As the Lantern Festival, known in Chinese as Yuánxiāo jié (元宵节), approaches, it’s time to start thinking about eating yuanxiao or tang yuan.These are glutinous rice balls stuffed with various fillings.This air-fryer tang yuan recipe takes frozen sweet glutinous rice balls and makes them into something a bit different!  A New Way to Enjoy Tang Yuan This recipe shows that with a little imagination, we can turn our traditional tang yuan into an extraordinary dessert.   Traditional tangyuan, or sweet rice balls—usually filled with sweet fillings like black sesame, red bean, or peanut (though there are also savory tang yuan)—are served in soup, or rather the hot water they were boiled in.  They’re pleasing to our palates and comforting to our souls around this time of year! Their round shape symbolizes family reunion or togetherness, which is why they’re a traditional Lantern Festival food.  While we have recipes to make your own tang yuan (see our Black Sesame Tang Yuan recipe and our Savory Tang Yuan recipe), most people—us included—buy them frozen from the Chinese grocery store.  We always have a pack in the freezer for a quick dessert when we want something sweet.

Sarah’s husband Justin especially enjoys them!  I got this idea from the Chinese internet—breading the tang yuan with panko and sweet coconut, and then air-frying to create a crispy, sweet coating.Think of it as tang yuan all dressed up—or a creative dessert for a special occa

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