Fermented glutinous rice dumplings are a very popular dessert with a long history in China. They are enjoyed on special occasions, like Chinese New Year, and are a "must-order" at restaurants. They are also said to have medicinal properties, promoting blood circulation for women, and even slowing age process! This dessert doesn't taste overly sweet and is very easy to make.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (7 votes)


  • 300 g frozen glutinous rice balls (see Note)
  • ½ cup fermented sweet rice wine (mijiu) (see Note)
  • 4 egg whites, whisked lightly with a fork
  • 2 tbsp osmanthus sugar (see Note)


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Using 2 large saucepans, place 1 litre water in each and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the glutinous rice balls (sweet dumplings) and cook until the rice balls float (4 minutes, depending on size of rice balls). Gently lift out the cooked rice balls, place in a large bowl of cold water and discard water from saucepan.  

Add fermented sweet rice wine to the second saucepan with clean simmering water, and mix well. Add egg whites and stir briskly with a wooden spoon to form egg threads. Remove form heat and transfer cooked glutinous rice balls into the rice wine water.

Mix osmanthus sugar with 2 tbsp warm water in a small bowl, and add to the rice wine water. Stir well and serve.  


• Frozen glutinous rice balls, mijiu and osmanthus sugar are available from selected Chinese food stores. If osmanthus sugar is unavailable, combine 2 tbsp caster sugar with a pinch of osmanthus tea. Osmanthus is called “gui hua” in Chinese which may help to locate it in store.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.