Dim Sum Series: Ma Tuan (Big Sesame Balls!)

Think hot, think chewy, think sweet and fried, think these big, round sesame balls. These are a staple to Dim Sum cuisine; if the restaurant don’t got it, then it’s not authentic to the slightest. These perfectly spherical delicacies bring back memories of childhood for me, memories of the young days I spent in China when I visited my grandparents, the time I bought a duck and called it my first pet, the days where I wasn’t looked at like a foreigner in my motherland country. Oh, how things have changed. At least, I can still find a place in my roots with this food because of the lighthearted vibe it gives off for me. But this food is anything but light.

The good ol’ days. (Disregard that the baby in her arms is actually my brother…)


These jewels are deep fried and very oily. Essentially what this is is a glutinous rice hollow sphere that is coated with sesames on the outside. Now on the inside is that sweet red bean paste I mentioned earlier in my blog, so when you take a good bite into it (not too big of a bite or you might burn your mouth! I did it…it hurt…OW). This ball is then put into a fryer and SIZZLE, out pops a tasty guilty pleasure for all, crispy golden brown on the outside and very chewy on the inside. They don’t glutinous rice sticky rice for nothing!

Right out of the fryer

This sesame sweet ball has its origins in the Tang dynasty and was a palace food for the emperor and empress. But now you can enjoy right at a Dim Sum restaurant…or even in your living room! They are sold in any Asian food market!


So if you’re looking for something to indulge in, something to socialize over, this is a good bet. Tell that Dim Sum lady to roll her cart over here!

Song du jour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CazApTMOrUA Fireworks by Animal Collective.

The sudden burst of drum reminds me of the popping oil when you’re frying it. And the constant “yeeee” will be you after eating one of these. Fireworks in your mouth.


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1 Response to Dim Sum Series: Ma Tuan (Big Sesame Balls!)

  1. Eva Mei Shouse says:

    hoollly shit i love these things. i haven’t had authentic ma tuan in so long… but i know my mom bought some from the chinese grocery store every once in a while… and we’d heat them up in the microwave… and i’d burn my mouth just like you!! it really makes me think about the possibility of distancing myself from real asian cuisine. when i get old, i need to learn how to cook traditional chinese food, and i’ll also have to find a chinese market!! dorm life has deprived me of a surprisingly important part of my diet… although manas and i make up for it with our fairly regular trips to chopstick express!! nomnomnom i’m hungry

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