The moon calendar is the calendar Chinese families go by. Most older Asian families like my parents still use both sun and moon calendars with a split screen of both on kitchen walls. The sun calendar for everyday life like gatherings and bill paying while the moon calendar is for consultation of “lucky” days to for specific occasions and events (weddings, funerals and such).
Today indicates the beginning of the Lunar New Year. So let’s start with with what we love Chinese culture: round and sweet.
Mochi technically means the glutinous rice is pounded but these boiled glutinous balls are goey and yummy too. whatever their iterations, an easy way to start a new year.
Recipe for glutinous balls. $3.00 for both at an Asian market.
One bag of gluttonous rice.
One can of coconut milk.
In a medium bowl, heat up 1 can of coconut milk for about 1 min in the microwave. Pour into a larger mixing bowl and add a bag of glutinous rice. Mix and knead until ball forms. Pinch small balls 3/4 size of marbles by rolling it between your palms.
Boil water: add balls to boiling water. when they float they are ready.
Ginger syrup: 4 cups of water, 2 pieces peeled ginger and add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated. Cook it down for about 10-15 mins low heat.
Combine Glutinous balls with ginger syrup or add balls to red bean soup. The balls will have a super faint coconut taste but it’s a much tastier and easier choice than plain water.
If you want something different, why not try mung bean filling?
One bag of split mung beans. Wash thoroughly and cook it in rice cooker with a 1/4 tap of salt and just enough water to cover the beans about 1 inch. Cooked beans will look like mashed potatoes. Drain cooked beans to reduce liquid.
In a dry skillet over low heat, add the drained Mung bean paste and add a pinch of sugar and salt. Add 1/4-1/2 can of coconut milk. You want a wet dry like play dough consistency so it can be formed into balls. I add finely sliced green onions at the end for color and a little savory flavor. Add as filing to mochi balls and toss in boiling water. When filling it remove as much excess dough so the king beans sit inside a thing shell. It’s very pliable so it’s easy to work the dough. Boil water, add th in. When they float they are ready.
OR you can fill it with chopped peanuts and coconut flakes.
This is “very Asian” as my German friends would say but well we do have our own celestial calendar! 😀 traditionally the small balls are colored a reddish pink but we had left over green food coloring so the kids and I reinterpreted out frugality and called them jade balls.