Laughing Sesame Seed Balls

I think I’m addicted. Addicted to easy, to fried objects, to laughter.

In other words, to these sesame balls.

The idea of making sesame balls came to me from one of my followers. (Yes, you can give me ideas on things to make. No, I won’t bite your head off. Yes, I promise.)

These laughing balls are eaten in China to bring in the Chinese New Year, one of many many cute little treats eaten during that time. The laughing “mouth” they have symbolize the laughter and happiness they bring to the eater in the new year.

So, you know, the more you eat the more happy you get.

So you should eat more.

Laughing Sesame Seed Balls

Notes: Adapted from this here recipe on a Chinese recipe website. I know, I’m dedicated to my food. Makes 25 balls.

Taste & Texture: The outside is hard and crunchy, while the inside is soft. There’s a slight sesame flavor and a slightly sweet flavor as well. Asians don’t do overpoweringly sweet desserts and snacks, ya know. 


  • 1 egg. Five dollar foot egg.
  • 1/3 cup sugar. Chicken sugar, possibilities.
  • 2 cup flour. Because you’re worth it.
  • 3 tbsp butter. If it fits, it ships. 
  • 1/4 cup water. Just water it. 
  • Heaping 1 tsp baking powder. Moving forward.
  • Sesame seeds. If you don’t know company slogans, you’re probably very confused right now. 


1. Beat together egg and sugar, then add the rest of the ingredients. Form into a nice dough.

It’s smiling already.

2. Roll out dough into a log, then cut into smaller pieces. Make it into medium marble-size pieces; any bigger and the inside won’t cook thoroughly.

C is for Cici
We feel naked…

3. Wet each ball with water and dip into the sesame seeds. Use just a little bit of water, but a lot of sesame seeds.

This feels better.

4. Fry until golden brown. 

Just getting my tan on.

The Extra Mile:

  • Stuff it. Traditionally there’s no filling, but you can amp it up with some nice little balls of Mung Bean Butter.

Okay, I have a confession. We ate all of the good-looking sesame balls before I could take pictures, so I had to manually widen the “laugh” part of the remaining sesame balls, to demonstrate what a laughing sesame ball should look like. I know, I’m a cheater. 

LOL whatever.




(Come on. You can figure that one out.)

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Annie says:

    YES!!!! Thank you SO much for the recipe. I’ve been dismayed at all the different types of balls on the ‘net, but these look *exactly* like the ones my mom use to make when I was kid.

    My sister will be visiting in a couple of weeks with her family. I may whip this up for her – she will just about die of happiness, I know it!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      You’re very welcome!! 🙂 I hope they taste like the ones you’re used to! *fingers crossed*

  2. Hari Qhuang says:

    The Indonesian folks have adapted this treat and called it “Roti Ketawa” which means “laughing bread”. The funny thing is, they have been insisting that this is an original native treat, but they cannot tell where did the name come from. LOL

  3. Yummy! I love sesame balls, but have never made them myself. Will try out this recipe when I get the chance. Thanks for sharing 😀

  4. Looks interesting !!! I like the smiley faces

  5. MamaD1xx4xy says:

    These look great! Never heard of them but what a yummy and silly looking treat.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Yep! They’re pretty easy to make too!

  6. Plates of Art says:

    Love these recipes that only use 1/3 cup sugar! Can’t believe it only uses these ingredients!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Yep! Gotta love those not-to-sweet snacks!

  7. Haha! you’re so funny! 🙂 I tasted this while attending training and they are great! Can’t wait to try your recipe! 🙂

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Thanks! Hope you like it! 🙂

  8. Emily W says:

    Cannot wait to try the recipe in my own kitchen! Thanks! – Emily from CaptivEATing.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      You’re welcome!! Lemme know how it goes 🙂

  9. Cucina Amore says:

    these look addictive. I shall try 😉

  10. Sabrina says:

    Mmm! These deep-fried snacks are so addictive but usually I enjoy them only during CNY. I didn’t know the traditional ones are not supposed to have filling as I’m used to seeing them stuffed with red bean or lotus seed paste. Love the “laughing” part of it and the slogans accompanying the ingredients. 🙂

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Yeah, the sesame balls (not the laughing ones) usually do have stuffing, but the laughing ones don’t. Eh, trivialities.

  11. jayme 6 faith blog says:

    mmm! do you know how to make you tiao? or butterfly buns? these are my favourite dough fritters:)

  12. Feamand says:

    Wow.. They’re called laughing sesame seed balls? In the Philippines, they call it Buchi.

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