seed balls are a sweet dim sum item, and are popular during
the Chinese new year.
What you'll need:
2 1/2 cups mochiko (rice flour)
of warm water
1 cup of brown sugar
cup or so of sesame seeds
1/2 cup of anko
for deep-frying (I use canola)
In a wok or some other deep cooking pot, heat the
oil for deep-frying to 350 F. Soak the sesame seeds
in water for 15 minutes, then spread the seeds on a
piece of wax paper.
Dissolve the sugar in the water. Put the mochiko in
a mixing bowl. Make a hollow in the middle of the
flour and pour in the sugar water. Stir it until
it becomes a caramel-colored mass.
Pinch off a piece of dough roughly the size of an
average golf ball. Work it lightly in your hands to
even out the texture, but not too much, otherwise the
dough will get too soft and pliable and likely to tear
when you fill it.
A few mooshes is generally enough. Make a ball, then
poke a hollow in the center and insert a small amount
of anko. A teaspoon is about right. Pinch the dough
closed over the anko, then roll the ball very gently
between your hands to even out the surface. Roll the
ball over the sesame seeds to coat it. Repeat, repeat,
repeat until you've used all the dough up. If you run out of
soaked sesame seeds, just add more dry ones. Wet ones
stick a little better, but dry ones will do in a pinch.
Add the balls, a few at a time, to the hot oil. When
the seeds turn light brown and the balls start floating
to the surface, gently squeeze them against the side of
the cooking container with a long spoon or other such
implement. Continue doing this until they turn
golden brown and inflate to about the size of a kiwi
Take the sesame seed balls out before they turn too
dark and drain them on paper towels before eating. These
are best eaten warm. If you make them ahead of time
and then refrigerate them, microwave them before eating
to restore their texture and puffiness.