Totoro Tang Yuan Recipe


A brand new homemade Tang Yuan recipe for Winter Solstice, also known as Dongzhi (冬至). This time I made super cute Totoro Tang Yuan!

Winter Solstice is happening tomorrow, 22 Dec 2014! Based on traditional customs, it is the day that families come together to have dinner and enjoy eating tang yuan, which also symbolises reunion.

Since so many of you have indicated your love for Totoro, I decided to create this tang yuan recipe and I hope you will enjoy it.

Fragrant sesame tang yuan dumpling with generous gula melaka (palm sugar) inside – super yummy!


Check out that flowing gula melaka filling of the totoro tang yuan! :)

Now are you ready to make some tang yuan yourself? Here is the recipe~ enjoy!

If you do not want to shape them into Totoro, you can just make them as round normal tang yuan too!

Totoro Tang Yuan Recipe Winter Solstice

Recipe for Totoro Tang Yuan

- homemade black sesame tang yuan with gula melaka filling. A perfect homemade tang yuan recipe for Dongzhi / Winter Solstice


  • 3 tbsp of ground black sesame + 1.5 tbsp white bean paste (alternatively you can use black sesame paste/cream)* I prefer to make my own as there is no added oil or fats when I make my own sesame paste.
  • 120g glutinous rice flour
  • 110g~125g water
  • gula melaka (palm sugar)
  • dark brown food coloring

Tang Yuan recipe totoro


  1. Ground the black sesame in a food processor until. In a bowl, mix the black sesame powder with white bean paste. You can add a little glucose sugar (1.5 tsp) if you wish for it to be slightly sweetened. Knead until you have a paste-like texture
  2. Add in 80g of glutinous rice flour. Then add in about 65-70g of water. Knead until you have a nice soft dough that does not crack when you shape them. Add more water if it is too dry. Conversely, add more flour if its too sticky.
  3. In a separate bowl, add in the remaining 40g glutinous rice flour and 35-40g water. Similarly, knead until you have a nice soft dough that does not crack when you shape them. It should feel moist and soft (like ear lobe) but not sticky.
  4. Divide the black sesame rice dumpling dough from step 2 into 12g pcs. Flatten them into a disc and wrap some diced up gula melaka (palm sugar). Shape into an oval and gently pinch the ears to create the Totoro Tang Yuan shape. Repeat for the remaining dough.
  5. Then divide the white rice dumpling dough from step 3 into 3.5-4g pcs. Gently flatten them into round disc and place them over the black sesame dumpling. This is Totoro’s tummy.
  6. Add two small white circles for the eyes.
  7. Tip: If the dough feels dry when you are shaping them, just dab some water on the dough and knead again to regain the needed texture. 
  8. Tip: the shaping does take a while to get used to, even for me. Don’t give up! :) Thats why you can see 3 of the tang yuan where I made the skin too thin and the palm sugar seeped out :P but it was still okay as I actually wrap quite generous amounts of gula melaka. haha. 
  9. Then using toothpick/small brush, draw on the eyes, nose, whiskers and curve lines of Totoro’s tummy.
  10. In a pot of boiling water, cook the Totoro tang yuan until it floats (indication that it is cooked). Remove from boiling water and place in a bowl of cool water, or immediately served with some hot sweet soup.
  11. Enjoy this delicious bowl of tang yuan for Dongzhi/Winter Solstice!

Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro Tang Yuan recipe totoro

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  • Selina
    June 11, 2015

    Such genius in presentation, I love it

  • debby
    January 7, 2015

    Palm sugar inside…
    Like klepon, snack in my country indonesian. But the skin with pandan leaf juice not black sesame. And coating with coconut. Very yummy.

  • 婉婉下午茶
    December 22, 2014

    Awww super kawaii♡♡

  • kwbentodiary
    December 22, 2014

    aww….Totoro so adorable! I can’t bear to eat >_< Hehehe….

    Thank you for sharing as always!

  • Jean (bentodays)
    December 22, 2014

    Looks so yummy! Love Totoro and black sesame!