Sticky Glutinous Red Bean Balls

Sticky glutinous red bean balls. What is it? It is a sticky, tacky (in an enjoyable way) confection of sweet red bean/azuki paste encased in a dough made of glutinous rice flour, coated with sesame seeds then deep-fried to a golden hue; one of my mom’s all time favourites! These are often available at any of the Vietnamese markets where a mung/green bean version is sold as well. You can also find these as  fried ‘dim sums’ at chinese restaurants during the Yum Cha sessions although the sizes can vary from golf balls to ridiculously large tennis balls! Unlike my mom, I have never been too keen on this form of sticky sweet: not until now. I thoroughly enjoyed making these at home with mom guiding me of course. Perhaps the hours spent slaving over the stove cooking my own red bean or azuki paste made it all the more worthwhile as I do not favour using ready-made pastes sold in asian grocery stores. They’re often too sweet. Plus, the red bean balls you get at the market are sometimes so oily that you might as well just down a cup of oil, neat!

Continuing on from my previous entry on Roti Jala made for E’s Malaysian themed dinner party, I made this sticky red bean ball for dessert, served with some home-made red bean semi-freddo. As usual with my terrible portion/size control, I made too much red bean paste and ended up dividing the leftover paste into 3 take-away containers; and froze them for future use! I did not use a recipe for the red bean paste; merely soaked the red beans overnight in a pot of water, boiled them in minimal water till soft, then blended them into a puree. The puree is subsequently slow-cooked in a wok with oil and sugar. Sounds simple but it took me awhile to cook the paste. If I had to do it properly, I would first press and strain the cooked beans through a sieve or muslin cloth to remove the skins before cooking the paste. Hehe..the marvel of hand-blender shortcuts! 😀

I attempted the sticky red bean balls again just a few days ago for a separate dinner but forgot that I was running low on sesame seeds. So I eyed a jar or peanuts I had toasted a few days earlier and decided to crush them to coat the fried red bean balls. Very fortuitous indeed as the peanut encrusted ones were tastier!!

Here are some of the photos taken of the whole gummy-yummy process.


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