Sesame balls are one of the most popular desserts in China. Street vendors sell them and you can also get them at dim sum restaurants.
Authentic sesame seed balls usually use a sweet red bean filling but this is a simplified version that is for people who are cutting down on sugar. We are not adding any fillings.
3 cups oil (for deep-frying or as needed)
1/4 cup white sesame seeds (or as needed)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cups water (boiling)
1 cups glutinous rice flour
Step 1: In a wok or deep-sided, heavy saucepan, preheat the oil for deep-frying to 250 F. Place the rice flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the sugar and water. Mix well.
Step 2: Pinch off a piece of dough roughly the size of a golf ball. Roll it in hands till making a ball. Finish the dough into balls. Dip a ball into the small bowl of water (this will help the sesame seeds stick to the ball). Roll the ball over the sesame seeds. Repeat the process with the remainder of the balls.
Step 3: Deep-fry the sesame seed balls, a few at a time, in the hot oil. Once the sesame seeds turn light brown (about 2 minutes), use the back of a spatula or a large ladle to gently press the balls against the side of the wok or saucepan. Continue applying pressure as the balls turn golden brown and expand to approximately 3 times their normal size.