Tangyuan for Hanshi Day

The Hanshi Festival is held on March, 03 in Lunar Calendar. Every year, we make Vietnamese Tangyuan to perform ritual offering to our ancestors.

Legend about The Hanshi day

Legend has it that Chong’er (重耳), a prince of Jin, endured many hardships while he fled around the warring states. Once, in order to help the prince who was tormented by hunger, Jiè Zhītuī (介之推 or Jiè Zǐtuī, 介子推) cut off the flesh from his thigh and offered it to the prince for sustenance.

Later, when Chong’er became Duke Wen of Jin (晉文公), he ordered a search for Jie Zhitui who had gone into hiding in the remote mountains with his mother. Jie Zhitui had no political ambitions and felt ashamed to work with his hypocritical fellows, hence refused invitation of the Duke. Chong’er ordered the mountains to be burned down to force Zhitui out of hiding. Unfortunately Zhitui did not give in and the fire ended up killing Zhitui and his mother.

Filled with remorse, Chong’er ordered that each year during these three days the setting of fire is forbidden – all food was to be consumed cold. Therefore the Festival is thus named. In Jiexiu City of the Shanxi Province, where Zhitui died, locals still remember this tradition clearly. But even for them the tradition of eating cold food is no longer actually practiced.

(From Wikipedia.org)

A few days ago, I asked my mum about what she intended to do in this Hanshi day and whether we would make Tangyuan at home or not.

She said, “Making Tangyuan is a bit time-consuming and in fact that dish is not our favourite’s food. Let me consider it, sweetie.”

“But I’m fond of shaping them,” I responded, ” and making it by ourselves is an action to show our appreciation to our Grand. I think it will be much more meaningful than buying ready dishes.”

However, we finally agreed that we still would buy it because this year The QuingMing and The Hanshi is celebrated on the same day and we would have pretty much business to do.

I still want to write something about the Tangyuan, though.

When I was a child, I really loved that kind of food. It was resulted from a fact that I was able to have it only once a year. My parents were too busy to finish all the process and it neither was available commonly on the market.

Selling Tangyuan has been more popular for 5 years.

There are 2 kinds of Tangyuan in Vietnam: the dry one with a piece of cut sugar-cane rock candy filled – which is called Bánh Trôi – and the liquid one which has green bean filled and is served with sweet soup, named Bánh Chay.

Bánh Trôi

Bánh Chay

The main ingredient is glutinous rice flour in both recipes. Other elements include golden sesame, green bean, sugar-cane rock candy and kudzu powder to make the thick soup.

The whole process is pretty easy if you have wet glutinous rice flour ready. All the rest is fun and simple: Shape every single tangyuan cake with the prepared flour and filling, boil till they are floating on the water then cool them off by cold water. After that, scoop the smaller with sugar-cane filled cakes onto shallow dishes and the bigger filled with green bean into small bowls. Decorate dry dishes with golden sesame and pour sweet kudzu soup into bowls. Done!

Because there is not any lipid and animal ingredient, these two dishes taste fresh and yummy. They are also suitable for vegetarians.


colourful Tangyuan version ^^

Some people even add coconut milk into Bánh chay to make it more delicious, but I suggest that you should be careful for when you are a bit chubby and easily get weight because that combination contains a lot of energy.

That’s all!

I am about to enjoy Tangyuan with my parents now :D. I hope that next year I will have an opportunity to show you guys my home-made dishes. And another wish, there is a man ready to try them with my family.

Hope you find my blog interesting and thank you so much for spending time here!


(All the images is from the Internet ^^)


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