Red Bean Sesame Balls

Chinese sesame balls Jian duo zi ma qiu filled with red bean paste

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Sweet red bean paste encased in a fragrant sesame-crusted mochi shell, a traditional Chinese dessert perfect for the lunar new year.



Red Bean Paste

  • 100g Adzuki beans (3.5oz)
  • 90g Brown sugar (1/2 cup)


  • 130g Glutinous rice flour (1 cup)
  • 65g White sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 120g Boiling water (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil


  • 95g White sesame seeds (2/3 cup)
  • 250g Water (1 cup)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Red Bean Paste

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and add the adzuki beans
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes, or until the beans are easily mashed between your fingers
  3. Drain the beans and return them to the saucepan
  4. Add the brown sugar and heat over medium--high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has melted
  5. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until the mixture has thickened to a thick paste (it should be able to form a small mound)
  6. Remove from the heat, and chill in the fridge until firm
  7. Once chilled divide the paste into 12 balls and reserve in the fridge until assembly


  1. Combine the glutinous rice flour and sugar in a heatproof bowl
  2. Add the boiling water and mix until a shaggy dough forms, then use your hands to knead the dough
  3. Add the vegetable oil and continue to knead until a smooth dough
  4. (The dough may be drier or sticker depending on your climate- add more flour or less water to create a dough that is soft but not sticky, it should have the texture of an earlobe)
  5. Cover with cling wrap and rest for 30 minutes


  1. Uncover the rested dough and divide it into 12 balls
  2. Flatten a portion of dough between your palms and place a ball of red bean paste in the centre
  3. Pull the sides of the dough over to enclose the filling and roll it between your palms to form a smooth ball
  4. Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper and repeat with the remaining dough and filling
  5. Place the sesame seeds in a small bowl and the water in another 
  6. Submerge each ball in the water, then roll in the sesame seeds
  7. Roll the sesame seed coated ball between your palms to secure the seeds and repeat


  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot of vegetable oil to 150C/300F
  2. Add 4-5 sesame balls in the oil and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes
  3. Increase the heat to 180C/350F and cook for 2-3 mins until golden brown
  4. Remove from the oil and drain on a wire rack or paper towel
  5. Repeat with the remaining sesame balls then enjoy!
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