How to Make Chinese Rice Balls


Most holiday celebrations have at least one special food associated with them; this is true of the Chinese Lantern celebration, which coincides with the first full moon of the Chinese year. To celebrate the Lantern Festival, families often dress in white, and lanterns are hung in honor of the moon and to shine the way to a happy future. And, of course, you must eat during any celebration, and the delicacy of choice for the Lantern Festival is Chinese rice balls, little white moonlike treats.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 sticks of butter (margarine will work), softened 1 ½ tbsp. black sesame powder 8 oz. granulated sugar 4 ½ cups of sticky rice powder 1 tbsp. rice wine 1/4 cup boiling water 1/4 cup cool water

How to Make Chinese Rice Balls

  • Combine 2 sticks of softened butter or margarine, black sesame powder, granulated sugar and rice wine together thoroughly. Note: You can find black sesame powder and sticky rice powder at Asian markets, or check the Resources at the end of this article.

  • Roll the mixture from Step 1 into small balls approximately ½ inch in diameter. Set aside.

  • Mix ½ cup sticky rice powder with ½ cup boiling water. Stir until blended and form into a 1-inch-thick circle.

  • Boil the dough circle in a pot of water until it rises to the top. Remove and let set until it is cool enough to handle.

  • Add the rest of the sticky rice flour and cool water and knead until the dough is smooth.

  • Pull off pieces of the dough and make into 1-inch balls. Push a sesame ball into the center of each rice ball and seal closed.

  • Place the rice balls into boiling water and boil for 1 minute after the balls rise to the top.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stir the balls gently in the same direction while they are boiling.
  • Kids love to help with this project, but keep them away from the boiling water.

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