Sweet Potato Tang Yuan

December 06, 2021

Tang Yuan are a Lunar New Year treat made of glutinous rice flour. Our version is filled with organic local sweet potato and a pinch of ginger. Symbolizing family reunion and the full moon, we recommend serving eight tang yuan at a time because 8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture. 


  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tbsp + ½ tsp sugar
  • ⅛ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp salt


  1. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Steam for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Mash or blend into a puree.
  2. Transfer 2 tbsp of sweet potato into a small bowl and mix in ½ tsp sugar and ⅛ tsp ground ginger, then chill. In another bowl, mix the rest of the sweet potato with 1 tbsp of sugar and ⅛ tsp salt.
  3. Mix 1 cup of glutinous rice flour into the sweet potato and sugar mixture a little bit at a time, stirring vigorously to avoid lumps. When the mixture comes together, remove from the bowls and knead a few times until smooth and not sticky.
  4. Remove the ginger sweet potato puree from the fridge. Roll the dough into a long snake and cut into thumb-sized segments. Between your palms, roll each segment into a ball. Gently press a pinky-sized indentation into a ball. Dollop the sweet potato filling into the indentation. Pinch closed and roll until circular again.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When all of the tang yuan are rolled and filled, add them to the boiling water. Stir to prevent sticking and then cook until floating, then one minute more.
  6. Lift out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. The lucky number to serve is 8. Spoon over a few tablespoonfuls of the cooking liquid and eat each tang yuan with some of the starchy cooking water. Happy new year!

This recipe was created by Local Roots recipe developer Irena Huang. 

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