Pan-Fried Glutinous Rice Balls (煎湯圆)

Pan-Fried Glutinous Rice Balls (煎湯圆)

This is a less common way to prepare traditional Chinese glutinous rice balls, which are usually boiled and served in a sweet soup. Pan-frying adds a delightful crispy texture to the outside while keeping the inside soft and gooey.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Chinese


For the Glutinous Rice Balls:

  • 200 g glutinous rice flour
  • About 120ml warm water adjust as needed
  • Optional fillings: sweet red bean paste black sesame paste, or peanut butter

For Pan-Frying:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional: sugar or honey for coating


Make the Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, gradually add warm water to the glutinous rice flour while stirring, until a soft dough forms. The dough should be pliable and not sticky. Adjust the water as necessary.

Prepare the Fillings:

  • If you choose to use fillings, prepare them in advance. You can use pre-made red bean paste, black sesame paste, or even just a dab of peanut butter for each ball.

Form the Glutinous Rice Balls:

  • Divide the dough into small portions, about the size of a ping pong ball.
  • Flatten each portion in your palm, place a small amount of filling in the center, and then carefully wrap the dough around the filling. Seal and roll it into a smooth ball. Ensure there are no cracks so the filling doesn't leak out during cooking.

Pan-Fry the Glutinous Rice Balls:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  • Place the glutinous rice balls in the pan, leaving some space between them to avoid sticking.
  • Fry until the bottom of the balls turns golden brown, then gently flip them to brown the other sides. The entire process should take about 8-10 minutes. Be gentle when turning the balls to keep their shape.

Optional Sugar Coating:

  • If you like a sweet exterior, sprinkle some sugar or drizzle honey over the glutinous rice balls during the last minute of cooking. This step is optional but adds a nice caramelized flavor.


  • Serve the pan-fried glutinous rice balls warm. They can be enjoyed as is or with a drizzle of sweet syrup, honey, or condensed milk.

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