Sesame Balls

Sesame Balls

When we were children, we adored zeen doy. They are eaten on special occasions like New Year's and birthdays. The dough is fried until golden brown so it's both crisp and chewy from the glutinous rice flour. The Chinese believe that just as the dough expands when fried, so will your fortunes if you eat sesame balls.

  • 24Servings


  • 2 1/2 slabs brown candy (peen tong), chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sweetened red bean paste
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds (1 3/4 oz.)
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for deep-frying


In large glass bowl, dissolve brown candy in boiling water. Set aside to cool at least 12 hours or overnight.

Place rice flour in large bowl. Make a well and add candy water all at once. Stir until water is incorporated; dough will be smooth but slightly sticky.

Dust hands lightly with rice flour and roll dough into thick rope. Cut rope into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten evenly to make 2 1/2-inch round.

Working with 1 dough round at a time, press center slightly with thumb to make indentation. Place index finger in indentation and gently press dough all around to create a smooth, uniform surface and to make dough even thinner.

Add scant 1 teaspoon bean paste and gently pack down. Gather edges of dough over filling and squeeze dough together, pressing to seal securely. Roll between palms to form a ball.

Repeat with remaining dough rounds and bean paste. Place sheet of waxed paper on counter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roll balls in sesame seeds, pressing to adhere.

In 8-inch-wide, 4- to 5-inch deep pot, heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking, 340F to 350F on deep-fat thermometer. Carefully add 3 sesame balls at a time and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Balls will first sink to bottom of potgently rotate with metal spatula to prevent burning. As balls float to surface, press them gently with back of spatula against sides of pot. Balls will expand as they are gently rotated and pressed. During cooking, be careful to maintain temperature of oil, lowering heat if necessary.

Transfer cooked sesame balls to plate lined with several layers of paper towels. Repeat with remaining sesame balls. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 132
  • Carbohydrate Content: 26 g
  • Fat Content: 2 g
  • Fiber Content: 1 g
  • Protein Content: 2 g
  • Sodium Content: 4 mg