Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dumplings in Fermented Glutinous Rice Wine - 酒酿圆子

Winter Solstice, sometimes known as midwinter, falls on 21 December this year. Since Glutinous Rice Dumplings, 汤圆- Tang Yuan, are symbolic of Winter Solstice, there is no better time to enjoy them during December, or even January and into February. Say the same for this dessert Boiled Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Fermented Glutinous Rice - 酒酿圆子.

As this dessert is typically serve warm and due to the presence of "wine" from sweet ferment rice - 酒酿; it is indeed a timely dessert soup for winter.

The first time I tried this dessert was many years ago in Singapore. Yes, at a mom-and-pop Shanghai restaurant by the name of Pudong Kitchen in Balmoral Plaza (I wonder if it is still there).

So when my friend made this some time ago, it was not unfamiliar to me. I got reconnected to this long-lost dessert which might be an acquired taste for some (due to the taste of fermented rice). I confess I could not really adapt to this "strange" dessert at my first but have got used to it now.

This sweet ferment rice (fermented glutinous rice) - 酒酿 is Chinese yeast fermented glutinous rice or glutinous rice wine. It is low in alcohol content and tastes sweet, with a subtle wine aroma.


Basically, make and boil tiny glutinous rice balls or dumplings. Then add the sweet ferment rice into the gently simmering water. Add gojiberries - 枸杞子 for some sweet overtone, or Osmanthus - 桂花 for aroma.

The sweet dessert soup is shared with Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen and My Meatless Mondays.

Have you tried similar? New to fermented glutinous rice?

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