Black Sesame Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Balls)

Tang Yuan is a sweet rice ball dessert that’s eaten with family to symbolize togetherness on Chinese New Year. Our Black Sesame Crunchy Butter is inspired by the popular sweet, luscious filling that’s traditionally made with black sesame and lard. Since lard is hard to come by, our recipe uses coconut oil and black beans as delicious (and vegan!) alternatives.

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

Black Sesame Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Balls)

Prep: 50 min

Cook: 20 min

Serves: 9-12 rice balls 


1 cup Black Sesame Crunchy Butter (about half of our 8 oz jar)

4 tbsp strained canned black beans

4 tbsp sugar, add more or less to taste

⅓ cup coconut oil

1 cup sweet rice flour, we use a brand called Cho Heng

½ cup warm water


  1. In a food processor, mix Black Sesame Crunchy Butter, strained black beans, sugar, and coconut oil. Let it harden in the fridge for 30 min.
  2. Add sweet rice flour in a mixing bowl and slowly pour the warm water. The dough shouldn’t be too wet. Cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.
  3. Boil water in a pot, and add a quarter sized piece of dough. When it floats, add it to the rest of the dough, and mix all together until soft and smooth. Roughly divide the dough into 9-12 pieces and roll into balls. Cover with a damp paper towel while assembling.
  4. Take out hardened filling and make penny-sized balls. If the mixture gets soft at room temperature, put it back into the fridge or freezer.
Penny-sized black sesame filling ball
5. Take each dough ball, flatten to a 2 in circle,  put the filling ball in the middle, and close the dough over the filling ball. Roll it in your hands until it's smooth and round. Repeat for the remaining.
Fold dough around black sesame filling ball and shape into a rice ball
6. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the sesame balls and immediately stir to stop them from sticking. When the water comes to a boil, add ½ cup of water. Repeat 2 more times. This allows the sugars and oils to melt. Serve the sesame balls 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, 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!

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