Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hainanese Auspicious Giant Sesame Ball - zhen dai 海南婚礼必备结婚喜糕“珍袋”


This giant sesame ball is called zhen dai (珍袋) in Hainanese, also known as jian dui. It is a type of deep fried Chinese pastry made from glutinous rice flour. The pastry is coated with sesame seeds on the outside and is crispy and chewy.

Inside the pastry is a large hollow, caused by the expansion of the dough. When I was told how the ball was made, I was horrified. The chef would blow air into the dough, causing it to expand. Then he will fry it in hot oil, constantly rotating it in the hot oil to achieve the round shape.

For my own wedding, I had a hard time finding it. I married a Hainanese. According to their traditional custom, the bride's family was supposed to send a couple of these sesame balls to the bridegroom. We couldn't find these sesame balls.

I was happy to find it in a Teochew traditional pastry shop when I went there to buy lao po bing (wife cakes) one day.

有一天, 去一家潮州传统糕饼店买老婆饼时, 我很高兴地发现这海南煎堆 (海南话叫"珍袋")。 它是海南婚礼必备之结婚喜糕,用印有“喜喜”字样的红纸包裹。我嫁给一个海南人, 海南传统婚礼习俗 - 女方要送给男方一对"珍袋"; 男方会将女方送来的“珍袋”分送给亲戚朋友吃,告示结婚消息。当年我结婚时没找到它。:P