Homemade sweet rice mini-balls (xiao yuan zi 小圆子) made of water-milled sweet rice flour are so soft, chewy, and such a melt-in-your yumminess. They make perfect Red Bean Mochi Soup (hong dou xiao yuan zi 红豆小圆子).
Keep reading to learn all the tips & tricks to make this perfectly every time at home!
What do you need for homemade sweet-rice mini-balls?
Two simple ingredients: water-milled sweet rice flour and room temperature water.
Speaking of sweet rice flour, this is not the normal sweet rice flour regularly milled from the sweet rice or frequently referred to as sticky rice or glutinous rice.
They are water milled sweet rice flour, i.e. specially milled underneath the water. The water removes the frictions and adds additional super smooth & soft texture into the flour. It is the key to the melt-in-your-mouth kind of softness.
Homemade sweet-rice mini-balls Step-by-Step Tutorial
1. Make a wet & soft water-milled sweet rice dough
In a mixing bowl, mix the water-milled sweet rice with room temperature water while kneading. The ratio between the flour and water should be about 1.1:1 in terms of weight. You should use about 10% more flour than water in terms of weight. For example, for 110 grams of water-milled sweet rice, you will need 110 grams of room temperature water.
Noting it is winter time here in Chicago, and the weather is much drier during winter. I noticed during summer I use a little less water. Precisely the reason when you make the dough, always add the last 20% water required by the recipe slowly, sometimes one drop at a time. You shall take the environmental factor into consideration.
I usually use the US measuring units such as cups, tablespoons, teaspoons on this website. However, for a delicate recipe like this one, it is better to use metric systems for precision. The good news is that a good kitchen scale can swiftly read different units.
2. Divide the dough and roll each portion into a finger-shaped long cylinder
3. Nip small snippets out of the finger-shaped dough cylinder
4. Form sweet rice mini balls
To do that, first, place 4 of these snippets into the left-hand palm. Use the opposite hand if you are left-handed.
Your right hand hovers and slightly touches the snippets. Two hands maintain a parallel position and rotate in the opposite direction.
The four sweet rice flour snippets get rolled into round mini-balls during the process.
If you are not ready yet, you can store them in the freezer.
How to store freshly made sweet-rice mini-balls in a freezer?
Lay them flat in a large container, close the lid and leave them in the freezer overnight. Sweet rice mini-balls shall get firmed up overnight. On the following day, remove them from the container and place them into a freezer ziplock bag, and store them in the freezer.