Savory glutinous rice balls in fish maw soup (tang yuan)

Savory Tang Yuan in Fish Maw Soup

Course: Chinese New Year, Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marvellina
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Glutinous rice balls:

Fish maw soup:

  • 30 gr fried fish maw- cut into big chunks soaked in hot water until soft - about 20-30 minutes
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1- inch fresh ginger peeled and bruised to release flavor
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into small bite size
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms soaked and sliced


  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste


  • 2 stalks green onion finely chopped
  • Fresh cilantro leaves


Making tang yuan:

  • Take 2 Tbsp glutinous rice flour and mix with 3 Tbsp of boiling water and stir into a sticky paste
  • Place the remaining flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in the sticky paste and agar agar powder. Gradually add in water (not hot) a bit by a bit and knead with your hands until the dough comes together soft and pliable. If it's too dry, add a bit more water, it shouldn't be too wet that it sticks to your hands or bowl
  • When the dough is ready, pinch off some equal size of small dough. If it's too dry, wet your finger and dot it on the dough to prevent it from falling apart. Place them on a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the dough. You can make some of them small and some large ones
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. When they are rolling boil, add in the glutinous balls and let them cook until they float to the top. Use slotted spoon to remove them and submerge them in cold water

Preparing the soup:

  • Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add in the cooking oil. Add in garlic and ginger and saute until they are fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and chicken pieces and continue to saute until fragrant and chicken turn opaque in color
  • Add in the chicken stock and bring to boil. Add in the fish maw and lower to heat to let it simmer until they are soft and chicken pieces are cooked through. Add seasonings and adjust to your taste. Be careful not to overcook the fish maw or they will be all mushy

When ready to serve:

  • Portion the glutinous rice balls in the bowl. Generously ladle the hot soup over with some fish maw, mushrooms and chicken meat. Garnish with some green onions and fresh cilantro leaves