This recipe for my Mom's Black Sesame Paste/Soup is a healthy and nourishing Chinese dessert made with black sesame seeds. It's creamy, thick, and lightly sweetened.
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I find that as the older I get, I am more drawn to the foods that my parents like to eat.
Am I catching up with the older generation? Most likely.
But now that I have kids, and the strands of hair on my head are turning grey (!!), I'm thinking about how I can help slow the inevitable...
And of course, I think to my Mom's Black Sesame Paste/Soup.
What is black sesame?
Black sesame has been often touted by the Chinese as a healthy food to consume in order to retain black hair colour.
It is high in minerals and has a host of other health benefits.
What does it taste like?
The seeds have a rich, nutty flavour and is very aromatic, similar to its cousin, tahini, which is made of white sesame seeds.
Where to find black sesame paste?
In Asian supermarkets, you can find instant black sesame soup in powdered form.
However, it's just as easy to make black sesame paste from scratch, without the chemicals and preservatives commonly found in the packaged form.
The consistency can be thick (like a pudding), or thin (watered down) depending on preference.
Sometimes, during Chinese New Year, "tang yuan" or glutinous rice balls are added to the soup.
Ingredients you'll need
Similar to red bean, black sesame paste (or soup) is a sweet, Chinese dessert made with:
- black sesame seeds: ground up into a powder
- sweetener: such as honey or granulated sugar
- rice flour/glutinous rice flour: acts as a thickener
Rice flour vs. glutinous rice flour
This recipe calls for both rice flour and glutinous rice flour.
These flours are commonly available in Asian grocery stores. There's a difference between the two flours.
- Rice flour is made from long grain rice, and glutinous rice flour is made long or short-grained sweet rice.
- Glutinous rice flour gives a stickier texture that is commonly associated with food like tang yuan or mochi.
If you're not able to find the rice flours, you can omit it. The soup will be lighter in texture.
How to make black sesame powder
All-natural (not instant) black sesame powder may be hard to find.
If you have it, you can easily make this soup with the powder. If not, it's very easy to make black sesame powder.
All you'll need are black sesame seeds and a spice grinder.
- Pulse the black sesame seeds until powdery, but just shy of releasing their natural oils, and voila, you've got black sesame powder.
- Dump the black sesame powder into a bowl and set aside.
How to make the paste/soup
Dump all the ingredients into a small saucepot.
Stir over medium heat, until thickened to your desired consistency.
How to serve & store
Black sesame paste/soup is sometimes served as a dessert at the end of the meal in a Chinese restaurant.
You can serve it warm or piping hot. I don't recommend it cold.
Store the paste in a clean airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Gently reheat the paste on the stovetop before serving.
Other recipes you may like
This black sesame paste is not only healthy, but is tasty and nutritious. It's nutty, fragrant, and not too sweet -- the perfect ending to any meal. It'll be sure to warm your body and delight your taste buds.
Try this recipe out and find out why this soup is on constant rotation in my home.
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Mom's Black Sesame Soup
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 ½ C water + more according to your preference
- 2 tablespoon rice flour
- 2 tablespoon glutinous rice flour
- ¼ C black sesame powder OR
- ½ C black sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon honey or granulated cane sugar
If making black sesame powder:
- Place the black sesame seeds into a clean spice grinder. Pulse intermittently until a powder consistency is attained. Be sure not to overgrind or it will turn into a paste.
Make the black sesame soup:
- In a saucepan, add in the water, rice flour, glutinous rice flour and black sesame powder. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir continuously. The mixture will start to thicken.
- Continue to stir for about 10 minutes and add in the honey/sugar. Stir until dissolved. Taste the black sesame soup and adjust for sweetness. If the black sesame soup is too thick for your liking, add in a little more water and stir until homogeneous.
- Remove from heat and ladle into small bowls. Serve warm.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
This article was originally published for Curious Cuisiniere.