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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Zhima Qiu: Glutinous Rice Balls with Surprise Fillings

A popular Chinese snack, Zhima Qiu, Ma Tuan, is something we indulge in about twice a year or so. And each time, we savor it, trying to come up with different fillings.

Hot, crunchy, chewy, mildly sweet, these glutinous rice balls seem to be a staple at Dim Sum restaurants as I gather. But, neither the kids nor I are fond of the red bean paste filling.

So, we tried a couple of different fillings: sweet lemon curd, small peanut butter chocolate ball candy, peanut butter+jelly, bananas, dry cranberries.

And, since there was no outer indication of what the filling might be, it was fun to bite into one and find the surprise inside.

The recipe for the shell is a standard one available on the web. Glutinous rice powder is available in most Asian stores.

For the outer shell:
3 cups glutinous rice powder
½ cup sugar
1 cup water

Oil for deep frying.

1 cup white sesame seeds for coating

Filling as needed.

  1. Mix sugar and water until dissolved. 
  2. Add the glutinous rice flour and knead to a smooth dough.
  3. Roll the dough into a long roll/log and cut into 20 pieces.
  4. Flatten one piece at a time, make a concave depression holding the dough in the palm of one hand.
  5. Add a small amount of filling in the center of the concave well.
  6. Gather the edges and pinch to close, roll into a smooth ball, making sure filling is sealed in.
  7. Dip the ball in water and coat with sesame seeds.
  8. Deep fry in medium heat till golden brown.
  9. Drain and serve warm.

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