Jian dui, more commonly known as sesame seed balls, are deep fried treats made predominantly of glutinous rice flour. They are normally covered in sesame seeds, as shown below.
When they are fresh, they will have a crispy outer shell with a chewy inside. It can be eaten plain, but these little spherical orbs can be filled with various fillings such as red bean, mung bean and lotus seed as well. This one in particular has a black sesame paste.
For those that haven’t tried black sesame paste before, the mixture is subtly sweet and can have a grainy texture to it. It tastes a bit nutty, like it’s white counterpart but possesses a stronger, deeper flavour and aroma to it. It may not be visually appealing, but putting looks aside, black sesame seeds are said to be quite healthy.
Sesame seed balls have different names throughout Asia, but it remains as a snack or dessert for many. It can be found in many Chinese restaurants during dim sum or Asian grocery stores.