Chinese Sesame Balls – How to make Jian Dui – Sweet Dumplings with Peanut Stuffing

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Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by Chef Mireille

Chinese Peanut Sesame Dumplings are a delicious sweet treat for Chinese New Year of any holiday occasion!

Chinese Sesame Balls - Jian Dui

A few weeks ago I came home from the library with this cookbook, Lemongrass & Ginger by Leemei Tan. It includes recipes from all over Central Asia & Southeast Asia. I photocopied the recipes that I want to try and this is the first one I am trying from the book.

These balls are basically a stuffed dumpling made with glutinous rice flour. Many Asian desserts are made with glutinous rice flour. The first time I experienced this was several years ago when a Chinese friend introduced me to Japanese mochi, ice cream covered with this gelatinous rice flour dough and I fell in love with them. I like the texture, however some who are not used to it may not be a fan of the gooey texture.

This year Thanksgiving was spent with my extended family – at least those that live in the NY area. There were about 20 of us. I contributed three things to the meal – samosas, the cranberry sauce and these rice balls. I come from a very large family. My mom is 1 of 25 children. We are all loud, sarcastic, practical jokers who don’t mince words. We say what we feel. If you are a very sensitive person who takes things to heart and can’t laugh at yourself, you won’t survive long at the table. One person will make a stray comment and it will build and build around the table until everyone is laughing at you for one reason or another  – and I mean AT you, not WITH you. Some might find this crazy, but I love these family times with 5 different conversations going on simultaneously around the table. In fact, this is one of the reasons my aunt starting hosting these dinners because she said it was way too quiet when it was just her, my uncle and their two kids. It did not have the feel of a holiday. They missed the loud, rambunctious, laughing group of people that added to the festivities.

When one of my aunts tasted these rice balls, she exclaimed – “That is so disgusting” I explained to her that it is a Chinese dessert and the texture is supposed to be like that – that’s how many of their desserts are because of the nature of glutinous rice flour and she responded “I feel sorry for the Chinese if they have to eat that.” So these weren’t a hit with everyone – it got about 50/50 positive/negative reactions. However, I liked them and since my aunt who hosted the dinner had made four pies and brownies, no one lacked dessert at the end of the meal!

Thank God I have a tough skin after living with my blunt relatives my whole life and did not take it personally that she does not like the texture of glutinous rice flour!

How to make Chinese Sesame Balls

  • Make the Peanut Filling. For a modern, short cut, some people just use peanut butter.
Peanut Filling for Jian Dui Sesame Balls
  • Now we prepare the dough
Making the dough for Jian Dui Sesame Balls
  • Now we stuff the balls with the peanut filling.
  • Then roll them in sesame seeds.
  • Deep fry them in golden brown.
Stuffing and Frying Jian Dui

Perfect to serve for the Lunar Festival – Chinese New Year!

Jian Dui - Chinese Sesame Balls with Peanut Filling

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Chinese Sesame Balls

Chinese Sesame Balls with Peanut Filling and deep fried to golden deliciousness. They are a delicious sweet treat for Chinese New Year.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 15 people
Calories: 281.87kcal


  • 1/3 cup sugar separated
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • peanut oil for frying

Filling Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil


  • Coarsely chop the peanuts in a food processor. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar, oil and 3 tablespoons water. Mix to form a paste.
  • Now let's make the dough.
  • In a saucepan, heat 1/3 cup of the sugar with the water until the sugar dissolves.
  • Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the sugar water a little at a time, until you have a soft dough. Knead for a few minutes. Divide into 15 equal sized balls.
  • Fill a bowl with water.
  • Place the sesame seeds on a plate.
  • Make a cup in your hand with one of the balls of dough and put 2 teaspoons of the peanut filling into the cup. Bring up the dough around the filling to seal.
  • Dip the ball in the bowl of water and then roll in the sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining balls.
  • Pour oil about 1″ deep in a large skillet or wok. Place the balls in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


You may have some leftover filling, but it is better to have too much than too little filling.
I found a great use of the leftover filling is to add it to plain yogurt for a delicious snack.


Calories: 281.87kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.88g | Protein: 4.84g | Fat: 15.75g | Saturated Fat: 2.43g | Sodium: 2.94mg | Fiber: 2.27g | Sugar: 9.24g
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Reader Interactions


  1. Whoo ur mother is among 25 kids such a big family .Def there must lots of laughter in the table.Like u i too love family gettogethers .Missing those these days :(…..coming to your recipe ,Semsame balls looks lovely

  2. My mom too was part of a big family of 10 bros n sis. As kids we were taught each n every household chore at a very young age. And being the eldest makes it even more tough as we have to teach n lead the younger ones. But now I feel that training had made me so much independent! !! Btw dumplings look very cute n the sesame topping maked ut irresistible! !!

  3. I love the Chinese rice balls and yes I am not surprised when some people hate them. The texture does need getting used to. I have never attempted to make them but now I am tempting
    Will try them soon

  4. That's nice to know about your family and I admire your sincerity to share the negative feedback as well . Dumplings sounds interesting . What if we try it with regular rice flour ?

  5. very nice.. like the step by step pictures most you have come up with.. you have many of good recipes.. do try to visit my place when time permits love to have your feedback dear Recipes Passion ..i have followed u glad if u follow me back.. Have a good day.. Happy Blogging..

  6. Nice to read about your family Mir. I can imagine the fun you guys must have had.
    Texture of glutinous rice flour sure needs some getting used to. So it's no surprise that these got 50/50 approval. They look super cute though.

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