Sweet Rice Balls with Brown Sugar Syrup

I have some left over squash and a small purple sweet potato.  I know I can do something to make them awesome.  So I turn them into sweet rice balls with brown sugar syrup.

Sweet rice, or glutinous rice, is very popular in Asian area.  It can be used in so many savory dishes, and it also can be found in many sweet desserts too.  I have been told that American people don’t like anything made from sweet rice or its flour.  Well, according to my prior experience, I agree it is very true.  

Squash sweet rice cake balls

1 small slice of cooked Kabocha squash
1 cup of sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon sugar
milk (if needed)

Purple sweet potato sweet rice cake balls

1 small cooked purple sweet potato
1 cup of sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon sugar
milk (if needed)

Sweet red bean paste

1 package of red beans(6 oz, about 170 g)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup of packed brown sugar (use more if you prefer sweeter taste)
water for cooking red beans

* The red bean paste is available in any Asian grocery store.  The listed ingredients above can make 5 to 6 times of what is needed in this recipe.  I like to make red bean paste in a large batch and freeze the extra, so that I can just take as much as I need from the freezer and thaw it.

Brown sugar syrup

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 to 3 tablespoon water
2/3 cup soy bean flour



I love to cook with Kabocha squash.  It is sweeter and has better texture than other squashes. 

Peel the cooked Kabocha squash and purple sweet potato.  Use a fork to smash them.

In two separate bowls, add smashed squash and sweet potato, sweet rice flour, sugar, oil and milk.  Knead until they form two sweet rice doughs. 

For homemade version red bean paste, I soak the red beans in water overnight.  Cook them with enough water over medium low heat until beans get soft. Use a blender to blend the beans into fine smooth bean paste.  

Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat.  Add red bean paste. You will have to keep stirring to prevent the bean paste sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Add oil and sugar in three batches.  Stir and wait until the red bean paste absorbs the sugar and oil before adding more.

Cook until the red bean paste feels firm to stir. Remove from heat and let it cool down. The whole process might take between 15 to 25 minutes.

I make one bowl of red bean paste.  I will divide and wrap up the extra and store it in freeze for later use. 

If you simply don’t want to go through all the trouble to make it from scratch, just pick up a couple bags of red bean paste in Asian grocery store.  They can come in handy when making many Asian desserts. 

Divide the sweet rice doughs into cherry size pieces and roll into small balls.  

Do the same to the red bean paste, just in smaller size.

With your thumb, push down each sweet rice cake balls, wrap in red bean paste and roll into a round smooth sweet rice cake ball again.  

Now it is time to prepare brown sugar syrup.

In a small pot, add both brown sugar and water.  Cook over medium heat until water evaporates and the syrup begins to bubble. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add sweet rice cake balls.  Cook until they float. 

In a bowl, add 2/3 cup soy bean flour.

Add cooked sweet rice cake balls and shake the bowl so that they can be evenly coated with soy bean flour. 

Top with brown syrup and a pinch of white sesame.  It is time to enjoy! 

The brown sugar syrup adds ton of wonder flavor to these tiny sweet rice cake balls.

This one is made of squash.

Here is a purple sweet potato rice cake ball.