Sesame Sweet Rice Balls

Have I mentioned my Mama is an excellent cook? Every other weekend I take little girl to visit my Parents and play with her cousins. As soon as we walk in the house our noses are always filled with yummy smells, now that my Mom has retired, she’s become quite the baker and dessert maker. One of little girl’s favorite game is “Guess what we are having for dessert today?” not gonna lie, I love that game also!

Chinese new year was around a month ago, and my Mama decided to make her own sweet rice balls. This sounded like a daunting task, because I am used to buying them at the local Asian market (frozen aisle), boil some water and dump them in, 7 minutes later we got ourselves some deliciousness! Since my Mom’s real happy with her first batch, I was very eager to learn and document her mad skills, so here it is, enjoy!


  • 2 Package Glutinous Rice Flour (16oz each)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cup sesame powder
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • Boil water
  • Pour 1 bag of rice flour into large bowl
  • Pour boiling water onto rice flour, mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon (make sure don’t burn yourself)
  • In a medium size bowl, mix sesame powder, powdered sugar and oil, stir thoroughly
  • When rice flour dough cools down a bit, kneed with hands until it forms a dough shape, if it’s too sticky, add a little more rice flour
  • Take the dough out of the bowl, cut it into 4 pieces. Kneed them into individual long string like shapes
  • Cut the string shapes into smaller pieces (around 1 inch), flatter with hand into circular shapes
  • Put some sesame filling onto the center of flour circle, start closing with finger to form it into a ball, make sure it’s closed tightly
  • Sprinkle some rice flour onto a board, place the finished sweet rice balls onto that to avoid sticking
  • The finished rice balls can be frozen if you don’t plan on eating them right away.

To cook:

Boil water, put the sweet rice balls into the hot water for a few minutes, usually when the balls begin to surface, they are ready to be eaten.


31 Comments Add yours

  1. Your Mom must be a *wonderful* cook! We have a very good Asian food store over here, so I’d be able to get frozen rice dumplings for sure. If I had a chance, I’d always go for the traditional, home-made ones!

    1. Jeno says:

      Kath, thank you again, my Mom really is a wonderful book, and she’s gotten so great at baking healthy treats, I always feel stuffed by the time we go home after visiting her and my Dad. How are you feeling? Have you gotten enough rest the last few days? Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Jenny says:

    that was such a cute piece! I really enjoyed it. probably won’t make it myself, though ….can your mom invite me over???

    1. Jeno says:

      Hahaha Jenny, I know what you mean, I probably won’t make this myself either, though it sure is nice that my Mom did the whole demostration of it. I will ask her whether you can be her guest whenever you make it to Texas!

      1. Jenny says:

        hahah! I may just make a special trip!!

  3. How delicious!!! I actually have a post using glutenous rice flour too, but I can’t post till near the end of month… We cook the mochi part first, and then put filling inside. How interesting isn’t it?? I am envious that your mom is around. I wish I can visit mine every 2 weeks. I would be “ordering” which food I want to eat… haha. Thank you to your mom!

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Nami! Wooooo I can not wait until your posting about glutenous rice! Yes it’s very nice to have my Parents near by, and my Mom has become such a wonderful baker, most of the time she would have a small loaf of cake waiting for us, the problem is we have to battle the children for a slice!

  4. Oh oh oh these look so much better than the ones my boyfriend and i tried to make πŸ˜‰ These are a staple for us during Chinese New Year ~ my grandma is always saying something about it being round and how it means our family are together or something like that hehe.

    I personally think glutinous flour is hard to work with because it gets so sticky ~ But i really like the texture of it πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jeno says:

      Your Grandma is totally right, it’s customary to eat something round during Chinese New Year, even though there’s not much celebration going on at Houston, but I make it a point to cook some Chinese Newyear-ish food items and teach my little girl the stories behind them…

      I am enjoying your postings, especially the Taiwan ones lately, It’s been over 20 years since we moved from Taiwan, everything’s completely different now, but seeing your photos still bring back good memories!

      1. Oh i didn’t know you were from Taiwan Jeno πŸ™‚ Have you been back to visit? I bet its changed with all the new buildings ~ I have a special connection with Taiwan hehe it’s one of my favourite places! I love the people, the food and the culture!

        I’m glad you’re enjoying my Taiwan posts πŸ™‚ I’m going again soon hopefully I’ll be able to take even more pictures and be able to share with you ~

      2. Jeno says:

        Hi Daisy! I have not gone back to Taiwan since we moved to Houston, though my Parents have gone a few times (they are heading back again late April), my sister is actually taking her family and friends this Summer, what a big trip!

        Can’t wait to see more from you!

  5. Sissi says:

    Jeno, it looks delicious and very unusual! Actually for me most Asian dessers look unusual. I think I haven’t tasted a single one in my life. Oh, no, wait! I did taste something made with sweet rice flour and nuts when we had a Korean neighbour who sometimes brought us Korean treats. It was chewy, only slightly sweet and I loved it.
    I still remember your mum’s extraordinary culinary skills. I am sure you have inherited her talent πŸ™‚ Perfect making-of photos!

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Sissi! I bet the sweet treats your neighbor brought over was DELICIOUS! Chinese people might have something similar, most desserts are made from sweet rice, not really healthy but totally worth the carb counts and calories!

      I normally don’t have “making of” photos, but when my Mom is teaching me, I get to just take photos while she works. After we get to eat the yummy treat, I should suggest her and I collaborate more often!

  6. Gourmantine says:

    I’m so happy to have stumbled on your blog! I’ve bought a pack of glutinous rice months ago out of sheer curiosity, but never actually got around to make something with them. I think I’ll finally put them to use! πŸ™‚

    1. Jeno says:

      Hello Gourmantine! Thank you for visiting and I am thrilled you have a bag of glutinous rice powder at home. This recipe is super simple and the sesame balls are so yummy, I believe you will not regret to break into the bag! Love that you have a home office also, sounds like we are in the same boat. Around 5:30pm I drop the computer mouse, walk into my kitchen with the iPhone blaring music and start cooking for my family, what a great way to relieve stress right!?

  7. Learning traditions passed on from generations is always a very cherished event. I also am usually one of those that buy the store bought kind as they are available everywhere in HK and presto in 7 minutes have a yummy treat. However, you are giving me incentive to try something homemade. Take Care, BAM

    1. Jeno says:

      Hello Bobbi! Thank you for visiting and for your lovely comments! The sesame balls were really easy to make, in fact I was so surprised at that and how come we didn’t make them sooner! How do you like living at Asia? I have not been back to Taiwan since we moved to Houston 24 years ago, things have changed a lot, and from my friends who live abroad, things are a lot more mixed and interesting. I look forward to seeing more of your postings!

      1. We lived in Japan and now we are living in HK. Asia is always full of surprising and interesting things, especially in the culinary world, they rank really high on some of the foods I love. Hold on tight to some of those Taiwan traditions and don’t loose your Putongua. Looking forward to reading more of your yummy posts. Take Care, BAM

      2. Jeno says:

        BAM! You sound a lot more adventurous than I am, good for you! I also can’t wait to see more postings from you, joining you on your overseas journeys on my monitor!

  8. These look delicious yet unlike anything I’ve ever had. What a wonderful recipe, Jeno. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me with something new!

    1. Jeno says:

      Thank you Georgia! I can’t wait to give your marble cake recipe a try! Have a good week, we are heading to the Texas hill country for some camping and wine tasting soon, hope you are enjoying the lovely Spring weather we’ve having!

  9. these sticky rice balls are so perfectly made. I also make these balls from scratch like once a year and after all these years I still haven’t perfect this New Year’s favorite. Great step by step recipe!

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Yi! I’ve seen your posting of the sesame balls, they are perfect looking, like the rest of your dishes! My Mom is pretty adventurous when it comes to cooking, especially now she’s quite the baker, dessert making has become sort of a speciality of hers. I know little girl and I are going to miss being fed the next few months when her and my Dad vacations at Asian…

  10. Yum! I love glutinous rice flour in desserts! This recipe looks so simple with few ingredients! I will definitely have to try it out! Thanks for sharing your mom’s recipe πŸ™‚

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Jackie! Thank you for visiting and the kind words! Just checked out your site, and how wonderful that you live in the great city of San Francisco! We had a blast last year visiting, I got completely hooked on spicy ramen at Suzu! Houston is a huge city but without a properly noodle house, Boooo Hooo!

  11. Thats so cool! IThey kind of look like dumplings from middle europe, the principle is the same but what is different and intrigues me is that u use riceflour. I had never thought of that! I have to try it out and learn some more from your food culture. thanks for sharing!

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Helene! I love learning about other culturals and their foods also, so glad to hear found my Mom’s recipe interesting, I’ve not made this myself either, so the whole thing was an eye opening experience. Have a great weekend!

  12. kankana says:

    These looks so delicious and so cute! Your Mom is super talented πŸ™‚

    1. Jeno says:

      Thank you Kankana, it’s really fun that my Mom and I have the same interest! Have a good weekend.

  13. These rice balls are beautiful! How exotic πŸ˜€

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Jeno says:

      Thank you Choc Chip! So glad you visited and reminded me of these rice balls, I still have a batch in the freezer that needs to be eaten, STAT!

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