Tanghulu strawberries, made popular by Chinese street vendors, are hard candied sugar coated bits of fruit that give you the immediate texture of pocket candies combined with the soft center of most fruits. These candied strawberries taste like Strawberry Bon Bons and are a great unique appetizer or dessert that really stand out.
Prep a glass with sugar to hold skewers. Please note my skewers are super long so these tall glasses worked fine. Shorter skewers means a shorter glass or coffee mug or canning jar. Don't plan to fill the sugar glasses with all the strawberries, Mine held about six each.
Dry strawberries very well with paper towel.
Place each berry on the end of a skewer. Dry once more just in case.
Add water and sugar to a sauce pan. Heat on medium heat and stir until sugar is halfway dissolved.
Stop stirring and increase heat to medium high.
Use a candy thermometer to boil sugar until it's about 300 degrees. (About 15-20 minutes)
Remove from heat and dip berries immediately in sugar mixture. Tap gently to drip and carefully place into the sugar glasses to dry.
Repeat until all berries are covered. Let stand for 10 minutes to harden.
Remove from skewers and serve immediately.
Beware: Heated sugar is VERY VERY hot. It is easy to burn yourself and hot sugar can really hurt! This is not a recipe that is child friendly and you should take precautions to keep yourself from touching sugar. Can Tanghulu Candies be stored?Tanghulu tastes best fresh, so I recommend enjoying these little morsels right away. While other fruits may last a bit longer, strawberries will only last about 2 hours after being dipped.What other types of fruit can you use to make Tanghulu?Blueberries, pitted cherries, and grapes all work well for Tanghulu. I’ve heard of people also using oranges, pineapple, mango and kiwi but I haven’t tried them myself. The sugar will stick better to a fruit with a skin, and fruits that are slightly under ripe will stay skewered better.Can you make Tanghulu without a thermometer?If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, you can absolutely still make Tanghulu. In order to reach the correct temperature of 300 degrees F, the sugar and water mixture needs to have thickened to a syrup, which takes about 10 minutes at a good boil. Test for readiness by chilling a metal utensil in ice water, then dip it as you would your fruit. If the sugar dries immediately then you’ve reached the right temperature and you’re ready to start making Tanghulu.What does a Tanghulu Strawberry taste like?They taste like Strawberry Bon Bon Candy.