Sesame Ball Jian Dui

Sesame Ball Jian Dui

This little ball of golden goodness took a few tries to get right.  I wanted to make these light as air sweet treats for the Chinese New Year as they are a lucky symbol, being golden and perfectly round (golden coins, anyone?) and fortuitously expanding to several times their original size (yeah,your little venture is going to go through the roof!)  I mentioned to my mother, who is in town at the moment visiting, that I was going to make the wonderfully crispy yet chewy Sesame Balls also known as Jian Dui or Matuan.  She said to me, ‘Oh, those are easy, just like how you make tong yuan except you fry it!’   Well, sorry to say, dearest mother, you were a wee bit wrong.  It wasn’t really that easy at first to make these; however, once you get the trick of it, it’s easy enough and you can make gorgeous, hollow, perfectly round and yummilicious Sesame Balls!


Pre-cooked Dough 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour, 62g
3 tbsp water, 46 ml

Non Pre-cooked Dough5 tbsp glutinous rice flour, 38g
2 tbsp sugar, 25g
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch baking soda
1.5 tbsp water, 22 ml

1/2 cup white or black sesame seeds


Mix flour and water for pre-cooked dough until a dough forms.  Tear into ten approx. equal pieces and boil in small pot of boiling water for 3 mins.  Drain.

Mix remaining rice flour, sugar, baking power and baking soda with water until a dough forms.  Add in the boiled dough and knead until two doughs from one pliable smooth dough.  (If dough seems too dry sprinkle a bit of water.  If too wet add a bit of rice flour.)  Divide dough into 10 equal pieces and roll into round balls.  Pour a thick layer of sesame seeds into a shallow dish.  Use fingers to lightly moisten with water, then roll balls in sesame seeds until covered densely all over.  Repeat with all dough balls.  
In a wok pour in enough oil to completely submerge the balls at three times their uncooked size.  (Approx 3 inches)  Heat oil to 140C or 285F.  Carefully drop in 2-3 balls* which will drop to the bottom and cook.  Use spatula to gently turn balls to allow even heating on all sides.  When the balls rise to the top of the oil, continue rolling balls around evenly while gently pressing down just under the oil surface and against the side of the wok.  As you do this rolling and pressing the dough balls will expand.  Do it evenly on all sides and you will get a perfectly round result.  When the sesame ball is about 3 times the size of the original and a light golden brown remove from oil  (approx. 5 mins.)  (The balls will continue to darken a bit after removing from oil.)  Place on kitchen towel to drain any excess oil and then serve it up hot and golden!

Tip: Make just enough to eat in one go.  Leftover next day Sesame Balls are just not the same. 

*Tip:  Try frying only one ball in the beginning.  Once you get the hang of rolling and pressing at the same time you can fry more balls at the same time.

Leave a Reply