Updated: Aug 22, 2021
In Malaysia, we call this snack sesame balls and a dear student of mine told me they actually call this "Onde Onde" in Indonesia and are usually filled with sweetened mung bean paste. Onde Onde in Malaysia refers to the pandan infused glutinous rice balls filled with liquid palm sugar and tosses in fresh desiccated coconuts. (Visit my site on how to make Malaysian Onde Onde)
I suppose because Malaysia is a multi-nationality country, a lot of our delicacies are an influence of Chinese, Javanese and Indian cuisine, and somewhere along the line this supposedly "Onde-onde" became the obvious "Sesame Balls" by reference when it arrived the county. This always blow my mind because of how food are interconnecting between nations and the world some way or another.
This glutinous rice balls are often found in small Chinese bakeries in Malaysia as well as markets. It has a chewy texture and a sweet red bean paste centre and is tossed in white sesames and fried until they turn golden in colour. Definitely something all Malaysian children grow up with and it is super delicious and fun to make!
125 g Glutinous Rice Flour
30 g Castor Sugar
90 ml Boiling water
160 g Red Bean Paste
Qs Sunflower Oil (for frying)
Qs Sweetened Adzuki/Red Bean Paste
1. Place the glutinous rice flour and castor sugar in a bowl and stir to mix with a whisk.
2. Stream in the boiling water while stirring then knead with a wooden spoon until the mix comes together to form in to a dough. Do not worry if the dough seems slightly dry at this point.
3. Pinch out 40 g of the dough, fill a small pot half way with water and bring to a boil then drop that piece of dough in to the boiling water and boil the dough until it floats atop of the water. Meanwhile, cover the rest of the dough with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
The dough should look slightly translucent at this point. Place the heated dough back to the rest of the dough and with the help of a wooden spoon, press the two dough together until they form in to a smooth dough. When the dough starts to cool slightly, you can start kneading with your hands to make it easier to work with.
Be careful not to burn yourself! The final dough should feel pliable and not too soft.
Place a cling film over the dough to prevent it from drying out.
4. Portion the red bean paste in to 8 x 20 g individual portion and roll them in to balls. Set aside until ready to use.
5. Portion the dough in to 25 g x 8 individual portion and roll them in to balls, cover with cling film and set aside.
6. Working with one dough at a time while the rest of the dough are covered at all times, press the ball of dough flat and with the help of your thumbs, press and stretch the dough out until it is 1/2 the size larger than the ball of red bean paste.
7. Place the red bean paste balls in the centre of the dough that is resting on your palm and push the edges upward towards the centre and pinch to seal. Roll the filled dough in to a smooth dough and set aside, covered. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough and fillings.
note: If the dough feels sticky on your hands, lightly dust with some glutinous rice flour, be careful not to dust too much as this can dry it out and make it break easily when handling.
8. Once all the balls of dough have been filled, roll them in to some water then roll on to the white sesame seeds until they are fully covered. Leave the sesame rolled balls to dry slightly.
Meanwhile, place the oil half way in a pot and heat up the oil until it reaches 165°C, then turn down the heat to low. Place the sesame balls in to the pot of oil and fry while occasionally stirring until they start to float to the top and the sesames turn golden in colour.
Remove the sesame balls from the oil and place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Make sure to maintain the oil to between 165°C to 175°C. If the oil is to hot, the sesame will burn before the sesame balls are ready. If the oil is too cold, the sesame balls can be too greasy to eat as it will start to absorb more oil than it should.
Note: If you are using a small pot, fry the sesame balls in portion. Make sure that you turn and gently stir the sesame balls that will sink to the bottom initially so that the surface that touches the base do not start to burn before it is ready.
If the sesame balls starts to float to the top but you want a darker colour, simply press the balls to submerge into the oil until you are happy with the colour.
If you are frying in batches, make sure you skim out some of the sesames from the previous batch to prevent them burning and smoking in the oil.