No Dough Black Sesame Sticky Rice Balls (tang Yuan)

18 Balls
30 Minutes

Growing up my mom always made sticky rice balls from scratch. They would either be plain ones or filled with an array of different fillings such as mung bean paste, red bean paste or black sesame paste. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens did I realize that they actually sold premade frozen tang yuan! What a revelation I thought to myself. No more rolling dough and filling them anymore. I asked my mom to purchase them so we could try them and boy was I disappointed. Taste wise, they were acceptable I guess. But they always fell apart during the cooking process and the filling would tend to leak out. They also didn’t seem to be quite as chewy as the homemade ones. So sometimes, it is worth it to take the time to make it completely from scratch. The taste and texture is far superior anyways.

That brings me to this hack that I will share with you. Although, I love working with dough, sometimes we just don’t have the time or patience for it. So, I am going to show you this quick little hack for making sticky rice balls without a dough. It’s super simple and a great way to get the kids to help you out in the kitchen as well.

Ginger sugar syrup

No Dough Black Sesame Sticky Rice Balls (tang Yuan)

Recipe details

  • 18 Balls
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes|Cook time: 10 Minutes|Total time: 30 Minutes


Sugar syrup

Sticky rice balls aka tang yuan


Sugar syrup

In a medium saucepan, add in the water, ginger slices and rock sugar.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the rock sugar to melt and for the ginger to flavor the syrup.
Keep on low until ready to eat.

Sticky rice balls

Take a large plate and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside. Take a large flat dish and add in about 3/4 of a bag of glutinous rice flour.
Find a colander or mesh strainer that will fit inside of a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and place the colander or mesh strainer in the bowl.
Take the black sesame balls out of the refrigerator and set on the counter with the following lined up in this order. Black sesame balls, glutinous rice flour dish, bowl of water with colander and then the plate with plastic wrap.
Take 4-5 black sesame balls and roll them in the glutinous rice flour. Once coated, put them into the bowl of water. Lift the colander/mesh strainer to drain them and put them back knot the flour. Do this, coating them in the flour and then water, for about 10 times until the black sesame paste is completely covered and no longer showing. You should end up with a fairly thick coating. Set aside on the plastic covered plate.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and add in the sticky rice balls. Stir the sticky rice balls so that they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Continue to stir occasionally until the balls float to the top. Cook for another few minutes after they float to the top.
Remove the sticky rice balls with a slotted spoon to serving bowls and top with the ginger syrup. Enjoy!


  • These are best served hot. Enjoy them after you’ve made them and you will see that the filling reigns supreme here. They have a very thin wrapper and an oozy filling.

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