Tanghulu, a delightful and visually stunning treat, is a popular street food in Asia, particularly in China. This traditional snack consists of fruit, typically strawberries, coated in a hard candy shell. The contrast between the sweet, crunchy exterior and the juicy, tart fruit inside makes tanghulu an irresistible confection. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating this delightful treat at home.


Ingredients and Tools You’ll Need


  • Fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Bamboo skewers



  • Candy thermometer
  • Saucepan
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper


Step-by-Step Guide to Making Tanghulu

1. Prepare the Strawberries

  • Wash the strawberries and pat them dry.
  • Skewer each strawberry through the top, leaving enough space between them.


2. Make the Candy Syrup

  • In a saucepan, combine sugar and water.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Once dissolved, stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer.
  • Cook until the syrup reaches 300°F (150°C), known as the hard-crack stage.


3. Dip the Strawberries

  • Once the syrup reaches the correct temperature, quickly dip each strawberry into the syrup, coating it completely.
  • Let the excess syrup drip off, then place the coated strawberry on the parchment paper to cool and harden.


4. Cooling and Serving

  • Allow the tanghulu to cool completely before serving.
  • Serve immediately for the best texture, as the candy shell can soften over time.


Tips for Perfect Tanghulu

  • Temperature Accuracy: Use a reliable candy thermometer for accurate temperature reading.
  • Speed is Key: Work quickly when dipping the strawberries, as the syrup hardens fast.
  • Storage: If not serving immediately, store in a cool, dry place to prevent the candy from softening.


Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Syrup crystallizing: This can happen if the syrup is stirred after it starts to boil. Ensure you stop stirring once the sugar dissolves.
  • Soft candy shell: If the syrup doesn’t reach the hard-crack stage, the shell will be soft. Make sure it reaches 300°F.


Variations and Experimentation

  • Try different fruits like grapes, kiwi slices, or mandarin oranges.
  • Experiment with flavored syrups for a unique twist.


Where to Learn More


Tanghulu offers a delightful blend of textures and flavors, and making it at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. With these steps and tips, you’re well on your way to creating this classic Asian street food in your own kitchen. Enjoy the process and the delicious results!