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26 Oct 2012

Glutinous Rice balls in ginger soup 湯圓

Penang [檳城] • 26 OCTOBER 2012
Well, since it was cold on a rainy day, I decided that I should stay at home and cook something hot and sweet. 

Soft, chewy and utterly satisfying, the fondest memory I have of glutinous rice balls, or mochi as they're commonly known, is helping my grandma make traditional pink rice balls in ginger soup to celebrate the Chinese Winter Solstice. In Chinese culture, the round balls represent family togetherness. A few years back, I started looking for places that served these 'kosong' or 'empty' rice balls, but failed in my quest. All the commercialised versions came stuffed with peanuts, red bean paste, yam and a whole variety of other fillings. Luckily I have a packet of black sesame balls in my fridge. 

Serves 4

1/2 L water
100 g ginger, sliced
8 pcs dried longan
4 pcs red dates
8 pcs lotus seeds
12 pcs white lily buds
8 pcs wolfberries (optional)
100 g rock sugar
8 pcs glutinous rice ball, store-bought ( my favourite- black sesame)

1. In a pot, combine water, ginger slices, dried longan, red dates, lotus seeds, lily buds and wolfberries.

2. Boil and simmer for 1.5 hours. Add some water if necessary.
3. Dissolve rock sugar in the simmering water, remove from heat and set the soup aside.
4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the glutinous rice balls into the water. They will float up to the surface of the water once cooked. Add the rice balls to the ginger soup and serve.


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