Fried Sesame Balls

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If you’ve never tried dim sum before (and believe me, I know a few people who haven’t), man…you are truly missing out!

I am just so in love with all of the assortment of food that most places offer (both savory and sweet), and these sesame balls top my list for favorite dim sum dessert. It’s also a very common Khmer and Vietnamese Dessert and like most, I grew up eating this stuff.

Today, I’m showing you guys how to make one of my favorite desserts called fried sesame balls. A fresh sesame ball is slightly crispy on the outside but has a softer, yet chewy interior. At the center of all of this AWESOMENESS holds this soft and slightly sweet mung bean and coconut filling that’ll tickle your taste buds in ways you never knew existed!

INGREDIENTS:

For the *dough:

2 cups of warm water + 3 Tbsp more during kneading
16 ounce bag of glutinous rice flour
1 cup of rice flour
1 bag (about 2 Tbsp) of Alsa baking powder (you may try subbing for any baking powder)
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of mashed potato flakes (any boxed brand works)
vegetable oil for frying
candy thermometer

*I found a recipe for the dough here, but I’ve modified the ingredients a bit and also used my own method for mixing.

For the filling:

8 ounces of split/peeled mung bean
2 cups of water
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 tsp + a pinch of salt
1/4 cup of *caster sugar

*to make caster sugar, just pulse white granulated sugar in a food processor until super fine and powdery.

Additional items needed:

white sesame seeds (placed in a large shallow dish)
some water

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start off by making your filling. Place your mung bean into a rice pot and wash them until the water runs clear. Once done, drain all the water out, and pour 2 cups of water in. Steam in your rice cooker until done.

2. Once it’s done steaming, add in your salt, caster sugar, and coconut flakes and mix until combined. It should resemble the texture of mashed potatoes.

3. Shape your filling into small balls and place them on a baking sheet. I prefer less filling, so I make mine smaller than usual. You may use a melon baller to save some time. Cover and place your filling in the fridge while you work on the dough.

4. To make your dough, place your glutinous rice flour, rice flour, salt, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine. Set this mixture aside.

5. In a separate mixing bowl, add in your sugar and 2 cups of warm water. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Add in your mashed potato flakes and stir to dissolve again.

6. Make a well in the center of your flour mixture and slowly pour in your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir to combine and then gradually switch to using your hands.

7. Add in a Tbsp of water at a time until you get a soft/workable consistency. I usually add an additional 2-3 Tbsp of water to the dough during the kneading process. Test out the dough by breaking off a tiny piece of dough (about a golfball size amount). Make a rounded ball out of it and then flatten it out. If it’s SUPER crackly and dry, add in a bit more water.

8. Once your dough is of the proper consistency, form it all into a big ball and wrap it snuggly with a piece of saran wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

9. Get a clean dish rag or paper towel ready.

10. Grab a golfball size of dough and shape it into a ball. Flatten it out with your thumbs and place a piece of filling in the middle. Pinch to seal. Roll into a smooth ball again and then add a few drops of water into your hand. Gently roll the dough around in your palms, making sure to moisten it well.

11. Drop your ball into your dish of sesame seeds.

12. DRY YOUR HANDS OFF.

13. Roll your dough around in the sesame seeds very well. I like to push the ball into the seeds as I’m rolling them around in the dish. Reshape your ball and then proceed with the rest.

14. Allow the sesame balls to rest for at least an hour. If you have several hours, that’s great too. I leave mine out for about 2 hours, most of the time. Doing this allows the sesame seeds to adhere better and you’ll notice that the dough hardens a bit while it sits out, which I think adds to the overall texture of the sesame balls.

15. Fry your sesame balls at 325 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. The temp will probably drop to 300 degrees (which is okay too) but anything lower will cause them to be greasy. Keep close and constantly keep them moving using a pair of chopsticks (or whatever you have on hand).

16. Place them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Allow to cool slightly before eating, as the filling will be hot. ENJOY!!

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NOTES:

*Try not to forget to dry your hands BEFORE you roll your balls into the sesame seeds. If you forget that part, the sesame seeds will stick to your hand and it gets quite messy! You will have to wash your hands after you roll each and every ball and that can take up a lot of time!

*You may fill these with red bean paste or even palm sugar instead.