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Tanghulu Recipe

The perfect summertime dessert is nothing without a tasty treat like tanghulu.

Tanghulu is a traditional Chinese snack made with hawthorn fruits, sugar, and bamboo skewers.

  • What ingredients do you need to make a tanghulu recipe?
  • How long does it take to prepare a tanghulu recipe?
  • How many servings does a tanghulu recipe make?
  • What type of sugar should be used for a tanghulu recipe?
  • What is the best way to prepare a tanghulu recipe?
  • What type of syrup is typically used in a tanghulu recipe?
  • Are there any special techniques that should be used when making a tanghulu recipe?
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What Ingredients Do You Need To Make A Tanghulu Recipe?

To create your own tanghulu recipe, you will need to gather some basic supplies from an Asian grocery store or online retailer.

The main ingredient needed to make this sweet treat is bamboo skewers.

To keep the skewer straight, cut them into thirds so they are easier to handle while cooking.

You also will need one small eggplant per person, and two large pieces of ginger per person.

You can find these items at most supermarkets, but if they aren’t available, try looking on Amazon.

If you don’t have either of those things, use a different vegetable instead.

Finally, you will need brown sugar, honey, and water.

This last item isn’t necessary, but it makes the finished product look more authentic.

Some recipes call for rice wine, but I prefer not to add anything else to my creations because it tends to overpower everything else.

Hawthorne Fruits

If you want to make the most out of this recipe, buy the freshest fruits you can find.

There is no substitute for freshness here! Hawthorn fruits are known as “golden berry melons” because they contain high amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants.

They are often sold in bunches at Asian markets, which means you won’t have to worry about getting them individually.

However, if you don’t see them at your local market, you can purchase them online through websites such as Alibaba.

Sugar Syrups

There are three types of sugars commonly used in tanghulu recipes.

Brown sugar is the least processed form of sugar, followed by white sugar, then raw cane sugar.

All of these varieties are fine to use, although you may get slightly different results depending upon what brand you choose.


This is another important component of a great tanghulu recipe.

For every 1 cup (240 mL) of sugar, add 2 cups (480 mL) of water.

In addition to adding flavor, water helps prevent food from drying out during storage.

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How Long Does It Take To Prepare A Tanghulu Recipe?

Tanghulu takes about 40 minutes to complete.

You’ll start by cutting up your hawthorn fruits into small pieces.

Then, add them along with some water, honey, and salt to a pot on the stovetop.

Next, bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Once this happens, reduce the heat to low and let everything simmer for another 20 minutes or so.

After the time has passed, remove the pan from the burner and allow it to cool down completely before moving on to preparing the skewers.

To do this, simply soak bamboo sticks in cold water overnight.

This will help keep the skewers from burning during cooking process.

Once they are ready, use a sharp knife to cut the bamboo skewers at an angle.

The more even the cuts are, the better the skewers will hold together as they cook.

Next, place the skewers onto a tray lined with aluminum foil.

Then, pour out the cooled tanghulu mixture onto the skewers.

Finally, cover the tray with plastic wrap and put it back into the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.

This step is crucial because it helps the tanghulu get nice and firm.

If you skip this part, then the tanghulu won’t harden properly.

As a result, the whole dish may end up falling apart once you try eating it.

How Many Servings Does A Tanghulu Recipe Make?

Tanghulu recipes are usually prepared as finger foods because they can be eaten one at a time.

If you’re cooking for more than just yourself, then you may want to consider doubling or tripling up on your tanghulu recipe so that everyone gets their fair share.

In addition, you will also want to keep an eye out for leftovers!

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What Type Of Sugar Should Be Used For A Tanghulu Recipe?

Tanghulu recipes often call for either granulated or brown sugar.

The choice between these two types of sugar depends on what kind of sugar cone your local market sells.

If you live in an area where they sell sugar cones shaped like small bowls, then use granulated sugar because it will have more surface area than brown sugar.

A regular bowl-shaped sugar cone would work fine if you’re not using one of those.

If you can only find brown sugar at your grocery store, however, then go ahead and use that instead.

Brown sugar has less moisture content than white sugar, so it won’t dissolve as well into the liquid mixture, but it still works just fine.

Which type of sugar should I choose for my tanghulu recipe?

Brown sugar is much easier to measure out since it comes packed in its own bag rather than having to weigh it first.

However, brown sugar also tends to melt faster than white sugar, which means it might burn before the other sugars get completely dissolved.

What Is The Best Way To Prepare A Tanghulu Recipe?

Tanghulu recipes are easy to follow because they require only five basic steps.

The first step is to soak dried hawthorn fruits overnight so they can soften up before cooking them.

Next, cut the softened fruit into small cubes or pieces, then toss the fruit through a food mill or sieve to remove seeds from the mixture.

Finally, mix together the fruit, sugar, water, and salt until evenly combined.

Once all three ingredients have been added to the bowl, start heating the wok over medium heat.

Once the oil has heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius), pour half the mixture into the hot oil using a slotted spoon.

Continue stirring the mixture constantly as it cooks for about 20 minutes.

When the mixture becomes thick and caramelized, add the remaining half of the mixture, stir well, and serve immediately on a plate covered with plastic wrap.

Repeat this process by adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

You will find that one serving of tanghulu contains roughly 1/3 cup (80 mL) of cooked fruit, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of melted sugar, and a pinch of salt.

What Type Of Syrup Is Typically Used In A Tanghulu Recipe?

Tanghulu recipes can vary depending on where they are from.

However, most recipes call for a light brown or amber-colored sugar syrup.

This syrup has a hint of caramel flavor, which helps create a unique taste experience for your guests.

Hawthorn Syrup Recipe

This recipe uses two types of sweetener.

If using only one type of sweetener, use 1 cup (250 mL) granulated white sugar and 2 cups (500 mL) water.

For this recipe, we will use both honey and pure cane sugar as our sweeteners.

The ratio between these two sweeteners depends on what kind of flavor profile you want to achieve.

To start, combine 1/4 cup (60 mL) of each sweetener into a medium saucepan over low heat.

Stir until all of the solids have dissolved and everything smells nice and fragrant.

Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes before adding the following ingredients:

1/2 cup (125 mL) hawthorn juice concentrate

1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ginger powder

A pinch of salt

Stir well and cook the mixture over low heat for another 10 minutes.

Once all of the liquid evaporates, remove the pan from the stovetop and allow it to cool down completely.

Bamboo Skewer Recipe for Tanghulu Recipes

After you have cooled off the syrup, pour it onto a flat surface such as a baking sheet.

Use an offset spatula to spread out the syrup evenly across the surface.

Allow the syrup to dry overnight at room temperature.

You may also leave the syrup to dry after pouring it onto a large piece of parchment paper.

Once the syrup has dried up, cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Now it’s time to skewer them! To begin, soak some bamboo sticks in warm water for 30 minutes while waiting for your syrup to dry.

When the syrup has dried up enough, dip the soaked bamboo sticks into hot water so that they become soft.

Then thread the syrup bites onto the stick by alternating layers.

Make sure you don’t apply too much pressure because the sticks can break easily if they get too stiff.

When done, place the finished product in an airtight container and store it away for future consumption.

Are There Any Special Techniques That Should Be Used When Making A Tanghulu Recipe?

Tanghulu recipes can vary quite widely depending on what country or region they are from.

However, the most common types of tanghulu recipes have three basic components: hawthorn fruit, sugar, and bamboo skewers.

The exact combination may differ slightly based on where the recipe originated but all will require some form of syrup as well.

Hawthorns are small, round fruits found growing throughout China and Southeast Asia.

They are commonly eaten raw as an ingredient in various dishes including salads, desserts, and drinks.

Some varieties of hawthorn also contain vitamin C which makes them useful during cold season months.

Sugar can come in several different forms such as white granulated sugar, brown sugar, and even molasses.

Molasses is considered a dark variety of sugar since it contains more minerals than other types.

Sugar is often added to sweeten foods and drinks while also providing additional flavor.

Bamboo skewers are a great addition because they allow the tanghulu to hold its shape better than wooden sticks would.

Wooden sticks tend to break easily if the dish isn’t handled properly so using bamboo skewers allows the dish to stay intact longer.

With these essential elements in mind, let’s explore how to create your own version of this popular Asian snack!


There are multiple ways to approach preparing a tanghulu recipe.

You could start by purchasing ready-made tanghulu ingredients at your local grocery store.

This option is quick but requires little effort on your part.

If you prefer to cook instead then you can use one of our favorite recipes below to get started.

These recipes include instructions on how to cut up the ingredients into bite size pieces, assemble the dish, and serve it immediately after cooking.


While some tanghulu recipes call for different flavors of syrup, others simply ask that you add enough water to cover the ingredients.

In both cases, you won’t need to follow any special techniques to complete the task.

However, for those who want to learn how to make their own tanghulu recipe, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1.      Cut Up Ingredients

To ensure that every piece of food has ample time to soak up the syrup before placing it onto the skewer, cutting up each item separately is recommended.

If you don’t, parts of the items might not absorb the syrup completely.

For example, if you are making a pineapple bowl, first peel off the skin and remove the eyes and core.

Then slice the remaining flesh into cubes.

Next, place the cubes inside of a large mixing bowl and pour the syrup over the top until fully covered.

Once done, carefully transfer everything back to the mixing bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

Repeat for every individual component in order to maximize the absorption process.

2. Assemble Dish

Once all of the ingredients have been prepared, it’s important to assemble the dish quickly so that it doesn’t dry out too much.

For instance, if you’re creating a pineapple bowl, lay down a sheet pan underneath the bowl and arrange the pineapple slices on top.

Afterward, sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over the pineapple slices until they are fully coated.

Place another pan under the whole thing and wait 30 seconds before transferring to serving platter.

3. Cook Recipe

After assembling the dish, put the entire concoction inside of an oven safe baking dish (or similar container) and bake it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Once finished, turn the heat down to 300 degrees Farenheit and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes per side.

When done, serve hot and enjoy!

Is There A Specific Technique Used To Coat The Fruit In The Tanghulu Recipe

Hawthorn fruit has a very thin skin that doesn’t hold onto much liquid when cut or crushed.

To get around this issue, we use a lot more sugar than would normally be needed to sweeten the dish.

The sugar not only helps keep the fruit from drying out but also gives us enough sweetness so that we can eat our favorite tanghulu as soon as it comes out of the oven!

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Tanghulu (also known as bingtang hulu) is a Chinese candied fruit snack. It's traditionally made with red hawthorn berries dipped in sugar syrup and served on a bamboo skewer, and it's often given to children as a symbol of happiness during Chinese New Year.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Candy, Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Tanghulu
Servings: 4
Calories: 421kcal


  • candy thermometer
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb strawberries or other fruit of choice


  • Fruit should be washed and patted dry.
  • Arrange the fruit on the bamboo skewer. I suggest 1-3 pieces per skewer.
  • Bring the water-sugar mixture to a boil.
  • Using a candy thermometer, heat the sugar water mixture until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
  • When the sugar water mixture has reached the desired temperature, dip your fruit skewer into it to coat it.
  • Each fruit skewer should be placed on a sheet pan, silicone baking sheet, or parchment paper.
  • The sugar coating should harden almost instantly.
  • Enjoy!



Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 105g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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