The best thing about Christmas is undoubtedly the food. It’s cold and wet outside, there’s nothing good on television so what better time for some messing about in the kitchen?
This year my aunt came over and, amongst other treats, we made a big batch of jin deui (煎堆), the fried sesame seed balls found in many Chinese bakeries.
Jin deui have a long history and are said to have originated some 1,300 years ago in the Tang Dynasty when they were a treat enjoyed only by the imperial household.
The filling for ours is made from lotus seed paste, which looks very unappetising in its tin. Black or red bean paste, however, can also be used to make jin deui.
Note: it’s Golden Cock brand. I love the utilitarian packaging.
The lotus paste is rolled into little balls and then wrapped up in balls of dough made from glutinous rice flour, sugar and water.
We’ve got a little production line going here.
The filled balls are rolled on a plate of sesame seeds to get an even coating.
Then they’re ready for frying.
The jin deui turn themselves over in the hot oil as each side gets fried. Easy.
All that remains is to eat them up while they’re still warm and a tiny bit gooey.
Ching He-Huang has a recipe for chocolate sesame balls that will give you a good idea of how to make your own jin deui, whatever filling you choose. Anyone want to try peanut butter?