Sesame Rice Balls

Anyone who’s known me long enough to engage in a discussion of favorite foods (on average 10 minutes) has heard me wax evangelical about my favorite dessert: sesame rice balls in warm rice wine soup. They’re a sleek rice skin expertly stretched around a ball of sweet black sesame paste, bobbing with grains of sweet rice in a sweated rice wine broth. To someone who hasn’t grown up with these, a description of the flavors and textures might not make sense. I’ve found it easier to just introduce friends to this dessert in person. The little dumplings are sweet, nutty, liquid, chewy, and earthy; the broth is sweet, sour, floral, fruity. Even people who think they don’t like sesame are pleased to meet them.

There’s a long story about my love for these dumplings: our first meeting, a tragic restaurant closing, loss, despair, rediscovery, redemption, renewal. But really, all that matters is that I know where to get them again after a few frantic months of searching. Now all I want is to introduce as many people as I can to the sesame rice ball experience, if only to have company while I eat mine.

Sesame rice ball in soup (wine flavor)

Shanghai Cafe
100 Mott Street (bt Canal and Hester, New York NY 10013, (212)966-3988



Filed under review, Sweets, Things I Did Not Cook

5 responses to “Sesame Rice Balls

  1. (Got here from your comment on my New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe post! :D)


    …Yeah. I also love Shanghai Cafe. Gotta go back. And get me those sweet sesame goo-filled dumplings.

  2. I love love love sesame rice balls!!

  3. K

    the only thing better than the sesame rice balls, are the peanut filled ones…yumm

  4. aznwho

    I LOVE THOSE RICE BALLS. MY MOM USE TO ALWAYS MAKE THOSE but she doesn’t anymore T__T. so now i eat oatmeal mixed with crushed sesame seeds, reminds me of these lovely rice balls. [lotsa crushed sesame seeds btw]

  5. Pingback: Qwik Dish: what I’m eating right now » The Lunch Belle

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