Kai kou xiao

Kai kou xiao (Chinese: 开口笑; pinyin: kāikǒuxiào; lit. 'open mouth laughing') is a fried sesame egg cake found in Chinese cuisine.

Sesame cookie balls (bottom) in Hong Kong.
Kai kou xiao
Place of originChina
Region or stateBeijing
Main ingredientsFlour, peanut oil, eggs, sugar, malt sugar, sesame seeds, baking soda

Also called "smiling sesame cookies" or "laughing balls", they are a popular dish during Lunar New Year for their resemblance to a smiling mouth.[1][2][3]


The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of flour, peanut oil, egg, sugar, malt sugar, sesame seeds and baking soda. With the exception of the sesame seeds, everything else is mixed together, and the resulting dough is cut into pieces. The sesame seeds are boiled in water and each small piece of dough is rolled in the sesame seeds. The end result is then fried on a skillet. The chef must lift the frying pan off the stove and put it back on depending on the situation. The resulting opening crack is where the literal name in Chinese comes from, as it resembles a happy smiling mouth.


  1. ^ Hang, Kristie (2021-02-08). "The Ultimate LA Guide For What to Eat on Lunar New Year". Eater LA. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  2. ^ "Laughing Donut Holes". www.splendidtable.org. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  3. ^ Levin, Sofia (2021-02-06). "A food lover's guide to Lunar New Year feasting in Melbourne". Good Food. Retrieved 2021-09-22.