Tanghulu: the delicious recipe for making Chinese candied fruit snack

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
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By Cookist
single green grapes
400 g (2 cups)
250 ml (1 cup)

If you’re looking for a fun, sweet snack to serve up, make sure to put Tanghulu on your list. For the Chinese, Tanghulu is the stuff childhood memories are made of. Today even, you will find this street food around every corner. Tanghulu (also known as bingtanghulu) is an easy and very popular Chinese recipe for making candied fruit. The fruits are sweet and tart, while the crystallized sugar adds a nice crunch on the outside.

You don’t need any fancy ingredients—only fruits, sugar, and water! Traditionally, hawthorn berries were used, but these days many other fruits (and sometimes even nuts) are also coated with crystalized sugar. This Tanghulu recipe highlights delicious crunchy candied strawberries or other fruit made popular as a favorite Chinese street food!


Tanghulu Ingredients

Fruit – for this recipe we use strawberries, grapes, and raspberries, but you can use any other fruits you like. Try apple, melon, and even banana.

Sugar and water – it’s important to use a sugar/water ratio of 2:1 to make sure that the sugar crystallizes properly.

How to make Tanghulu

This sweet snack is quick to make! Simply place the fruits on a skewer. Heat the water and syrup until it thickens and reaches the crack stage (at 300°F). Dip the fruit skewers into the syrup and leave to harden. Enjoy!

Expert Tips

You must make this recipe with a thermometer. The sugar syrup must reach the right stage, and for this, you need a thermometer.

If tanghulu is sticky and does not harden, it could be that you didn’t heat the sugar syrup enough. For the sugar to harden upon cooling, it must first reach the crack stage, which is at 300°F. Use a candy thermometer to carefully monitor the temperature of the sugar syrup.

Tanghulu is a healthy alternative to candy because it contains more fruit!

Other fruits can be used with this recipe: apples, oranges, watermelon, tangerines, kiwi, pineapple, and more!

How to store Tanghulu

To store the tanghulu, keep it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Keep it away from any moisture, otherwise, it will become sticky.

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Clean berries and pat them dry completely.


Thread the berries in bamboo skewers.


In a saucepan combine sugar and water and set over medium heat. Bring the syrup to a boil, then reduce to simmering and cook until it reaches 150C/300F. This will take about 15 minutes.


Keep the heat low, tilt your pan and dip the berries to cover. For longer skewers pour some syrup on top with a spoon. Drop off any excess syrup.


Place on a plate to finish hardening.


If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can also use this technique: boil the sugar syrup for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Test the temperature by dipping a spoon into cold water, and then dip it into the syrup. If it hardens immediately, you’ve reached the right temperature.

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