Sesame balls or known as Sesame seeds balls or in Chinese known as Jian dui 煎堆 . Jian means fried and dui means a pile (like a big pile or something). Some people call is as Zhi Ma (sesame seeds) Qiu (ball) 芝麻球. It is named as such because of its shape like a ball. Sesame ball is a Chinese pastry made from glutinous rice flour and sweet potatoes with a filling consists of mung bean paste (the same filling used for Ang Ku Kueh), or red bean paste. The dough is then coated with white sesame seeds and deep-fried until golden brown. This is pretty similar with the Indonesian style Onde-Onde, which is also made of glutinous rice flour with a filling of dark brown sugar/Gula Jawa. However, it is not fried. It is instead coated with grated coconut on the outside.
Sesame balls is also being served in Dim Sum Restaurant. In fact, it is one of the most popular pastries in Hong Kong. The best thing is, it isn’t that hard to make. I made mine with red bean paste filling. I did a little test by freezing the rest of the uncooked sesame balls. I took them out and fried some in their frozen state and they turn out well. Knowing this, I can double the recipe in the future and freeze the rest for future use. I think they can last for about 2 weeks or so in the deep freezer.
- 8.5 oz glutinous rice flour
- 4.5 oz sweet potato (steam and mash with fork)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Dash of salt
- 5 fl oz of hot water
- 2 oz of roasted sesame seeds
- Generous amount of peanut oil for deep-frying
- 10 oz red beans / Azuki beans
- 1 cup of sugar (you can adjust if you want more or less, I think this amount is good for me)
- Soak the bean for at least 8 hours. I soaked mine overnight and then discard the water
- Prepare a big pot of water and boil the beans until they are soft or cracked open in most cases
- Turn off the heat and set aside for about 15 minutes. Drain off the water
- Pour the beans into your food processor and puree until they become a paste consistency. Don’t worry about discarding the shells of the beans, this will all be blended and I don’t mind extra “starchiness” for my red bean paste
- Place the paste in a non-stick skillet and add 1 Cup of sugar. The sugar will melt and the paste will seem a bit “runny” at first but continue to cook it on medium-high heat until the color is darken and the paste is thickened again
- Let them cool off before filling if you are using this for pastry. They will thicken further
- Mix the glutinous rice flour, the cooled mashed sweet potatoes, salt, sugar and water (add the water a bit by bit) until the dough is no longer sticky on your hand
- Divide the big dough into 8-10 small balls (depend on how big you want them to be). Flatten the dough with your palm and fill with the fillings (whatever you choose to fill them with). I used about 1½ Tbsp of the filling. Wrap the skin around the fillings , wet your palm with a little bit of water and shape them back into balls and then roll into the sesame seeds
- Preheat your fryer with the oil. Turn the heat down once it is hot and deep fry them until golden brown. I suggest deep frying them in batches. If the heat is too high, the skin will get brown fast, however, the dough will not cook through
- Serve in room temperature
Great over a cup of tea/coffee as a snack or as breakfast.