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
Freshly ground black pepper
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.