Tangyuan (Yuanxiao) Soup With Pork and Shallots

Tangyuan Soup

Liv Wan. The Spruce Eats, 2016.

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Yield: 20 to 23 tangyuan
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
523 Calories
15g Fat
77g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 523
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 600mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 334mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)


Chinese and Taiwanese people like to eat Tangyuan (湯圓) during the Yuanxiao Festival. The Yuanxiao Festival is more commonly known as the Lantern Festival and Winter Solstice Festival (冬至). Some families have a tradition of eating Tangyuan during the Lunar New Year period as well.

Tangyuan or Yuanxiao

People in South China prefer to call this dish Tangyuan while the people in North China prefer to call this dish Yuanxiao (元宵). There are many different kinds of fillings and pastries that you can use for this dish, so there’s a multitude of flavors available. You can make this dish with a sweet filling, such as sweet ground sesame, ground peanut, red bean paste or even taro. Nowadays, many chefs will even put rose or chocolate in Tangyuan to cater to more modern sweeter tastes.

This recipe is a savory flavor Tangyuan. The filling is pork with shallots and spring onions. This dish is served with some green vegetables, such as bak choy, and you can use vegetable or chicken stock for the soup which will enhance the flavors of this dish further.


For the Pastry:

  • 1 pound (400 grams) glutinous rice flour

  • 1 tablespoon potato starch

  • 1 cup (200 milliliters) water

  • 3/4 ounces (20 milliliters) oil

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 pound (250 grams) ground pork

  • 1 ounce (30 grams) fried shallots

  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely

  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger, chopped finely

Seasonings for the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 pinches ground white pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Mix everything and knead until smooth.

  2. Take 15% of the mixture and separate into 2 or 3 small balls and flatten them by hand. Boil some water in a small saucepan and cook those flattened mixtures until they float on the water.

  3. Mix the cooked mixture with the other raw mixture together evenly and separate the mixture into 25g each small balls.

Procedure for Tangyuan

  1. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings for the filling together evenly then leave aside for 20 minutes.

  2. Separate the filling into small balls and freeze them until hard (it’s easier to make tangyuan if the filling is hard).

  3. Use the pastry to cover the filling and make it look like a round shape.

  4. Boiling some water to cook the tangyuan and when they float on the water, they are cooked.

  5. Use another soup pot to cook stock while the tangyuan is boiling and add some chopped celery and dried shallots into the stock and season the stock with a bit of salt and sesame oil.

  6. Place the tangyuan into the soup and cook them together for another 1 minute. You can also put some vegetable into the soup such as Bok Choy or any green vegetable.

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