paste with a homemade coffee extract made from instant coffee powder and hot water. The result is a delightful blend of sweet and aromatic flavors that will give your tang yuan a special kick. This filling is perfect for all the coffee lovers out there, as it brings a hint of caffeine so you can have it in the morning. Serving the Sweet Coffee Bean Paste-filled tang yuan in a soy milk broth adds a fun and comforting element to the experience.
10. Mozzarella Cheese
Looking for a savory and cheesy twist for your tang yuan? All you need for this filling is just one ingredient: mozzarella cheese pearls. As you take a bite, the chewy tang yuan reveals a melty and cheesy surprise that will leave you craving more. For an extra savory touch, serve tang yuan filled with mozzarella cheese in a flavorful broth like miso soup. The combination of the savory broth and the cheesy tang yuan creates a truly satisfying and enjoyable meal.
11. Mung Bean Paste
Looking to embrace a more traditional and sweet tang yuan experience? Consider making this 2-Ingredient sweet mung bean paste as a filling! This classic filling option boasts a delightful combination of flavors and a vibrant yellow color. The sweet mung bean paste offers a comforting and nostalgic taste. Not only is it delicious, but it's also a healthier choice, as mung beans are packed with nutrients.
12. Lotus Paste
If you're looking for something more traditional consider using Lotus Seed Paste as a tang yuan filling! Made from finely ground lotus seeds, this nutty and sweet paste adds a touch of elegance to your tang yuan. Lotus Seed Paste can be found online (like here on Amazon) or found in most Asian grocery stores, but you can also make your own for a more authentic, traditional taste.
The Ultimate List of Tang Yuan Fillings & Ideas for 汤圆 Glutinous Rice Balls
- 1 CHOPPED NUTS
- 2 IMPOSSIBLE GROUND "MEAT" FILLING , click on link to go to recipe
- 3 BLACK SESAME FILLING , click on link to go to recipe
- 4 HOMEMADE SWEET RED BEAN PASTE FILLING , click on link to go to recipe
- 5 SWEET WHITE BEAN PASTE FILLING , click on link to go to recipe
- 6 PURPLE SWEET POTATO FILLING , click on link to go to recipe
- 7 SWEET TARO PASTE
- 8 CHOCOLATE
- 9 COFFEE BEAN PASTE , click on link to go to recipe
- 10 MOZZARELLA CHEESE
- 11 MUNG BEAN PASTE FILLING , click on link to go to recipe
- 12 LOTUS PASTE
- The list of fillings above in the ingredients list is actually the recipe link to the fillings! Click to get to the recipe pages.