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|Place of origin||China|
|Region or state||Cities in China|
|Main ingredients||Candied fruits, sugar syrup; sometimes chocolate, or sesame sprinkles|
|Cookbook: Tanghulu Media: Tanghulu|
|Literal meaning||sugar bottle gourd|
|Literal meaning||rock sugar bottle gourd|
Tanghulu (simplified Chinese: 糖葫芦; traditional Chinese: 糖葫蘆; pinyin: tánghúlu) also called bingtanghulu, is a traditional Chinese snack of candied fruit. It originated from northern China, but it is now commonly available in most Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai. It consists of fruits covered in hard candy on bamboo skewers that are approximately 20 cm long.
The two common names literally means "sugar bottle gourd" and "rock sugar bottle gourd" respectively. The "sugar" or "rock sugar" refers to the sugar coating, while the "bottle gourd" refers to the slight resemblance of the snack to the shape of the gourd fruit.
Tanghulu typically has a hardened sugar coating that comes from dipping the skewer in sugar syrup, but versions can also be found with a second chocolate coating, or sesame sprinkles. Traditionally, the fruit used has been Chinese hawthorn, but in recent times vendors have also used various other fruits, such as cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, kiwifruit, bananas, or grapes.
Tanghulu originated from the Song dynasty. The imperial concubine was sick and did not feel like eating anything. A folk doctor provided a therapy which said simmer rock candy with haws and five to ten haws should be eaten by the imperial concubine before each meal. She followed the doctor and recovered. Then the therapy was spread to ordinary people and became a kind of popular snack. Haws have abundant medicine efficacy, like appetizing, nourish skin, mitigate fatigue and clearing heat. Haws are not the only core of Tanghulu, strawberries, bananas, tangerines and dates could be used to make Tanghulu.
Firstly, select fresh, plump, evenly sized hawthorn and wash them, cut the root and the base of hawthorn, and use the knife to remove the core. Then add fillings that you like, like bean paste or green bean paste in the middle of each hawthorn and string them with bamboo stick. Second, to make sugar syrup. Put water and sugar in the pan at the ratio of 1:2, and simmer for approximate 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the water left in the pan is very little, boiling very much, and sugar syrup is bubbling small and dense bubbles, like light yellow beer. Dip the syrup with chopsticks or forks, if you can pull some silk out slightly, then you are fine. Do not simmer for too long to get the brown color, which means the syrup is burnt, and do not let the wind blow your syrup while cooking. Next, make hawthorn wrapped with the syrup. Tilt the pot so that all the hawthorn is dipped in sugar. Place the hawthorn in the thin layer of hot sugar and roll it lightly. Then, cool them down. Place the hawthorn on the marble slab and cool them down for two to three minutes. Soak the marble slab in cold water before use it to cool down hawthorn.
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