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Sesame doughnuts with custard (jin deui)

Sesame doughnuts or sesame balls, jin deui in Cantonese, are a kind of Chinese fried pastry made with glutinous rice flour and frequently served at yum cha. They're ball-shaped and traditionally covered with sesame seeds and filled with lotus or red bean paste. Chef Lui's version has a custard filling - a delicious influence from Hong Kong. The custard needs to be made first for it to set and chill; this can be done the day before. The pastry is made with glutinous rice flour and wheat starch (tang meen fun in Cantonese) to create the viscosity that is the characteristic of this doughnut.

You'll need

20 gm wheat starch (see note) 130 gm glutinous rice flour (see note) 35 gm caster sugar 35 gm lard, cut into smallish pieces 50 gm sesame seeds, to coat For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Custard filling 10 gm plain flour 20 gm condensed milk 2 tsp custard powder 1 egg 45 gm caster sugar 30 ml milk 30 gm butter, melted


  • 01
  • For custard filling, whisk ingredients and 1 tsp water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, then stir continuously until thickened (4-8 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set and chill (1-2 hours). Lightly dust a work bench with flour, turn out custard and roll into a log, then divide into 12 equal portions. Refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For dumpling dough, mix wheat starch and 2 tbsp boiling water in a bowl until a soft dough forms. Place glutinous rice flour on a work bench, make a well in the centre, add wheat starch mixture, sugar and lard, then add 100ml-110ml water a little at a time while stirring to incorporate the rice flour until you have a pliable dough. Form into a ball and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you across the bench, then make into a ball again. Repeat at least 3 times to bring the pastry together evenly. Form dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (10 minutes).
  • 03
  • Divide dough into 12 portions and flatten each into a 6cm-7cm disc, making the edges a little thinner. Place a portion of custard in the centre of each and form into a ball enclosing custard and set aside.
  • 04
  • Pour vegetable oil to fill a large wok by a third and heat over high heat to 160C. Dip each doughnut into a bowl of water and toss into another bowl of sesame seeds, pressing gently to coat. Add half the doughnuts to the oil (be careful, hot oil will spit and bubble up), turn off heat and gently turn until doughnuts are almost double in size (6-7 minutes), then return to high heat and turn occasionally until dumplings are golden (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Skim sesame seeds from oil and repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve hot.
Note Wheat starch and glutinous rice flour are available from Asian grocers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

An aged botrytis sémillon will go well with the rich custard.

Featured in

Sep 2014

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