Crispy Sesame Balls – Jian Diu – 煎堆

Crispy Sesame Balls Jian Diu 煎堆

You see these beautiful crispy sesame balls at yum cha and you wonder…. How do I make these? It’s actually a LOT easier than you think and really doesn’t require many ingredients.

We used to have these quite a lot growing up, usually with red bean paste. You don’t need to have the baking soda/baking powder in the recipe, but it does help keep it’s round shape. We’ve made this without baking soda and with cold water, it wasn’t the best way as it deflated and generally felt quite tough. So hot water and baking soda will promise you CRISP and DELICIOUS sesame balls.

Crispy Sesame Balls
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: crispy, Sesame balls
Servings: 4 people
  • 200 g Glutinous Rice Flour
  • 2 tsp neutral oil
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 160 g just boiled hot water
  • 100 g Red Bean/black sesame filling or anything of your choice
  • Black and white sesame to coat
  • 1 bowl water
  • Neutral frying oil enough to cover your sesame balls
  1. In a bowl, place flour, oil, baking soda, sugar and hot water together and mix together. Knead until it forms a dough and doesn’t stick to the sides.

  2. Cover and rest at room temperature for 60 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, roll your filling into small balls around 2cm in diameter and place in the freezer to set the filling. 

  4. Once dough is ready, roll into a cylinder and cut into even pieces around 2-3 cm in diameter. 

  5. Roll each piece into a ball first, then using your thumbs press in the middle to create a cavity so it starts looking like an inverted cup. Place your filling in the middle, then close the hole and start shaping into a round ball.

  6. Place the ball in your bowl of water, then coat in sesame seeds. Place on a tray and repeat until you have finished your dough.

  7. In a saucepan, heat oil to 120 C. You can use wooden chopsticks to see if it starts bubbling. Drop your sesame balls in and turn down the heat to low. Fry until golden. Once all sesame balls are finished, it is ready to serve!


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