I have loved dim sum for as long as I can remember. I especially adore how they are prepared in individual portions and served in little steamer baskets. So everyone knows a meal is never complete without dessert, and for me that meant treating myself to some of these amazing sesame seed balls. These are made with glutinous rice flour, filled with a sweet red bean paste, coated with sesame seeds and eventually deep fried. The best part is when they are served right out of the frying pan – slightly crisp on the outside, perfectly sweet on the inside and still warm having come fresh out of the fryer.
Not long ago, I found out that these were called “Jian Dui” in Chinese but are also commonly found throughout many parts of Asia. With the Chinese New Year right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to try making it at home. I always thought it would be challenging to make these sesame seed balls, but to my surprise it was a lot simpler than I originally anticipated. The best part is they can be filled with basically anything you’d like! Some popular alternatives include mung beans, sweet potatoes or minced meat.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
1 ¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup oil
1 cup glutinous rice flour
½ cup boiling water
1 cup sesame seeds
1 canned red bean paste
Canola or Peanut oil for frying
Prepare the Dough:
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar and glutinous rice flour.
2. Add in boiling water little by little and mix until it becomes a dough ball.
3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and set aside to cool.
4. Heat oil in frying pan. (NOTE: For this recipe, I used canned red bean paste which can be found in any international grocery store. They tend to be a bit runny so I recommend storing it in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow it to firm up making it easier to work with.)
For the Sesame Seed Balls:
1. Divide the red bean paste into one teaspoon size portions. Roll into round balls.
2. Divide the dough in similar fashion into one tablespoon size portions and form round balls.
3. Dab a bit of oil onto the palms of your hands to prevent the dough from sticking.
4. Flatten the dough ball and wrap it around a red bean ball.
5. Rub water onto the edges to smooth out the dough.
6. Roll in a bowl of sesame seeds allowing the seeds to adhere to the dough balls.
7. Carefully lower each ball into the oil and fry over medium heat. (NOTE: Make sure the oil is not too hot, as the sesame seeds will cook faster than the flour.)
8. Press the balls with a spatula to thin out the flour. The balls will expand as you press it.
9. Once they’re golden brown, take them out and lay them on a layer of paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
10. Serve with hot tea and enjoy!