This tanghulu recipe tastes exactly like the classic candied fruit dessert! Ready in less than 10 minutes, it’s easy to customize and tastes delicious!
If you haven’t tried tanghulu before, you will be in for a treat!
It’s a famous street food that is popular in China, Taiwan, and other Asian countries. It’s basically fruit coated in sugar syrup that hardens once dry and forms a crunchy shell. Also known as candied fruit, it’s simple yet elegant
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy: All you need is water, fruit, and other easily accessible ingredients to make this sweet snack.
- Easy to customize: It’s easy to customize as you can use any berries such as strawberries, raspberries, etc.
- Diet-friendly: It’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, and can easily be made lower in sugar.
What I love about this recipe is just how authentic it tastes! When I lived in China, I regularly enjoyed these from the market and I love that I can make them myself.
What is tanghulu made of?
The recipe is quite easy; here is all you need to make tanghulu:
- Fruits. Strawberries, mandarin, green and purple grapes
- Granulated sugar. It’s the primary base for sugar syrup.
- Light corn syrup. Holds onto the fruit much better than other syrups.
- Honey. Adds an extra layer of stickiness.
How to make candied fruit
Here is the simple procedure to make this candied fruit recipe at home:
Step 1- Prep the basic
Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Wash and dry the grapes and strawberries. Peel the mandarin and remove as much pith as possible.
Step 2- Make sugar syrup
Add sugar, corn syrup, honey, and ¼ cup of water to a saucepan. Boil the mixture and continue heating and medium-high heat until the syrup reaches 300F. Check the temperature with a candy thermometer.
Step 3- Skewer the fruit
Then, skewer the fruit without twisting any pieces. I like to keep the fruit separate, but you can use a variety of mixed ones on each skewer.
Step 4- coat the fruit with sugar syrup
When the syrup is ready, remove the pan from the heat. Dip the fruit into the sugar syrup to coat it completely. Once done, shake the excess syrup, put the skewer on the lined baking sheet, and allow to harden it for 10 minutes. Repeat the same process with each skewer.
What does Tanghulu taste like?
This recipe has a sweet and sour taste. The taste can vary depending on how long you heat sugar syrup to make sugar coating. You’ll feel a bitter flavor if heated for too long at a high temperature. So, pre-decide the taste of your tanghulu.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Always dry your fruit before dipping it into the sugar syrup.
- If you’re not using a candy thermometer, remove sugar syrup from the heat when it becomes lightly golden.
- Slightly unripe strawberries are the best for this recipe as they will remain firm on the skewers.
- To store: Leftovers must be stored in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep well for up to two weeks. Let them sit at room temperature before enjoying them.
- To freeze: Place the skewers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More snacks to try
Frequently asked questions
Yes, tanghulu is traditionally found at markets throughout China and Taiwan.
If you heat the sugar syrup at very low temperatures, you risk the glazed syrup to be chewy. To prevent this from happening, always cook the syrup at medium-high heat.
If you under-cook the syrup, there is a risk of it remaining sticky and not hard (like toffee). To ensure this doesn’t happen, ensure the syrup reaches a hard crack (300F).
No, tanghulu will not melt, even at warmer temperatures.
Line a plate with parchment paper and set it aside.
Add the sugar, water, light corn syrup, and honey in a small saucepan and place it over high heat. Bring it to a boil then reduce it to medium heat and let everything simmer until it reaches a temperature of 300F. Remove the syrup from the heat.
Skewer the fruit and moving quickly, dip the fruit in the syrup until completely coated. Place the syrup-covered fruit on the lined plate and let it harden.
Serving: 1skewer | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg | NET CARBS: 39g