Tomb Sweeping Day Mugwort Sticky Pounded Rice Dumpling with Tofu Floss

15 minutes
to prep

8 minutes
to cook

4 servings

About this Recipe

In Spring, eat this dish on Tomb Sweeping Day (Chingming Jie 清明节), when you spend time with family cleaning ancestral tombs. Oftentimes, you can find sweet rice dumplings in stores in the US, so here’s a recipe for a traditional savory one. Each sticky rice dumpling for each Chinese holiday has its own name; this one is called qīng tuán 青团.

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Jessian Choy



  • ½ cup fresh Chinese mugwort (ài tsǎo 艾草, artemisia argyi) or 1 teaspoon dried mugwort
  • ½ cup water 
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour 
  • ¼ cup oil (I use untoasted sesame oil)
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • ½ cup soybean floss (sùshí zhǔyì zhě ròusōng 素食主义者 肉松)


Prepare mugwort:

  1. If you’re using fresh mugwort, thoroughly clean it. If you’re using dried mugwort, steep it in boiling water for 3 minutes.
  2. Chop mugwort into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Add chopped mugwort and ½ cup of clean water to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  4. Strain the mugwort mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Prepare dough:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour, sugar, and oil. Mix well.
  2. Gradually add mugwort to dough, stirring constantly, until a dough forms. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.
  3. Divide dough into about 1.5-inch pieces.
  4. Flatten each piece of dough with your hands so that it’s about ¼ inch thick. 

Add filling:

  1. Add a small spoonful of tofu floss in the middle.
  2. Seal dough around the floss by pinching dough together.
  3. Roll dough between your palms to form a smooth ball.
  4. Repeat the previous steps until all the dough has been used.

Cook dumplings:

  1. Bring a pot of four cups of water to a boil.
  2. Gently put balls into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, or until they float to the surface.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove balls from water and put balls in a bowl of cold water.
  4. Drain balls and serve.


  • You may be able to source some ingredients for this recipe more affordably and sustainably from bulk bins at herb shops and natural foods stores. 
  • If you have leftover uncooked dumplings, freeze them in a container. Reboil until they float to the surface.
  • If you have leftover cooked dumplings, refrigerate and consume them within four days. Reboil for 5 minutes.