冬至的蓮藕粉湯圓 / Lotus Root Tangyuan for Winter Solstice

冬至到了, 今日白天短晝夜長, 也是冬天正式來到的一天。在台灣的時候, 媽媽每年都會煮湯圓給我吃。可是媽媽沒有自己做過湯圓, 我自己也沒有嘗試過, 今年心血來潮想利用家裡有的食材來自創一個健康湯圓。希望能達成一直都很想用蓮藕粉做甜點的願望。

Winter Solstice has the shortest daylight of the year, in Asian societies, it is named "the arrival of Winter". In Taiwan, every year, mom would make us tangyuan. It is a traditional sweet that's prepared especially for winter solstice. The tangyuan skin is usually made with glutenous rice dough and the filling is made with either sesame, peanuts or red bean. Mom has never made tangyuan from scratch for me, I have never made it either, but I wanted to give it a try this year and make a healthy version of tangyuan with the ingredients I already have at home. Also wanted to give myself a challenge of finally making a dessert from lotus root powder.

蓮藕粉紫藷芝麻湯圓, Lotus Root Purple Yam and Sesame Tangyuan

用布嘍和阿兔買給我們的Vitamix把現有的黑芝麻研磨成粉狀後和沖繩黑糖粉, 椰子油, 少許的水混合後就成了黑芝麻甜餡。大約的比例是30g的芝麻粉, 15g的黑糖, 7g的椰子油和一湯匙的水。因為用的是椰子油所以我動作要非常的快。手掌的熱氣讓芝麻餡軟化的很快, 後來把餡料放入冰箱十五分鐘後就變的很容易搓成小小球狀了。這張照片說真的拍的不好, 獻醜了, 因為動作要快就沒有算進照相的時間了, 這是塑形後要在冰入冰箱定型前, 有點軟化的樣子。

With the Vitamix Bulo and Atu bought me, I made black sesame powder from the black sesame seeds I had in the kitchen.Mixing the black sesame powder with Okinawa black sugar powder, some coconut oil and a splash of water, the sweet black sesame filling is done. I used 1 oz. of black sesame, 1/2 oz. of sugar, 1/8 oz. of coconut oil and about 1 tbsp of water. Because I used coconut oil instead of butter or lard in the traditional recipe, I had to work fast. The heat from my hands were melting the coconut oil fast and making the filling soft. Putting the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes eventually helped me shape the sesame paste into tiny balls. Please excuse the photo since I had to work fast and didn't really have enough time to capture a good one. It was taken after shaping the sesame paste and before putting them in the refrigerator again to set.

蓮藕粉紫藷芝麻湯圓, Lotus Root Purple Yam and Sesame Tangyuan

做好芝麻餡接下來就要做湯圓的皮了。我用了媽媽給我的白河蓮藕粉還有兩個月前在日本超市買到的紫藷粉。1/2杯的蓮藕粉對1/4杯的紫藷粉拌入約1/3杯的熱水和少許紅糖攪拌均勻後就完成了。把芝麻餡圓球一粒一粒包進蓮藕紫藷皮中, 剛好做了十二個, 不多不少正適合我倆吃兩天。

After making the sesame paste as filling, I mixed together some lotus root powder that mom gave me and the purple yam powder I got from the Japanese market 2 months ago. I used 1/2 cup of lotus root powder with 1/4 cup of purple yam powder. With about 1/3 cup of hot water and some raw sugar, the dough for the tangyuan skin was done. Folding the sesame filling inside the dough forms the tangyuan, I made 12 in total, not too many, just enough for the two of us for two days.

蓮藕粉紫藷芝麻湯圓, Lotus Root Purple Yam and Sesame Tangyuan

湯圓在沸水中滾個5-8分鐘後就可以吃了。在包湯圓時順便煮了一小鍋的黑糖薑汁, 湯圓煮好後就和薑汁一起上桌了。畢竟是冬至, 最好的禦寒良方就是薑啦。湯圓的皮因為是用蓮藕粉做的所以有一點點半透明的感覺, 我自己覺得還蠻漂亮的, 口感也QQ的, 我很喜歡。

After cooking the tangyuan in some boiling water for 5-8 minutes, they are ready to be served. I put them in the ginger sugar broth I made while folding the tangyuan. After all, it is the arrival of winter and ginger is the perfect remedy for the cold weather. The tangyuan skin is 10% translucent because of the nature of lotus root powder, I think they look quite pretty. It's also got a chewy texture which I really love in Asian desserts.

蓮藕粉紫藷芝麻湯圓, Lotus Root Purple Yam and Sesame Tangyuan

這個亂做亂玩的食譜算是非常成功, 我真的是太喜歡廚房這個遊樂場了。冬至的祝福, 希望大家都度過溫暖的一天。

I think this experiment was quite a success, oh how I love this playground called kitchen. Happy winter solstice to you, stay warm!