Sesame Balls

I’m always seeing videos of sesame balls and they alway look so good to me. So I wanted to learn how to make them.

First of all, these were sooooo easy to make.

And the taste was amazing too. They were crispy on the outside, slightly chewy and the peanut filling added great flavour and texture. I loved them.

7 sesame balls on a plate.

Video Tutorial

What are sesame balls?

I’ve learnt that sesame balls are a popular sweet snack in China.

They’re made from a dough, that has been made with glutinous rice flour, which gives the sesame balls a chewy texture.

This dough is then coated in sesame seeds, which gives a slight nutty flavour. And then they are deep fried.

You end up with a snack that is super crispy and a little chewy.

And again, like I mentioned, they are so easy to make!

1 sesame ball being held up.

The filling

So the first thing we are going to make is the filling.

From what I’ve seen, typically these are either kept plain with no filling, or they are filled with red bean paste or lotus paste.

Buttttt I’ve seen some that are filled with a peanut filling.

I really like peanuts. I felt like they would give the sesame balls a nice flavour and texture. So this is what I went with.

You could fill these with whatever filling you want though. You don’t have to use the peanut filling that I made.

If you are making the peanut filling, this is what you will need for it:

  • Peanuts – I used salted ones, but unsalted works too.
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey – to sweeten it.

All you need to do is mix these ingredients together and then roll this filling into balls.

The peanut filling after being rolled into balls.

The dough

The dough is simple to make, you only need 3 ingredients:

  • Glutinous rice flour
  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
  • Boiling water

You just mix these together until you get a smooth dough. 

Then divide this dough into pieces, fill these pieces with the filling, roll them into balls and coat with sesame seeds.

Glutinous rice flour vs regular rice flour


You might also know this as sweet rice flour, or mochiko.

Regular rice flour will not work for this recipe.

The difference between the 2 flours is just the rice that they are made from. Glutinous rice flour is made from sticky rice, whereas regular rice flour is made from regular long grain rice.

Because glutinous rice flour is made from sticky rice, when using the flour, it gives a chewy texture to whatever you are making. Regular rice flour gives you a totally different texture and it cooks very differently.

The chewy texture is important to these sesame balls, they won’t be the same without that texture. So use the right flour.

The sesame balls on a tray, before being fried.

Frying the sesame balls

We’re going to fry these in some flavourless oil. Any flavourless oil works, but I always use vegetable oil…rapeseed oil to be more specific.

Typically when frying things, you want the oil to be at around 180c.

But for sesame balls, you want to fry them slowly, at a lower temp. You want your oil to be around 160c throughout the frying process. Also make sure to fry them in batches, don’t throw them all into your oil at once.

They do take some time to fry, about 10-15 minutes. It’s important not to walk away when frying them. You want to keep moving the sesame balls around, with a slotted spoon, so that they brown evenly.

And then also at some point, the sesame balls will start floating.

When they do this, every now and then, press them down using your slotted spoon. All this does is help the sesame balls puff up.

Once they are a golden colour, take them out and repeat until you’ve fried them all.

Then you can finally enjoy them!

The sesame balls on a wire rack, after being fried.

Here are some other recipes I’ve posted recently, I think you try these too:

Sesame Balls

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Makes: 10-12

  • For the peanut filling:
  • 200g salted peanuts, finely chopped

  • 100g peanut butter, melted

  • 50g honey

  • For the dough:
  • 300g glutinous rice flour

  • 100g granulated sugar

  • 200ml boiling water

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • Extras:
  • Sesame seeds

  • Vegetable oil, to fry


  • Making the filling:
  • In a bowl, mix together the chopped peanuts, peanut butter and honey.
  • Divide this filling into pieces that are around 30g. Roll these pieces into balls and place onto a plate or tray.
  • Leave these in your fridge whiles you make the dough.
  • Making the dough:
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the dough. Mix until you get a crumbly mixture, then knead this with your hands until you get a smooth dough. Be careful with this, the dough might be hot. If it's too hot, let it cool down a bit before you start kneading it.
  • You should end up with a smooth, not sticky dough. If you feel like it is too crumbly and dry, add a little more water. If it is too sticky, add some more glutinous rice flour.
  • Divide this dough into pieces that are around 50g.
  • Get one piece of dough and flatten this out. Add one piece of the filling to the centre of this dough piece, then roll this all into a ball, making sure that the dough is fully covering the filling.
  • Repeat this until you've used all your dough.
  • Get one of the balls and lightly dip this in some water, then dip it in your sesame seeds. Shake it, so any excess sesame seeds can fall off, then leave this on a plate or tray.
  • Repeat until you've coated all of the balls.
  • Frying the sesame balls:
  • You want to fry these in oil that is around 160c.
  • Add a few of your sesame balls into the oil, these will expand so fry them in batches.
  • Keep moving them around, using a slotted spoon, throughout the whole frying process. Also once they start floating, every now and then, slightly press them down, this will help them expand.
  • Fry them until they're a light golden colour, this could take around 10-15 minutes.
  • Once fried, place them on a wire rack, or a plate lined with paper towels, so the excess oil can drain off. Then fry the rest of the sesame balls.
  • Once all fried, you can enjoy!

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