Sticky rice balls with bean flour in Kunming

In northern part of China, one of the traditional snacks is called “Yuan Xiao”, which is a seasonal desert during the Lantern Festival. But in the South, people call it “Tang Yuan”, which could be translated as “sticky rice ball”.


Sticky rice ball is one of local’s favourite snacks in Yunnan. It looks like a round dumpling, but with different fillings. Its main ingredients include sticky rice, yellow bean flour, brown sugar, minced sesame and peanut. And it tastes much like a warm candy, with softer and stickier layer. While in Kunming, this special dessert is always been consumed with a small bowl of spicy rice noodle with bean curd. People say the reason behind that is because the two conjure up a memorable flavor in one’s taste buds.


  1. After the sticky rice balls are boiled in hot water for about 8 minutes, take them out into the bowl.
  2. Put some yellow bean flour into the pan, and keep stirring until the flavor released.
  3. Add two spoons of brown sugar into a small bowl, add some hot water to make the brown sugar become syrup.
  4. Put all the sticky rice balls into the bowl with the yellow bean flour and make sure that each of them is coated evenly, and add the brown sugar syrup on top.