Chinese doughnuts 笑口棗

Chinese doughnuts

Chinese doughnuts

Chinese doughnuts

I have fond memories of going shopping with mum around CNY and she would always pick up sweet treats from this Chinese pastry shop in an older suburb.

There would be fried sweet dumplings with nuts and sesame, large hollow sesame dough balls that are crisp when you first bite into it and then chewy from the thin glutinous flour mixture. Another favourite is a red bean paste-filled sweet dumpling that is super hard to stop at one.

One of her favourite sweet treat is the little doughnuts that puff and open up, like a smile, hence their Chinese name of “laughing mouth bite”.

Turns out these are super easy to make and requires basic ingredients from your pantry.

I’m slowly building up a treasure trove of Chinese New Year-related dishes here on the blog. Good news is that now you can enjoy these year-round.


  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 5 tbsp cold water
  • 8 tbsp white sesame seeds, for coating


  1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and sugar. Add oil and water, mix well to combine into a dough.
  2. Knead for a few minutes till the dough is smooth.
  3. Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 24 pieces (for bigger balls, cut into 18 pieces).
  4. Roll the pieces into a ball shape. Wet your hands a little to wet the surface of the balls, then coat with sesame seeds.
  5. Heat a deep pan of oil till 180C, and fry doughballs on low heat until they crack open slightly. Continue frying till golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve straight away. Can be kept in an air tight box for 2 days.

Chinese doughnuts

Chinese doughnuts

Chinese doughnuts

Chinese doughnuts

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