Black Sesame Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Balls)

Tang yuan (or sweet rice balls) is an iconic dessert eaten for over 1,000 years on Lunar New Year to remind us of the importance of coming together! Our Crunchy Black Sesame Butter makes it easy and ultra delicious to make for you and your loved ones.

 black sesame tang yuan sweet rice balls with black sesame crunchy butter

Black Sesame Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Balls)

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min

Serves: 18 rice balls 


87 g or 6 tbsp Crunchy Black Sesame Butter 

44 g or 1/3 cup + 2 tsp powdered sugar 

13 g or 1tbsp + 1/2 tsp melted butter

200 g or 1.5 cup glutinous rice flour

67 g or 4 tbsp boiling water

90-100 g or 6-7 tbsp room temperature water


  1. Mix the Crunchy Black Sesame Butter and powdered sugar first until a crumbly consistency forms, then mix melted butter until a uniform paste. Use a spoon to scoop out and form penny or thumb nail sized balls and place onto a plate covered with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Make 18 balls.
  2. Add glutinous rice flour into a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water first and mix with a small spatula or chopsticks. Add the room temperature water one tablespoon at a time while kneading the dough until a smooth, soft, and slightly damp, Play-Doh-like ball forms (you might have extra water left). Keep kneading for 2-3 min.
  3. Shape dough into a rope with your hands and divide the dough into 18 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t dry out. 
  4. Take a dough ball and use your thumb to press the middle. With your thumb and pointer finger, pinch the sides while using your other hand to rotate the dough. This will form an elongated bowl shape. 
  5. Put the filling ball into the hollow dough, and pinch the dough opening to enclose the filling. Roll it between two hands into a ball shape. Place them on a large plate and repeat with the remaining. 
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 6-8 Tang Yuans at time and use a spatula to gently push the balls away from you to stop them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When the water comes to a boil, add 1/2 cup of water. Repeat 2 more times. This allows the sugar and oils to melt. Serve the Tang Yuans in some of the hot cooking water. 

Note: Shaping the balls might be challenging the first time, but it's still a great activity to try with friends and family! Use Woks of Life’s recipe for more in-depth details.  If you have extra tang yuan, just store them in the freezer.

Enjoy! We'd love to know how you liked the recipe! Share your creation and tag us @rooted.fare on Instagram or @rootedfare on TikTok for a chance to be featured. 

Check out a twist a classic, crispy treat: our sweet & nutty Black Sesame Rice Krispie treats!

1 comment

Mara Nissen

My only suggestion would be BIGGER JARS!

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