Monday, March 22, 2010

Jin Dui (Sesame Balls)


Jin dui are made of glutinous rice flour and filled with either lotus, red bean or peanut paste. A coating of sesame seeds makes jin dui burst with sesame flavor while the glu rice dough gives a chewy sticky bite. At the wet market and breakfast stalls, jin dui can be bigger than a large egg  but in dim sum restaurants, jin dui are elegantly dainty, slightly smaller than golf balls. 

 I found two jin dui recipes in my cookbooks and tried them out.The recipe that failed was surprisingly from Agnes Chang's  Delightful Snacks & Dim Sum. Choong Su Yin's Dim Sum Inspirations (a book that I bought a couple of months back that is very much flipped through but never put to use) jin dui recipe was more complicated while Agnes' recipe was everything into the bowl at once. But the biggest difference was Agnes' recipe included baking soda while Choong's recipe did not. I fried the jin dui made with both recipes in the same wok and by the time the jin dui were done, Agnes' jin dui  were very puffed and bald while the jin dui made with Choong's recipe puffed a little with about 40-50% of the sesame seeds still stuck to the balls.  Agnes' jin dui were very soft, glutinously stringy and collapsed after cooling. Choong's jin dui were a little too hard and stayed perfectly round even after 4 hours.  I left some unfried jin dui in the fridge and fried them today (3 days later) for the blog photos and the balls deflated pretty quickly even though they were from the same batch of dough. It may have something to do with the dough having rested.


The bald jin dui puffed and lost most of the sesame seeds coating. They are more golden in color because mashed sweet potato was added.They also deflated as they cooled.

I tried Choong's recipe a second time and this time, after coating the glutinous balls with sesame seeds, I pressed the seeds on firmly by rolling the jin dui between my palms. That turned out to be the trick to make the sesame seeds stick to the jin dui during frying. But the texture of the jin dui was still too firm. As I write this post and looked at Choong's recipe again, I realize that I made a mistake both times that I made Choong's jin dui. Instead of using about 1/3 of the cooked wheat starch dough, I had used the whole amount. For the recipe below, I've made the adjustment to make it clearer. With Choong's recipe, you'd have leftover cooked wheat starch  which is what caused my confusion.

Wey--again, right to the bull's eye--had a couple of my jin dui and said they were so oily that he felt slightly sick. It's hard not to come up with oily jin dui because jin dui have to be fried in medium low heat to avoid them from puffing too much and also from burning the sesame seeds before they are cooked through.

I've reduced the amount of sugar and used oil instead of margarine. I've also changed the instructions on making the wheat starch dough so that there won't be leftover dough. However, if the amount of the flours is too small for your conventional kitchen scale (as mine is), you will have to do what Choong instructed--make more and keep the extra "for further use".

Jin dui in dim sum restaurants are usually snipped so they can be shared. These jin dui would've tasted better if they had thinner walls.

Jin Dui Sesame Seeds Balls
300 g glutinous rice flour
40g cooked wheat dough
1 1/2 T veg oil
30g sugar (original amount was 75 g)
220 ml water (warm)

Cooked Wheat Dough
13g wheat starch (I would conveniently up this to 15g)
7g glutinous rice flour (n this to 10g)
20g or ml boiling water (n a few drops more)

Filling: 300g lotus or red bean paste or peanut butter
Coating: 200g uncooked sesame seeds

1. Mix the wheat starch and the glu rice flour with the  boiling water and cover for about 3-5 minutes. Knead/stir until smooth.

2. Dissolve the sugar in the water, add the glu rice flour and mix with a fork. Add the cooked wheat starch and oil and knead into a soft, smooth dough. If the dough is dry, add a little bit (by the 1/2 teaspoon) of water.

3. Roll the dough into a long strip and break off into 30 small pieces. Roll each piece of dough and flatten into a circle with your fingers. Put a small teaspoon (not too much or jin dui'll be too sweet) of filling and seal up the ball, rolling in your palms to smoothen the surface.

4. Dip each sesame ball into water and then into the sesame seeds (use a different hand of each action so you don't get messy sesame seeds-covered fingers. I use a spoon to coat the seame seeds). Take each sesame ball and roll it firmly in your place to press the seeds onto the surface.

5. Heat plenty of oil (enough to cover the balls) in a wok or pot and when it just begins to get hot, lower the heat and gently place 6 balls (depending on the amount of oil) into the oil to cook gently. After about 3 minutes, increase the heat to medium high. If there's plenty of oil in the pot, the balls'll float when cooked through. Remove when the balls are lightly golden and drain on paper towels.


Jade said...

my mum loves these. must make them for her when she comes visit. even though she'll hate me for making her fat. haha

Lily Anette said...

Love them! Makes me want to make them again but the deep frying part just puts me off.

Anonymous said...

Unhealthy food!

Pam said...

I have never heard of these. They sound and look delicious! Thank goodness I don't have a deep fryer anymore or I'd be making and devouring them, I'm sure! Your pics are great also!

terri@adailyobsession said...

jade: tt's really noce of you. moms usually don't mind getting fat if the food's cooked by their kids:D

lilyann: yes, me too. it's easier here bc we hav an outdoor kitchen but still, i'm a little sick of deep-fried food.

anon: true but once in a while it's ok

pam: yes, keep it tt way, avoid deep fryers if u can.n tq:))

Big Boys Oven said...

wow this is one of our favourite snacking! ;)

Anonymous said...

These are my ultimate Favorite and only ONE restaurant in my city serves these: a Chinese buffet! Go figure.. they are worth the time! Y-U-M-M-Y!! :P

pearlangel77 said...

These are my ultimate Favorite and only ONE restaurant in my city serves these: a Chinese buffet! Go figure.. they are worth the time! Y-U-M-M-Y!! :P

Anonymous said...

Would love to know what Agne's recipe is - that's the type my grandma used to make - they'd collapse and be incredibly soft

Unknown said...

I made them today with another recipe, but similar to the one you posted. My problem is that they deflate almost immediately. Do you know how I can fix that? Thanks!

Meon said...

It's taken me many tries to make jin dui. I still haven't perfected it to my satisfaction. I don't make it too often; it's a treat. You're recipe sounds too complicated. I've never heard of mixing wheat flour mixed with the recipe. My recipe has some white wine, sugar, baking powder (not soda), water and rice flower. It always puffs up from a golf ball size to the finished product, tennis ball size. It never deflates, is crunchy, the sesame seeds stay on well without having to wet the uncooked dough to stick them on, not too sweet and pretty thin shelled (this happens when you keep pressing the ball against the side of the pot while cooking it. Constantly moving each ball around the oil keeps the color even and the pressing helps inflates it. This is a delicate procedure as you can easily burst the ball if you press too hard. Hope this helps some.

aloha, Meon

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