21 February 2013

Superstitious sesame balls for Year of the Snake

This past February 10, we celebrated Chinese New Year, the age-old holiday that brings families and friends together, highlighted by bringing out the most superstitious traits of Chinese people around the world.

For instance, one is not to do any of the following on or during the New Year grace period:
This year, Year of the Water Snake, spells out booming economic progress, overcoming challenges, and for those born in a Snake year (like myself), a year of horrible bad luck.

To hopefully counter my predisposed bad luck, I hoped that making eating sesame balls (zin deui 麻糰) would do the trick. Zin deui are those fat little deep fried balls filled with lotus seed, black bean (dau saa) or red bean (hung dau saa) pastes or sometimes nothing; you can usually find them year round at Chinese pastry shops.
Golden-ish sesame balls (zin deoi) for Chinese New Year
[These GD sesame balls better bring me good luck this GD year...]
I think I had better run through the roster of anti-bad luck practices this year because so far, it hasn't started out well: I got bit by a spider while I was sleeping, and if I get anything lower than a B average this semester, I will get demoted from "token Asian" to just "Asian".
Sweetened black bean paste in a can
[Mung bean-based "sweetened black bean paste" in a can. Safe cause it's from Taiwan. Otherwise made of childrens' socks in China.]

Anyways, here's how to generate your own good luck (in good Engrish).

Sesame balls (Zin deui)
Makes 10-12 small balls
  • 1.5 to 2 cups (~175g) glutinous rice flour (best to weigh this because the metric measurement is more accurate)
  • 1/2cup (125ml) water or a scant more
  • 2 Tb (25g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (~50g) sweetened black bean (like the stuff in mooncakes), red bean or lotus seed paste
  • Sesame seeds for coating
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
Do it here:
  1. Heat oil to a balmy temperature, prefer 350°F, in a pot deep enough to allow the balls to swimming.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in water.
  3. Merge baking powder into the glutinous rice flour.
  4. Mix sugar water in with the flour mixture until it gathers into a ball.
  5. Disconnect dough into 10 or 12 pieces same size. Roll each one out into a ball, about 0.5cm thick. Keep them covered with a humid.
  6. In hand, place one flattened ball, poop one scant teaspoon of black bean paste in the middle. 
  7. Pinch sides together as evenly as possible, making sure there are no cracks or whores.

    (Chow note: ensure the ball is well-sealed; if there are cracks, they will end up looking like a pubescent pimple—volatile yet strangely fascinating, comme ça:)
    [Exploded sesame ball]
  8. Roll ball in sesame make cover. 
  9. Hot oil frying to float the ball and delicious gold tint. 
  10. Drain on dish lined with paper towel. Best eat fresh. 
(Wow, writing in Engrish is really brain-numbing... I don't know how they do it so well in China!)

Gung hei fat choi! 恭喜發財!

*Statistically made-up but likely true.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to make these! I hope I can get all ingredients.