After I ate dim sum sesame balls in a local restaurant for the first time, I had to go back to the restaurant again and again just to eat sesame balls until the idea of making it myself hit me. It's just fried balls made of some kind of flour, with red bean paste filling, sesame seeds sticking on the surface, can't be that difficult to make, right?


After some work, I got a recipe from somebody in food industry. I was excited. When I put the balls in hot oil, after a couple of minutes, they all popped open, released filling to oil. It was a hot mess. After that, I thoroughly searched internet for different versions of the recipe. Unfortunately there aren't many. All recipes on internet use similar ingredients with similar proportions. Something was odd. I had to keep going to the restaurant to eat it and even became friends with the owner. But she was no help because she buys them pre-made, all she does is frying them. Even if she makes them, I doubt she would give me her recipe as it may be her trade secret.

Meanwhile I happened to see Rachel Ray making them (no filling as I remember), which made me even more determined to nail this recipe to have sesame balls to eat for the rest of my life at any time and to boost my ego :-). 

Because I didn't have a fryer at that time, I used a regular stir fry wok. I suspected the reason for explosion was due to no temperature control  of the frying oil. So I bought a fryer, tried frying temperatures at relatively high, low and in between, still balls exploded. Boy, I must have wasted tons of oil and still didn't give up.

So I put on my food scientist cap and gave the ingredients and proportions a close look , considering the interaction and function of fat, starch, and protein during cooking. I decided to replace one ingredient on the recipe.  It worked like magic! I did it!

I have been making my own red bean paste ever since, tried minced meat filling and fortune (for fun, not edible). I'm sharing all three in this Instructables.

Warning: If you are not entertaining troops or feeding crowds, scale down, baby, following all steps of this Instructables will give you about 160 balls, 24 or more muffins and some creamy bean paste for bread spread.

Step 1: Ingredients

For Dough (make 80 balls)
4 Cups sweet rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour or sticky rice flour, has nothing to do with gluten, nor is it sweet or sugary )
1 Cup white wheat flour
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup vegetable shortening
2 Cups boiling water

1 1/2 Cups sesame seeds

1.5 - 2 QT corn oil for frying

For red bean paste filling
1 1/2 lbs azuki red bean
1/2 Cup brown sugar

For minced meat filling
1/2 Cup shart grain white rice
1/2 vegetable or beaf bouillon cube
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, finely copped
10 Oz ground pork
1 1/2 Tsp ground paprika
1/2 Tsp ground cayenne pepper
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper  

For fortune
I collect fortune whenever I eat a fortune cookie. That's what I used. This was to find out if a fortune, love letter, ticket or prize drawing, or proposal can be hidden in the balls. The answer is 100% yes.
Just made my first batch of sesame balls (bean paste) from your recipe! I cut the recipe by a fourth to make a small batch (for the first try) and they were great! Just like you I wanted to learn how to make them after I ate them the first time. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Congratulations!
Congratulations on success at first try!
<p>Congratulations on First Place! I just went to vote for you and saw you had already won. I can't wait to try these out myself. I love sesame balls with red bean filling at our local asian restaurants - one buffet serves them so I can pig out easily, and another restaurant sells them for 50 cents each. I buy them at our local Asian grocery at 24 balls for $3.99. I haven't seen the estimated cost of yours, but I bet it's MUCH less! Thank you.</p>
<p>Right, it was almost 2 years ago. I make the red bean filling myself too which is tedious if you don't make it often. Cost wise, if you don't consider the time and labor, making yourself could be cheaper. Otherwise, the store bought sesame balls easily beat home made. But home made sesame balls tasted way better. Let me know how it turns out.</p>
'Well deserving' is a very small word I guess for winning two grand prizes by the same ible. This is rare &amp; pure awesomeness. Congratulations!!!!! Wowwww...simply mind blowing.
Hope such awesomeness will happen to more authors who share what they achieve for public to use or step on. With the prizes, maybe my dream for food business is more real than I sometimes doubt.
Double Congratulations! For the two wins on one ible
Thanks. I'm still in disbelief.
Thanks. Now pressure is on.
Congratulations!! , well deserved :)
Thanks very much!
Beautiful work, babybayrs!
Thanks a lot!
Thanks so much. I've always wanted a good recipe for these. I can't wait to try them. And I completely understand how you feel when you are giving away a good recipe.
Give it a try. I think they taste better than the restaurant's and a lot better than the per-made ones.<br>I appreciate your understanding.
Great job - I've never had these before. They look delicious and I love your determination to master this recipe! Awesome!
It's one of the dim sum items. I haven't had them before either until a few years ago. <br>Try them and see.
I've got to try this recipe!!!! &lt;3 <br> <br>By the way, I voted and I'm 'pinning' this on Pinterest! I know folks are going to love seeing this recipe!
Thanks for the vote and extra pinning work! Appreciated.
Separate the filling into the appropriate size and then freeze the filling. This will make it much easier to wrap. You can also use M&amp;M or any candy as the filling. Experiment!
Separating filling to approximate size and freezing them before use will help with the minced meat filling. The red bean paste is already kneaded and cut in little squares, they can be picked up, won't break. It'll be interesting to know how M&amp;M or any other candy used as filling measues up with red bean paste and minced meat filling. One of the reasons I go extra miles to make my own red bean paste is I don't like the syrupy texture of the commercial filling.
Have you tried the black sesame filling? Another typical filling is lotus seed paste. In fact any bean can be processed similar to the red bean paste for filling. Both black sesame and lotus seed paste are available in most Chinese grocery. <br> <br>Your instructable can also be adapted into a watery desert 湯圓. By avoiding the frying, there is less fat in the desert. <br> <br>1. Don't coat the finished balls with sesame. <br>2. Prepare a sugar based &quot;soup&quot;, e.g. a few slices of fresh ginger with a small piece of brown sugar. <br>3. Measure about 3/4 bowl of water and bring the ingredients in (2) to boil. <br>4. Add the 8 balls. It is done when the balls are floating. <br>Serve one, warm or hot.
Thanks for the info. I may try lotus seed paste later. I have seen black sesame filling in the watery sesert 汤圆, which is good for a cold winter afternoon in house eating. The beauty of the fried balls is they are portable, can be taken anywhere and eat anywhere.
If you want to bring 湯圓 to somewhere, you can have the cooked 湯圓 and the sugar soup in separate keep warm flasks. Just put 湯圓 back to the soup to consume. <br> <br>湯圓 stands for 湯 the soup and 圓 the round ones. They are a must have in the Winter solstice, kind of like the Thanksgiving in USA. <br> <br>Good instructable.
nice tip thanks, I was wondering about that.
i don;t think i'll ever make these, but i voted for you in both contests because it looks so pretty.
Thanks for voting for the pretty-ness. Maybe the pretty-ness will make you lean in one day.
These are my favorite at our local chinese restaurant. I wondered how to make these every time I ate them. Now I know. Thank you for your contribution. You have my votes!
Thanks for the vote. Wondering is a good start. Now your wonder is answered.
All I can say is ........ THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU , I def voted for you ....... good luck
Thanks you a lot too.
Oh man! I have LOVED these silly little things for years! Many thanks for the instructions. One question: The second ingredient in the Minced Meat filling says, &quot;I/2 vegetable or Beef boullion&quot;...1/2 what? Cup? Can? Oil Drum? (Hope not that...the sodium would be a killer!).
Good question. It was a long Instructable and late night. I missed typing one word: cube. It's &quot;I/2 vegetable or Beef boullion cube&quot;. If you are concerned of the sodium, you can ommit. Feel free to miss out, mess around or add in ingredients in that filling.
@Babybayrs; Hi! I have tweeted this. Thank you for the recipe. Cheers! : ) Site
Thanks for tweeting about it. This recipe means a lot to me. I'm surprised it means a lot to others too.
Kudos on the most appropriate use of the phrase &quot;hot mess&quot; ever!
Thanks for taking time to notice and comment.
&quot;If you tried making them and didn't like them, you simply need to make them again and get better at it.&quot; Too funny, and so true! Will have to give this a shot, I love the red bean ones, but have only seen them at one chinese place here...I do have to wonder if they can be frozen before you fry them, and then just thaw how ever many you need before cooking...thanks for the recipe, and I've voted for you
Thanks for the vote. I didn't thaw them, fried them right after taking out of freezeer.
Your first 4 paragraphs had discouraged me so much that I decided to go by a lottery ticket, won over $150,000 so from now on, I am just going to buy restaurant made sesame balls for the rest of my life!
The fun is in problem solving for me. Thanks for letting me know that discouragement from reading my Instructables promoted you to win a lottery of $150,000! That's the best news I heard in my life. I have always dreamed of opening a food business but lacking of funds, maybe you'll be my angel investor?
Good job. I live very close to the NEW Chinatown in Queens, NY. All the goodies without the hassle of making them and cheap too. One note: these are not for the health conscious. These will put the weight on you. For a healthier version make red bean Steamed Buns using all-purpose flour. They are bigger with a lot more red bean paste.
Too much of anything good is bad. The dough mainly is starch, too much of it on a daily basis will put on weight I agree.
Please explain: what was the secret to prevent the balls from exploding??
The secret is not using butter in the dough.
These look amazing! I can't wait to try your recipe.
I agree with you. It seems yourself are adventurous with food. Have fun trying my recipe.
Yummy! And voted for you ;)

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Bio: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow ...
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