Sunday, 17 January 2016

Chinese Laughing Sesame Balls (笑口棗) #ChineseNewYear Snack

The Chinese New Year is near the corner.  I am sure most of the Chinese families are busy preparing to welcome this lunar new year.  One of them is "spring cleaning"!  A thorough cleaning of the house is one of the practices and that's the reason why I have to skip of posting last weekend.  Well, as you know a full-time working lady like me will only have time to do cleaning during the weekends and am glad that I had done more than half of it.

As I am more relaxed now, time for me to get back and as the atmosphere for Chinese New Year is stronger, I will share some Chinese traditional recipes with all of you.  The first recipe for this festive is one of the popular Chinese snacks - Laughing Sesame Balls or is pronounced as "Siu How Zhou" in Cantonese.  This is a very simple and easy to make recipe.  

The actual meaning of "Siu How Zhou" is Laughing Dates as these small sesame balls will crack open once they are in the hot oil and the opened crack is looks alike a wide laughing mouth.  This symbolizes laughter and happiness.  

These small wonders are coated with sesame seeds, its crispy on the outside and little soft and chewy inside.  They are very popular snacks or desserts during the Chinese New Year.  It will be a great homemade gift too for visiting!


500g of plain flour
11/2 tsp baking powder
40g sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup of water
1 egg

1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp water
5 tbsp sesame seeds

Oil for frying

Above ingredients can yield 25 - 30 sesame balls, depending on sizes.


1.  Sift flour and baking powder, set aside.  
2.  In a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar until well blended.  Add in the egg and water gradually, mix well.
3.  Fold in sieved flour and baking powder, mix thoroughly until the dough is well formed.
4.  Prepare a greased tray or plate and coat with flour on top.
5.  Use a spoon (I used a teaspoon) to scoop the dough and roll into a small ball.  Repeat until dough finished.
6.  Beat an egg and add with 1 tbsp water in a bowl and get prepare the sesame seeds for coating.
7.  Dip each ball into the egg mixture, then roll in the sesame seeds to coat.  Set aside.
8.  Heat-up frying oil in a wok or pan for deep frying.
9.  Add in sesame balls by batches and deep fry over medium heat, occasionally do some turning until the balls surface cracks or turn golden brown.
10.   Drain and leave it to cool down in room temperature before serving.
11.  You may store in a tight-air container once it's cold enough.


  1. Great food! And it has a meaning on why its called "Sesame laughing balls."

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  2. Thank you Jared and hope you enjoy the story behind the food :-)