It seems like every week TikTok has a new food trend taking the app by storm. We’ve seen the whacky, the wonderful and the downright weird – need I mention the terrifying is it real or is it cake era? – but this new craze might actually be something we can get onboard with. Introducing Tanghulu, aka candied fruit skewers made with grapes, kiwi’s, oranges and more. We’ve even seen chicken nugget tanghulu!
What is tanghulu?
Tanghulu (also known as bingtang hulu) is a candied fruit snack originating from China. Traditionally, it uses red hawthorn berries dipped in a sugar syrup and served on a bamboo skewer, and they’re often given to children on Chinese New Year as a symbol of happiness.
What fruit is tanghulu made of?
Although the traditional recipe calls for hawthorn berries, this fruit isn't readily available in the UK and US. So, people have been recreating the recipe with strawberries instead (we've even seen some TikTokers use dragon fruit, mango and bananas).
But truthfully, you can use any fruit you like as long it's patted dry before dipping! If it's not dried, the fruit’s moisture can stop the sugar syrup from coating and drying properly.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can even use cooked meats like some users on the app have – now, it might not count as tanghulu anymore, but it certainly makes for an interesting video!
What does tanghulu taste like?
Well, depending on your fruit, tanghulu can taste sweet or sour. Traditional tanghulu using hawthorn berries is said to taste like a combination of both. One thing's for sure though, it will always have a satisfyingly crunchy bite due to the hardened sugar syrup glaze!
How do you make tanghulu?
One of the best things about tanghulu is how easy it is to make. You only need three basic ingredients:
200g granulated sugar
450g of fruit (we suggest strawberries)
Wooden skewers, for serving
First things first, cut your fruit into bite-size pieces and pat them down with a paper towel. Then, arrange 1-3 pieces of fruit onto a wooden skewer and set aside (less fruit pieces on a skewer means you can easily spread the sugar glaze later on). After that, take a bowl and fill it with iced water, and set aside.
Combine your sugar and water in a pan. Bring to boil and stir until the mixture reaches 150°C, and is a thick consistency. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, you can test whether the sugar syrup is ready by taking a small amount on a toothpick and dipping it in cold water. If the sugar immediately hardens, then it's ready to use.
Once the sugar syrup is done, take your prepared fruit skewers and dip in the mixture, making sure all sides are evenly coated. Quickly take your sugar coated fruit and submerge the skewer into the iced water to form a hard shell. Et voila, homemade tanghulu!