Chinese New Year: Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Chinese New Year is tomorrow. In Chinese tradition, at least from what I know, tonight is the dinner for the end of the year. All family members should get together and enjoy a meal. In this meal, we should always end with the perfect sweet treat, which is the glutinous rice ball. The round shape of the glutinous rice balls symbolize the family togetherness.

Glutinous rice balls are made with glutinous rice flour. They are boiled in a sweet light syrup which is usually made with water, rock sugar/brown sugar pieces, and a few ginger pieces. The syrup is sweet and warm. The hint of ginger flavor is infused into the light syrup. The glutinous rice balls are like dumplings. They are stuffed with filling and roll into a ball shape. The filling can be sesame paste, red bean paste, peanut paste and rock sugar. After the glutinous rice balls are cooked, the bouncy and chewy skin texture is amazing. And, the hot filling oozed out the skin and spoon. It is so delicious! My personal favorite is sesame paste. It is nutty and sweet.

Sweet Ginger Light Syrup with Glutinous Rice Balls

2 – 4 servings


–   6 cups water

–   4 – 5 ginger slices (cut the skin off)

–   1 – 1 ½ brown sugar pieces (brick) or 2 – 3 pieces rock sugar (golf ball size)

–   6 – 10 frozen glutinous rice ball


  1. In a medium pot, bring the water to boil in high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, put the ginger slices on the chopping board. Hit the ginger with the side of a knife to release the ginger juice and flavor.
  3. Once the water is boiled, put in half of sugar and the ginger slices. When the sugar has melted, taste to try. Adjust the sweetness to your likeness.
  4. Take out the glutinous rice balls out of the freezer, and put them in the boiling light syrup directly. Reduce the heat to low. To make sure the balls are not stick to the bottom of the pot, use a spoon to scoop them lightly. Wait until they float on the water. Once they are floating, cook for 3 – 4 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Sweet Sesame Filling

My Favorite Brand

Where can you buy glutinous rice balls?

99 Ranch Market (1300 S Golden West Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007)

You should be able to find them in most Chinese supermarket in the freezer section.


2 thoughts on “Chinese New Year: Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

  1. Pingback: Chinese New Year Recipes | The Missing Lokness

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