Simple recipes from around the world

Sesame Seed Balls

It was 3 days before New Year 2000, and in that time my boyfriend and now husband decided to take me to Florida so we can celebrate and welcome the New Year together. We drove for many hours and finally made it to the beautiful beach; that night I got really sick. I had high fever and couldn't move from the bed, so he took care of me like I was a little hopeless child. On the New Year's Eve I got extremely hungry so he went to get us some food by himself because I still felt unstable and weak. I waited and waited, and then few minutes after midnight he came in and opened the hotel room's door carrying in his hands 4 huge boxes full of food, so much food that we could feed the army. For long 2 hours he was searching for Chinese restaurant so he can bring me something that I really craved and loved such as orange glazed chicken, veggie stir fry with loads of rice and these little beauties that you see on the photos. We celebrate our first New Year together, got engaged that night and never been apart from that moment on.
This particular recipe today is popular all over Asia but its origin is China. It's  type of fried Chinese pastry made from glutinous rice flour. There are several options for the filling depending from what part of the Asia you are taking the recipe from, but I've decided to go with peanut paste which I saw in the "lemongrass and ginger" cookbook. I never made them before, and when I saw  pic of the sesame seed ball on the ig, memories came back to me from that New Year. I knew that it was time to give it a try. Later on my kids saw the pictures on my computer, so I had to make them several times after those shots were made. 
I have to warn you that if you never had these beauties before they are very addictive. That is why I try to stay away from the fried food just because I love it so much and I can't stop eating. Inside of the pastry is a large hollow, caused by the expansion of the dough, also they are crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy. Due to the peanuts they have that extra crunch inside too. Even though they are sold all year around, traditionally they are very popular on Chinese New Year and or/ and Winter Solstice Festival.

Makes about 20 
slightly adapted from "Lemongrass and Ginger"cookbook
  • 1 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup water + more if needed
  • 1/2 cup  Skinless Raw Peanuts
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs Oil + 3 Tbs water
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Add the sugar to 1 cup of hot boiling water and stir until it's completely dissolved. 
  2. Put the rice four in a large bowl and pour the sugar water over the rice flour and stir together. You can add more water if the mixture seems to be too thick and dry or more flour if its too sticky.
  3. Leave it for few minutes and if it is cool enough to the touch knead it with your hands, but do not over knead them because the dough can become too hard. 
  4. When the dough is smooth enough, take a chunks about the size of a golf ball and roll it in between your palms to form little balls. 
  5. Dough can became dry too fast so you have to cover them with dump kitchen towel to keep them moist. 
  6. Heat the skilled and over medium high heat and add peanuts. Toast them until they are turning brown. 
  7. Add them into food processor and grind them until they are almost like a powder with some chunks left. 
  8. Transfer ground peanuts into the bowl and add 2 Tbs. oil and 3 Tbs. water; stir into a rough paste and leave it aside. 
  9. Fill the small deep bowl with water and pour sesame seeds into another one. 
  10. Now take the each dough ball and punch with a finger to form a hole. 
  11. Fill each of them in the center with the paste and close very tightly by rolling int ball again. Repeat the same process with the rest of the balls. 
  12. Dip each finished ball into the water than into the sesame seeds, place on the plate and cover again. 
  13. Heat the oil on 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit and drop carefully in the oil one at the time ( I put about 3 at the time) 
  14. Use wooden spoon or similar to press the dough balls against the side of the pan and rotate them often while frying. This is very important step because it will help them cook evenly and prevent them from burning. When you keep pressing dough will start to expend. 
  15. Remove them with slotted spoon or similar and place on the paper towel. 
  16. You can serve them warm or cold. 
*Note: These will not work well with regular all purpose flour. The texture and the taste will be completely different...I've tried it and it's huge difference!

When I made them second and third time they were looking so much better, and I wish that I had the time to set everything up for second photoshoot, but I found great blog  where you can check it out and see step by step instructions too Click here

Even though it's not New Year, or winter I don't see reason why you cannot enjoy this delicious sweet treat every once in a while even in a summer time. 

Wishing you all fantastic Father's Day weekend!

Your friend,

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  1. jako zanimljiv i krasan recept!

  2. Sandra!!!!y your pictures are just gorgeous!
    And i bellieve anything served in a bite size ball form is a winner! These are no exception :)

  3. Sandra, awesome photos! I love sesame balls, next time if you make them try it with split Mung beans filling. Delicious!

  4. I like this post very much. Love to try this sesame seed balls.

  5. @Tamara, Thanks sweetie!

    @Cakewhiz, Thank you very much!!! I am glad you like it!

    @Foodie S., Thanks!!!

    @Binh, I sure will...gonna get them from Int. market..more excuses to make them again LOL! btw thank you!

    @Swathi lyer, I am glad you like it! Thanks for visiting!

  6. What an unusual treat and so delicious looking! I've love to try one of these.

  7. Beautiful photos Sandra. I would enjoy these very much. Have a nice Father's Day weekend!

  8. These look very addictive, Sandra! I can see why it would be impossible to stop at just one :). Have a great weekend!

  9. So yum my friend, these are a favourite for sure :D
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Ove sam probala prvi put tek prije neki dan (kod mojih Vijetnameskih prijatelja - bile su filovane pireom od pasulja)...
    Svaka cast Sandra; izgledaju odlicno!

  11. Oh my. If you only know how crazily in love I am about these balls. The Philippines also has a sweet version filled up with sweetened monggo beans. I know it as buchi-buchi but they are known with other names too. Such a sweet New Year's Eve story. I love it!

  12. HA!! I got engaged on that same night! My birthday is on New Year's Day, so right after midnight for my bday, hubby proposed.

    Love that you can make these as a memory!

  13. @Anita, I am glad that you find them delicious. They are really good! Thanks!

    @Suzanne, Thank you same goes to you hun!

    @Laura, that's right..serving size 1, but I can eat probably 5 :))) Thanks!:)

    @CCU & Cooking Rookie Thanks girls!!!

    @Jasna, Azuki Beans are most common, but I do like this little change adding peanuts!Thanks!

    @Rowena, did you mean mung beans, I am guessing they are the same..I never tried them to see in Int. many beans for me to try LOL!:)) Thanks!

    @Erin, I guess we both made it official on the same night LOL! Thanks for visit!

  14. These sound absolutely delicious! The peanuts and sesame seeds together in these must give them a wonderfully addictive flavor ;)!

  15. I can't believe you made these! I mean, I am part Chinese but I've never even conquered these in the kitchen! (Shame on me!). That said, your sesame balls look authentic and heavenly!

  16. @Amy, Yes they are similar to doughnuts addiction, although very different texture!:) Thanks!

    @Jen, How could you not make them...:))) My kids went bananas over them...Thanks for visiting!

  17. Hey it seems really good.....will try it for my "sweet tooth" ed hubby...:)

  18. I love sesame seeds so these look really interesting to me. Thanks for sharing!

  19. What a lovely story! You know you have the right man when he takes care of you!

    We have this sesame seed balls too but we call them “banh cam” and we stuff them with a yellow mung beans and coco nut paste. A banh cam is not a banh cam if you can’t hear the stuffing rolling around after you fried it. Looks like you did a great job! Your sesame balls look very authentic!

  20. Sandra, what a sweet, sweet story to go along with these lovely sesame balls. I would have never attempted to make these myself (they look so complicated) but you did a fabulous job. :)

  21. I know these are delicious as I have made them before:D Brought back memories looking at your photos! Must make again soon! Looks absolutely delicious!

  22. What a great story of your engagement (minus the being sick). It was so sweet of him to drive all over to find your favorite foods. Those sesame balls sound so good. What a great photos!

  23. What a lovely story - thank you for sharing. These little delights look simply wonderful and I bet they taste even better. Need to make soon!!!

  24. Great story. I enjoyed it very much, plus I agree a lot of your philosophy about cuisines.

  25. My daughter-in-law who's Chinese makes these and you're so right, they ARE addictive.

    Poor thing on the New Year Florida trip. Aren't you lucky to have someone who'd spend 2 hours getting food to make you feel better. I "awww"d. :)

  26. What a sweet story that is!! It reminds me of when I was in China, I got very sick and my husband went searching for some chicken broth (which believe it or not is hard to come by there) he couldn't find any anywhere and bought a chicken to give to the chef at our hostel to make some broth for me!
    These little sesame balls look beautiful and sound so so yummy! Would love to have some to munch on.

  27. I do love nutty treats and this recipe does look like a winner. Very few recipes out there using sesame seeds in sweets except for greek pasteli, so I am glad to come across this.
    Also, sweet story of the start of your life's journey with your husband! Enjoy today!

  28. Thank you everybody so very much for your comments!

  29. what a tasty recipe Sandra!Can't wait to try..

  30. Hi Sandra, I love these little sesame balls. I make a similar rice ball with some goodies in the middle but they aren't fried. I bet these are yummy. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend, sweety.

  31. Great recipe. Would you be happy to put up a link to it in my Food on Friday – Asian Food Series.

  32. Aw, your sweet husband! You know, my mom made something similar growing up, and I have been digging through her recipe binder to make it soon! Thank you for reminding me!

  33. Picture perfect, Sandra! These are just gorgeous! I'm the same way about fried food...I don't dare start eating or I'll never stop :) But I'd make an exception for these!

  34. Sandra - Your sesame balls look so pretty and delicious! I've never had them with a peanut filling, but sounds great!

  35. such a sweet story Sandra. And these sesame balls are so pretty!

  36. I love those! And what a great story! Wish my BF was as romantic as your husband!

  37. Oh my goodness, this looks perfect!
    And I would like to add that that story about your husband is so sweet!

  38. These are very beautifully made. Asians do like eating these chewy sesame balls for our afternoon teas and dessert and being a non-Asian, you made them so well! Very impressive!

  39. This is one of my favorite dessert! Is it in the book? I'm going to check it out - I totally missed that. Your presentation looks awesome!

  40. Jako, jako mi se svidja recept... :)

  41. You are so right that these sesame balls are really addictive!

  42. Sandra, that is one incredible love story through food. No wonder you got engaged there and then!

  43. What a great story about your husband! I remember a Malaysian friend of my mother's making these when I was a child--I loved them. Thanks for the post!

  44. What a sweet story :) These look incredibly good! Will need to try these for sure :)


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