How to Make Tanghulu Recipe [The Ultimate Candied Fruit Experience]

How to Make Tanghulu Recipe
Prep. time:
60 min
4 dishes

Tanghulu Recipe: The Ultimate Candied Fruit Experience

Imagine biting into a crisp, sugary shell that gives way to a burst of juicy, sweet fruit. This is the magic of Tanghulu, a Chinese street food delicacy that’s as fun to make as it is to eat. Perfect for a special treat or a unique party snack, Tanghulu will transport your taste buds on a delicious adventure. Ready to create your own? Let’s dive into this tantalizing recipe!

Preparation Time

  • Total time: 30-40 minutes
  • Active cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Preparation Time, Serving Size, and Difficulty

Preparation Time:

  • Total Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Active Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Serving Size:

  • Suitable for 4-6 people


  • Medium

Necessary Ingredients (Possible in All Kinds of Variations)

  • 2 cups of strawberries, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 cups of small mandarin oranges, peeled
  • 2 cups of grapes, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • Wooden skewers

Alternative Ingredients:

  • For a vegan version: Ensure all ingredients used are plant-based (most already are).
  • For a gluten-free version: The standard recipe is already gluten-free.

Steps of Preparation (Possible in All Kinds of Variations)

Making Tanghulu is a delightful process that requires precision and patience. Follow these steps to achieve the perfect candied fruit.

  1. Insert wooden skewers into the fruit, placing 3-4 pieces of fruit per skewer.
  2. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat for the finished Tanghulu.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Once boiling, stop stirring and allow the mixture to continue boiling until it reaches 300°F (hard crack stage) on a candy thermometer.
  6. While the sugar mixture is boiling, prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water.
  7. Once the sugar mixture reaches 300°F, immediately remove the saucepan from heat.
  8. Quickly dip each fruit skewer into the hot syrup, ensuring the fruit is completely coated.
  9. After coating, immediately plunge the skewer into the ice water bath to set the sugar coating.
  10. Place the finished Tanghulu on the parchment paper or silicone mat to cool and harden completely.
  11. Serve and enjoy the delightful crunch and burst of flavor!

Next, let’s explore the nutritional benefits of Tanghulu.

Nutritional Benefits

Tanghulu isn’t just a tasty treat; it also has some surprising nutritional perks.

  • Natural Vitamins: The fresh fruit provides essential vitamins like C, K, and A.
  • Antioxidants: Berries and grapes are packed with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation.
  • Hydration: Fruits like strawberries and grapes have high water content, aiding in hydration.
  • Fiber: Fruit provides dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting a healthy gut.
  • Energy Boost: The natural sugars in fruit can provide a quick energy boost.

Possible Additions or Upgrades

To take your Tanghulu to the next level, consider these delicious additions:

  • Different Fruits: Try using pineapple chunks, apple slices, or blueberries for variety.
  • Flavor Infusions: Add a drop of vanilla or almond extract to the sugar mixture for extra flavor.
  • Colorful Sprinkles: Roll the candied fruit in colorful sprinkles before they set for a fun twist.
  • Nutty Crunch: Dip the fruit in finely chopped nuts immediately after coating with syrup.

Each addition adds a unique twist, making your Tanghulu even more enjoyable and personalized.

Questions and Answers

Can I use other types of sugar? Yes, but granulated sugar and corn syrup provide the best texture for the candy coating.

What if I don’t have a candy thermometer? You can test the syrup by dropping a small amount into cold water. If it hardens immediately and cracks, it’s ready.

How long can I store Tanghulu? Tanghulu is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.

Can I use frozen fruit? Fresh fruit works best as frozen fruit may release too much water when thawed.

Is Tanghulu suitable for kids? Yes, kids will love the sweet, crunchy treat, but be mindful of the hard candy coating for younger children.

Can I make Tanghulu without corn syrup? Corn syrup helps prevent crystallization, but you can try substituting with honey or glucose syrup.

Why is my candy coating sticky? The syrup may not have reached the hard crack stage (300°F). Ensure you heat it to the correct temperature.

Can I reheat the syrup if it hardens? Yes, gently reheat the syrup on low heat until it becomes liquid again.

What can I do if the fruit sticks to the parchment paper? Lightly grease the parchment paper with oil to prevent sticking.

Can I add food coloring to the syrup? Absolutely, adding food coloring can make your Tanghulu visually stunning.

From my experience, Tanghulu is a hit at family gatherings and parties. The excitement of biting into the hard candy shell and tasting the juicy fruit inside is a joy everyone should experience. Making Tanghulu has become a fun activity that brings our family together, creating sweet memories.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share it on social media and spread the love to your friends and family! Happy candy-making!

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