Sweet bean paste is the traditional filling for the Chinese pastry jian dui, known as buchi in the Philippines and sesame seed balls among native English speakers. In this indulgent version, the filling is cheese.
I’ve wanted to make this popular Chinese snack for a long time. But the thought alone of making the bean paste filling from scratch was already exhausting. We have been unable to find ready-to-use paste either.
Then, I chanced upon a stranger’s post on Facebook. Buchi with cheese filling. I sent the link to my daughter, Sam. On Easter Sunday, she woke me up to say that the cheese-filled sesame seed balls were on the dining table. And she shot a video too!
Oh, my goodness… I had cheese-filled sesame seed balls for breakfast on Easter Sunday, and they were delectable! Crisp crust next to a soft and chewy shell and, right in the middle, still hot and gooey cheese.
Is it hard to make sesame seed balls at home? Not really. But you do need the correct ingredients.
Glutinous rice flour is a must. Wheat flour or ordinary rice flour won’t work. You just mix the flour with water and sugar to make a dough.
The dough is rolled into balls and the balls are flattened at the center to make space for the filling.
A cube of cheese goes into the center of each ball of dough. The dough is gathered to enfold and enclose the cheese.
The cheese-filled glutinous rice balls are rolled in sesame seeds then deep fried until the crust is golden and crisp.
And… will you look at that? Just perfect! And I have to say that the sweet rice and salty cheese do go together beautifully.
According to the creator, she had previously made buchi with peanut butter and chocolate. We’ll try those two versions in the future.
Buchi (Sesame Seed Balls) with Cheese Filling
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar (use more for a sweeter dough)
- 12 one-inch cube cheese
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- cooking oil for deep frying
- Dump the glutinous rice flour and sugar into a bowl. Mix in just enough water to allow the mixture to come together into a ball.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, divide the dough into 12 portions.
- Roll each portion between the palm of your hands to form small balls.
- Arrange the balls on your work surface and, using your index finger, press the center of each ball to create an indentation.
- Drop a cube of cheese at the center of each ball.
- Gather each ball to enclose the cheese filling.
- Roll the balls in sesame seeds to completely cover the surface.
- Heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Fry the sesame seed balls over high heat until the crust is crisp and golden brown.
- Serve the sesame seed balls while hot.
If you cooked this dish (or made this drink) and you want to share your masterpiece, please use your own photos and write the cooking steps in your own words.