Sesame balls – A Food Toy

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Sesame balls, ‘bánh lúc lắc’ in the North of Vietnam or ‘bánh cam’ in the South, are a type of fried Asian crispy pastry made from glutinous rice flour, filled with bean paste and coated with sesame seeds.

In Vietnam, the image of sesame balls is often attached to the image of a little boy sitting on the porch of the house, singing songs and waiting for the return of his grandmother from the market. When she goes back, she does not forget to give him some snacks like cakes, candies, and sesame balls.

Sesame balls went to his childhood and other Vietnameses in that way. The pastry is nothing luxurious and can be found in almost every area of Vietnam in any season of the year. When the cold season approaches, sitting next to the heater and enjoying the crispy and sweet sesame balls would be so wonderful. When you take the cake and shake it slightly, you can hear the movement of the bean filling inside. That is the reason why sesame balls are sometimes considered as a toy!

A man selling sesame balls in Saigon (Photo: aFamily)

How To Make Sesame Balls

Fried sesame balls are made from local ingredients such as first-class glutinous rice, mung beans, sugar and white sesame seeds.

First of all, glutinous rice flour and rice flour are mixed together. Boil water with sugar and then slowly pour into the mixture while carefully kneading it to create dough. Wait for an hour so that the dough can absorb water and become thicken. After that, shape it into round balls.

Photo: Doi song va Phap Luat

 

As for the filling, mung beans are washed and soaked for several hours. Then they are steamed up, finely sliced and mixed with sugar and cooking oil to produce a smooth mixture. After that, the filling is divided into small round balls. When putting the filling into the crust, it is important to make sure that the cake is round and not distorted. Next, the cake will be soaked in white sesame seeds and then placed in a tray before being fried.

Photo: Doi song va Phap Luat
Photo: Doi song va Phap Luat

Put the pan on the stove, pour a lot of oil and wait until it is boiled then drop the sesame balls into the pan. Try to roll the balls constantly to prevent the filling from sticking onto the crust. This step is completed when the balls are in golden brown.

 

Photo: Doi song va Phap Luat

Enjoy!

A perfect sesame ball is brownish yellow, bulging and not flattened when cooled. The crust should be thin and fragile, the stuffing is rounded and not sticky to the covering. Holding the ball and shake it lightly, we can feel the filling rolling inside.

Photo: Doi song va Phap Luat

 

Recommended places to enjoy sesame balls:

Banner photo source: bepgiadinh.com


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Son Nguyen

I spent 80% of my time studying.

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