110g glutinous rice flour/ 4oz, plus 1 tablespoon for coating (see note 1)
2tablespoonsugaror to taste
4tablespoonraw sesame seeds
600mlcooking oilsee note 2
Cook the sweet potato
Pierce the sweet potato (without peeling) several times with a fork or a knife.
Place into a preheated oven and bake at 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 for 45 - 60 minutes.
Peel off the skin when cold enough to handle (see note 3).
Make the dough
Mash the sweet potato with a fork until smooth.
Gradually add glutinous rice flour and sugar while mixing with a spatular.
Combine with hands to form a soft dough (see note 1).
Form the balls
Divide the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball with the palm of your hands.
Coat the balls
Mix a tablespoon of glutinous rice flour with ½ cup of water.
Wet a dough ball thoroughly in the mixture. Then place it in a bowl filled with raw sesame seeds.
Shake the bowl in a circular motion to allow the ball to roll around in the seeds.
Take the ball out when it’s fully covered with seeds.
Press gently with the palm of your hands to firm up the coating. Repeat to coat the rest of the balls.
Fry the balls
Heat up the oil over a high heat. When the temperature reaches 125°C / 250°F, turn the heat to medium then gently add the sesame balls.
They stay at the bottom of the cookware initially (with tiny bubbles appearing around them), then slowly rise up.
When they reach the surface, push them down from time to time to help achieve an even colour.
They are done once the dough (between the gaps of the seeds) turns bright orange.
N.B. If you wish to deep fry another batch, make sure you wait for the oil to cool down to 125°C / 250°F. This is often a neglected point that causes problems.
1. The amount of glutinous rice flour required may vary depending on the water content of the sweet potato. Adjust accordingly. The finished dough should be soft but does not stick to your hands.2. 600ml oil is enough when you deep fry in a medium-sized sauce pan. Mine is around 20 cm / 8 inches in diameter and I fry 12 sesame balls in two batches. You might need to increase the volume of the oil if using larger cookware.3. The baking time required may vary depending on the size of the sweet potato. If there is no resistance when you insert a fork into the centre, it’s fully cooked. Alternatively, you can peel and cut the sweet potato into small cubes. Then steam them for about 15 minutes until they are fork tender.
Sesame balls, the sweet potato version (红薯煎堆) by Red House Spice