Black Sesame Mochi (Sticky Rice Balls)

A few things inspired me to try this recipe from Lady and Pups. 1) It’s not a chocolate or fruit dessert, so it would be a chance to branch out into something new, 2) I’ve made mochi before, but this was a different style since it was boiled and not steamed, 3) K likes Chinese desserts but I’ve never attempted to make any (other than the aforementioned mochi), and 4) I had tried some black sesame dumplings at our local Din Tai Fung restaurant, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, and knew I liked the flavor. Oh, and 5) The pictures from the blog post made me drool a bit, too.

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After I toasted the seeds, they left a stain which looked kind of cool/freaky. It came out with normal washing, though.

By the way, have you had black sesame before? You might think it’s odd, but it works for this dessert. The seeds were a bit tricky for me to find at the regular grocery stores, and were pricey. Next time I plan on checking out the Asian grocery stores since they are also a much butter source for sticky rice flour (another necessary ingredient). You toast the seeds first, and then mix it with some sugar. It tastes so-so when you taste the mixture dry, but when you mix it in with the sticky rice balls, it turns into a yummy coating. Typically, people stuff the rice balls with a filling. And you could find recipes for that. I liked that this was easy, and that we could have the mochi and topping ready whenever the mood struck us for some.

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Before and after topping

Before and after topping

Directions for Sticky Rice Balls

From Lady and Pups

Black Sesame Topping

  • 65 g (1/2 cup) black sesame seeds, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

Toast the black sesame seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

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Every 5 minutes, stir and toss the seeds to ensure they don’t burn. You can tell when the seeds are done, not by color, but by crushing them with your fingers. If they shatter, they are ready. Set them aside to cool. Then, stir them together with the two types of sugar. When well-combined, grind them in batches in a coffee/spice grinder until smooth (like superfine sugar). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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Sticky Rice Balls

  • 180 g sticky rice flour, plus more for dusting
  • 33 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 100 g simmering water (use a pot or kettle to keep it simmering until you are ready to use it)
  • 35 g vegetable oil (neutral tasting, such as canola)
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and sugar.

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Pour the simmering water into the mixture, then stir with a fork.

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Keep stirring until it has cooled enough for you to handle it with your fingers. Then, add the oil and cold water. Knead by hand to bring the dough together. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it is too dry, add a bit more cold water. If it is too wet, add a bit more of the flour.

Break off 1/4 of the dough and pat it into a disk.

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Microwave it for about 40-50 seconds (on high). It should inflate, then deflate, and turn a bit opaque. Stir it back into the rest of the dough with the fork, then again, when it is cool enough to handle it with your fingers, knead it by hand until it is smooth and the cooked part of the dough is fully incorporated back into the main dough.

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At this point, you can wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 days. Otherwise, roll chunks of the dough into long strips and cut off small segments.

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Roll them into balls. You can cook them immediately, otherwise, toss them with a bit more of the flour and freeze them in a sealed bag.

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When ready to cook them, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add as many rice balls as you wish (without crowding the pot), and watch until they bob to the surface. At this point, if they were frozen first, wait 3 minutes.

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If not, they are done in 2 minutes. Fetch our the balls with a slotted spoon, then place in a bowl.

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Place some of the topping on them, and stir until the topping turns into a sauce. Add more topping as desired.

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Directions for Sticky Rice Balls (without pictures)

From Lady and Pups

Black Sesame Topping

  • 65 g (1/2 cup) black sesame seeds, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

Toast the black sesame seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Every 5 minutes, stir and toss the seeds to ensure they don’t burn. You can tell when the seeds are done, not by color, but by crushing them with your fingers. If they shatter, they are ready. Set them aside to cool. Then, stir them together with the two types of sugar. When well-combined, grind them in batches in a coffee/spice grinder until smooth (like superfine sugar). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Sticky Rice Balls

  • 180 g sticky rice flour, plus more for dusting
  • 33 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 100 g simmering water (use a pot or kettle to keep it simmering until you are ready to use it)
  • 35 g vegetable oil (neutral tasting, such as canola)
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and sugar. Pour the simmering water into the mixture, then stir with a fork. Keep stirring until it has cooled enough for you to handle it with your fingers. Then, add the oil and cold water. Knead by hand to bring the dough together. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it is too dry, add a bit more cold water. If it is too wet, add a bit more of the flour.

Break off 1/4 of the dough and pat it into a disk. Microwave it for about 40-50 seconds (on high). It should inflate, then deflate, and turn a bit opaque. Stir it back into the rest of the dough with the fork, then again, when it is cool enough to handle it with your fingers, knead it by hand until it is smooth and the cooked part of the dough is fully incorporated back into the main dough.

At this point, you can wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 days. Otherwise, roll chunks of the dough into long strips and cut off small segments. Roll them into balls. You can cook them immediately, otherwise, toss them with a bit more of the flour and freeze them in a sealed bag.

When ready to cook them, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add as many rice balls as you wish (without crowding the pot), and watch until they bob to the surface. At this point, if they were frozen first, wait 3 minutes. If not, they are done in 2 minutes. Fetch our the balls with a slotted spoon, then place in a bowl. Place some of the topping on them, and stir until the topping turns into a sauce. Add more topping as desired.

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