Purple Sweet Potato Mini Tangyuan

If you like mini tangyuan, then you will definitely love these rice balls. This recipe only requires 3 ingredients to give you the most addictive little chewy snacks that will definitely fulfill any craving.

If you’ve had tangyuan, you know that they are usually filled with black sesame or red bean. Instead of a filling, I decided to mix the purple sweet potato in with the dough. This not only makes the recipe much easier, but also allows for the flavor to permeate the entire ball.

Some key notes about this recipe:

You MUST use glutinous rice flour, also known as Mochiko flour. If you use normal rice flour, the balls won’t be chewy or sticky at all. They won’t stay together either.

The purple sweet potato works best when mashed thoroughly. If you like little chunks of sweet potato, obviously leave some in. But otherwise, you would want a very smooth paste. You could even go to the extent of blending the puree.

I provided measurements in grams/milliliters and just approximations in cups. If you can, definitely use the weight measurements because they are more precise and ensures that the ratio is more exact.

This recipe is super easy (seriously!) and you will have some delicious rice balls too! Definitely give this recipe a try, it is worth it.

5 Word Summary:

Purple sweet potato



3 ingredients only!?


You like mochi or tangyuan? Check these recipes out:

Chocolate Mochi

Sticky Rice Cakes (nian gao)

5 from 1 vote

Purple Sweet Potato Mini Tangyuan

These tangyuan (or boiled sticky rice balls), are super easy to make and take very little time. 

Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free.

Course Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword purple sweet potato, tangyuan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 200 kcal


  • 280 g (1/2 cup) mashed purple sweet potato 1
  • 180 g (3/4 cup) glutinous rice flour
  • 120 ml (1/4 cup) water


  1. Steam or microwave your sweet potato until fork tender. If you choose the microwave, make sure to put some water in the bowl to prevent burning. Also, peel the skin off, or poke holes so that it doesn't burst.
  2. Mash the purple sweet potato and then mix the rest of the ingredients in.
  3. Form into balls of whatever size you desire. I like bigger ones.
  4. Boil a pot of water, enough water so that when you put them in, they float.
  5. Carefully place all of the purple sweet potato balls in and boil until they can be squished with chopsticks or a spoon. They should all float as well.
  6. Enjoy warm with a bit of sugar or maple syrup (honey if you like it)!

Recipe Notes

  1. Yellow sweet potatoes will work too. Yams or orange sweet potatoes have too much water content. You would have to cut the water amount down.

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