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Coconut Balls

Dim Sum Dessert
from "Dim Sum" by Ellen Leong Blonder

Ingredients for 12 coconut balls

  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour, plus additional for dusting the board
  • 1 teaspoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Sweet Lotus Filling or Sweet Red Bean Filling
  • About 3/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut. lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoon sugar to mix with coconut


  1. In a large bowl, combine together. If necessary, add a few more drops of water to make into a slightly sticky smooth dough:
    • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
    • 1 teaspoon peanut or vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup water
  2. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Divide the filling into 12 portions.
  3. Flatten one piece of dough into a 2 1/2 inch circle. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling on the center, gathering the edges of the dough together, and seal completely. Wet your hands, and then roll the dough into a smooth ball between your palms. Set them aside.
  4. Oil a cooking sheet for boiled balls to rest. Preparing an oiled cookie sheet is very important otherwise the boiled balls will stick to the sheet.
  5. Mix well in a separate bowl:
    • 3/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
    • 2 tablespoon sugar
  6. In a pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Drop the balls one by one with a spoon so that they will not fall to the bottom of the pan and stick.
  7. Keep boiling for about 6~7 minutes or until the dough is cooked completely. Stir occasionally so they won't stick to each other. They should be floating on the surface of boiling water. Boil 2~3 more minutes after the balls start floating.
  8. Scoop the balls out with a spoon and put them on the oiled cookie sheet to rest. Put one of the balls into the coconut and coat the surface with coconut and sugar mixture. Put it on a dry plate. Do the same with the remaining balls. The surface dries fast, so immerse them in hot water again before coating coconuts if necessary.
  9. To replace coconut, here is an alternate filling recipe:
    Chop 3/4 cup peanuts finely with a knife. ( If using a blender, do not over grind to make it into a paste)
    Mix well with 2 table spoons of sugar

This recipe is from "Dim Sum: The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch" by Ellen Leong Blonder. She provides 60 recipes, from siu mai to egg custard tarts, all illustrated by her own lovely watercolors. Every recipe I have tried turned out successful.

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