Black Sesame Soup (黑芝麻糊)

Cold weather season means soup season, and I love that Cantonese cuisine has sweet dessert soups (tong sui). I couldn’t resist buying a bulk bag of Kadoya black sesame seeds at the grocery, and I’m glad I did, because I’ve been making batch after batch of this deeply satisfying dessert.

The recipe is fairly easy, but does require a good blender. My sesame seeds were already toasted, but I tossed them in a hot frying pan anyway until the white seeds started to turn golden. One minute in a Vitamix was enough to thoroughly puree the seeds, glutinous rice flour, and water. But you could also go another minute longer if you want a finer texture.

Black Sesame Soup (黑芝麻糊)

The initial colour of the mixture is a medium gray, perhaps a bit unsettling if you’ve never worked with black sesame before. But as the rice flour cooks and thickens, and after the sugar is added, the colour deepens further to a darker gray, almost black.

After making this three times, I’ve learned a few things: you can use either regular rice flour or glutinous rice flour instead of soaking and grinding grains of rice. You can also reduce the water somewhat for a thicker texture.

I love black sesame paste: it reminds me of childhood. The warmth, the nuttiness, the sweetness, and the uncommon colour all appeal to me. I’ve even convinced my family that it’s high in protein so could be a filling breakfast!

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