Chinese Crispy Sesame Balls (Jian Dui/ Zi Ma Qiu)

Chinese Crispy Sesame Balls (Jian Dui/ Zi Ma Qiu)

Course: Dim Sum, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Resting time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 balls
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make sesame balls (jian dui) from scratch with all the tips you need to know to get maximum result at your very own kitchen.
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Filling (choose either one or both):

Flour paste (so the sesame seed won't come off when you fry them):


  • Boil water with sugar in a small saucepan and then pour into the glutinous rice flour. Use a rubber spatula to stir and mix. It won't be thoroughly mixed yet. When it's not as hot anymore, you need to use your hand to knead the dough. Add the oil and continue to knead into smooth non-sticky dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a bit more glutinous rice flour until you can get non-sticky smooth dough
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling

Prepare the filling:

  • For peanut filling: Put the roasted peanuts (I bought the peanuts that are already roasted and unsalted). Add honey and stir until combined
  • For sweet red bean paste: divide the bean paste into 12 portion. dust your hand with a bit of glutinous rice flour and roll the bean paste into balls


  • Roll the dough into a log and then divide into 12 equal small dough balls. Keeping them cover and work with one at a time
  • Flatten the dough with your palm to form about 4 to 5-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Scoop about 1 to 2 teaspoons of the peanut filling in the middle or 1 red bean paste ball
  • Gather the edge to enclose. Pinch to seal and then roll the dough ball in between your palms to make it smooth. Repeat with the rest 
  • Prepare the flour paste by mixing the flour and water together. Roll one dough into the paste and then roll into the sesame seeds. Repeat with the rest


  • Preheat your fryer with about 3-inches of oil over medium heat. Gently place the sesame balls into the oil. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches. The sesame balls will sink to the bottom at first. Use a spoon to keep them moving and turning them around so they fry evenly and don't get burn in certain spots. They will float to the top and when this happens, lower the heat a bit more and use the back of the spoon to gently press on the ball and it will continue to expand slightly
  • Once they are crispy on the outside and golden brown, remove and place on absorbent paper towel

How to store fried sesame balls:

  • Fried sesame balls can be kept frozen. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the fried sesame balls have cooled down completely, place them on the baking sheet, not touching each other and pop them into the freezer for about 1 hour. They won't be completely frozen yet. Transfer to the freezer bag and they won't stick to each other anymore

Reheating fried sesame balls:

  • They can be reheated in a toaster oven, air fryer, or oven at 325 F for about 10 minutes or until they are crispy again


Recipe for Homemade Anko (sweet red bean paste) is here. It is possible that the sesame balls might "exploded" when you fry and the filling ooze out. I noticed that this happen when I fried them too long. That is why I recommend not to make big balls as they took longer to fry and chances of exploding is higher