Sesame Seed Balls
Yields 22–24 balls
Glutinous rice flour, also known as sweet rice flour, is used mainly for desserts and dim sum snacks. It is sold in bags in Asian markets.
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 ⅓ cups glutinous rice flour
1 cup sweet red bean paste
¼ cup white sesame seeds
6 cups oil for deep-frying
Add the brown sugar to the boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Cool.
Place the glutinous rice flour in a large bowl, making a well in the middle. Give the sugar/water mix a quick stir and slowly pour into the well, stirring to mix with the flour. Continue stirring until well mixed. You should have a sticky, caramel-colored dough at this point.
Rub your hands in a bit of the rice flour so that the dough doesn't stick to them. Take a heaping tablespoon of dough and shape into a ball roughly the size of a golf ball.
Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand, then use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle. Take no more than 1 teaspoon of red bean paste, and use your hand to shape the paste into a circle. Place the paste in the indentation in the dough. Fold the dough over the paste and roll back into a ball. Continue with the remainder of the dough.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a sheet of waxed paper. Roll the balls in the seeds.
In a wok or large pot, heat 6 cups of oil to between 330–350°F. Deep-fry the sesame seed balls a few at a time, carefully pushing them against the sides of the wok when they float to the top. The sesame balls are cooked when they expand to approximately 3 times their size and turn golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.