Hot sesame balls, with their chewy pastry exterior and sweet gooey sweetened bean filling, taste like Chinese jelly doughnuts. We often ask for two orders of hot sesame balls when we first sit down at the table for a dim sum brunch. The sweetened bean-filled sesame balls are so popular at some Chinese restaurants, they never make it to your table.
At Fung's Kitchen on Southwest Freeway, I have seen eager adolescents ambush the dim sum carts just outside the swinging kitchen doors in order to snatch the hot sesame balls the second they leave the kitchen. But there was no need for a special order this Sunday at Ocean Palace in Hong Kong City Mall. We showed up at 10 a.m. and were among the first couple of dozen people seated.
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While sesame balls are usually filled with sweetened red beans, the order we got at Ocean Palace was mixed. Some of the sesame rolls were filled with red beans and some were filled with sweetened yellow beans. I think I like the lighter, tarter yellow bean filling better.