* Sesame Balls

Posted on October 14th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Beans, Breakfast, Cantonese, Chinese, Cuisine, Dessert, Dim Sum, Glutinuous Rice, Pandan, Street Foods.

“Sesame Ball” is probably the most popular choice on the dim sum dessert tray.  Who can resists eating these crunchy on the outside, glutinous rice balls  that is filled with adzuki red bean paste.  On first bite, the ball collapses into a chewy, tasty mass full of sweet “dou sha” and nutty sesame.

You can use the same dough and cooking method and fill the pastry with other sweet bean paste such as lotus seeds paste or a peanut-sugar mix.  Or for a savory version, aka “jin dui”, you can add a mixture spiced mince pork with cilantro and water chestnut.

Chef’s tip: When making the dough, it is critical that the water is boiling hot in order to cook the starch that binds the rice flour together.  Also see Step 11 instructions on how to carefully deep fry the balls to get that perfect spherical shape.

Red bean paste:
1 cup of Adzuki red beans, soaked, drained
3/4 cup sugar or more to taste
3 pandan leaves (optional), each tied into a knot
¼ cup of canola oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 ½ cups glutinous rice flour
½ cup wheatstarch
2 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cup boiling water, and more depending on dough
3 tablespoon shortening

1 cup water
1 cup sesame seeds
6 cups canola oil

Preparing the red bean paste filling:
1.    Place the red beans in a pot with 2 pieces of the pandan.  Cover with 2 inches of water over the beans and simmer 1-1 ½ hours till beans have softened.  Add more water if needed.  Drain.
2.    Pass the beans through a food mill or place into a food processor.
3.    In a non stick pan, heat oil, add sugar and the pureed beans and 1 pandan leave tied into a knot.
4.    Constantly stir the paste. Cook for 10 minutes until the bean paste is dry.  Cool.
Preparing the dough:
5.    Combine the glutinous rice flour, wheat starch and sugar.   Form a well in the center. Gradually add the boiling water, stirring until a ball forms.  Add more hot water if needed,
6.    Cool a little, while still warm, knead in the shortening, a little at a time.  Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes until soft and smooth.
7.    Divide the dough into 2 balls. Roll each piece of dough into a 1 ½ inch cylinder.  Cut each cylinder into 12 pieces, and roll into a ball — making a total of 24 balls.  Cover as you work.
8.    Take a piece of dough, flatten it.  Add 1 teaspoon of the red bean paste mixture. Gently pack the filling down. Gather the edges of the dough over the filling and squeeze together the edges of the dough pressing to seal securely. Roll between palms to form a ball.
9.    Place water and sesame seeds in separate breading pans.
10.    Dip a ball into the water (this will help the sesame seeds stick to the ball) to moisten the ball.  Then roll the ball over the sesame seeds.  Place on a baking sheet.  Repeat the process with the remainder of the balls.
Frying  the balls:
11.    Heat  canola oil over medium-high heat until 330F.  Drop several sesame balls into the oil and fry till golden brown, about 7 minutes each.  As the balls float to the surface (2 minutes), begin to press them gently with the back of a metal spatula against the sides of the pot. The balls will expand as they are gently rotated and pressed. Fry until golden brown, or when they have expanded 3x their size.  Immediately drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
12.    Serve immediately.

Serves: 24 portions

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8 Responses to “Sesame Balls”

  1. Lovefool Says:

    I absolutely love your recipe blog! It’s mixed with everyday recipes. i escpecially love your chinese and thai recipes. I made laab with your recipe last time and it came out great! Keep up the great work i come here all the time =D

  2. Linda Says:

    Thanks for your wonderful comment. I am glad you have tried the recipes! The recipes are mostly from my classes, so they are all well-tested 🙂

  3. Andrew Says:

    I died when I saw your beautiful picture of these sesame balls on tastespotting. It has been so long since I’ve had dim sum and now I have a craving for these! I absolutely love them and the savory version without the sesame seed coating. Great site 🙂

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Andrew! Try making the sesame balls yourself! It’s really quite easy, and they taste so much fresher than the ones you get at the dimsum places because the oil you use to fry with is fresh.

  5. cakewardrobe Says:

    I remember the first time I REALLY loved these sesame balls were in HK. I ate two giant ones the size of my fist. I “star-ed” this recipe to make my very own. Nothing compares to homemade!

  6. brilynn Says:

    Sesame balls are my favourite Chinatown treat those look awesome!

  7. Mary Says:

    I just found this post and have to say this is one of my family’s alltime favorite treats. We sometimes plan events around what day of the week our asian grocer will have fresh sesame balls. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Ninette Says:

    We go to dim sum every Sunday to get these sesame balls. Thanks for this recipe!

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