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黑芝麻糊 - Black Sesame Soup

Three-ingredient black sesame soup is a traditional Chinese dessert. This nutty and silky smooth dessert soup is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.
Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊).

Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊).

Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊) is one of many Chinese desserts that falls into the category of sweet soup (糖水 - tong sui). With both sides of my grandparents being Cantonese, this dessert makes regular appearances in our family table.

It is now rather common for people to buy canned black sesame powder to make this dessert instead of starting with whole roasted black sesame seeds. I prefer making everything from scratch since it’s not difficult and I get to control what I put into the soup.

This easy three-ingredient soup is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free. Pretty awesome right as far as dessert goes? 😍

Ingredients for Chinese black sesame soup: black sesame seeds, glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar.

Ingredients for Chinese black sesame soup: black sesame seeds, glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar.

Ingredients for Chinese black sesame soup

This is a very simple soup with only three ingredients: black sesame seeds, glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. The photo shows the exact products I use to prepare this soup at home.

Black sesame seeds

You can use either roasted black sesame seeds or plain (unroasted) black sesame seeds. You should be able to easily find packets of roasted black sesame seeds in a Chinese/Asian market. My neighborhood Asian market carries at least three different brands, each with a multitude of different sizes to choose from.

When you are using a newly open packet of roasted black sesame seeds, you can get away with skipping the roasting portion for the black sesame seeds.

If your packet of roasted black sesame seeds is more than 1 week old, or when you start with plain unroasted black sesame seeds, you will need to roast the black sesame seeds first. I will describe how to do this later.

Glutinous rice flour

The function of glutinous rice flour is to thicken the soup. You can also use rice flour (the one with a red label instead of the green label) for this soup, though I prefer the one with glutinous rice flour.

Rock sugar

I use Chinese rock sugar when I make Chinese sweet soup. Rock sugar is not as sweet as regular granulated sugar. You can substitute rock sugar with regular sugar, but please half the amount so your soup doesn’t end up too sweet.

(1) Toast black sesame seeds on a frying pan. (2) Grind toasted black sesame seeds into fine powder. (3) Toast glutinous rice flour on a frying pan. (4) Boil water in a pot, then stir in ground sesame seeds, glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. Stir until the soup is thick and smooth.

(1) Toast black sesame seeds on a frying pan. (2) Grind toasted black sesame seeds into fine powder. (3) Toast glutinous rice flour on a frying pan. (4) Boil water in a pot, then stir in ground sesame seeds, glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. Stir until the soup is thick and smooth.

Step-by-step to prepare Chinese black sesame soup

1. Toast black sesame seeds

Place black sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as needed and increase the stirring frequency near the end. You will know that the sesame seeds are ready when they start to pop.

Immediately transfer the seeds to a cool plate/bowl. Properly toasted black sesame seeds have a fresh nutty fragrance, and they shatter easily when you press with your fingers.

By the way, you can use this exact method too to toast white sesame seeds.

2. Grind black sesame seeds

Wait until the sesame seeds are at least warm to touch. Transfer them into a food processor and pulverize into a fine powder.

A powerful food processor can grind the seeds into a very fine powder. Since the smoothness of the soup depends on the fineness of your black sesame powder, using a powerful food processor will help.

3. Toast glutinous rice flour

Place glutinous rice flour in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as needed and increase the stirring frequency near the end. Toast until the flour is lightly toasted with a light brown color.

4. Cook the soup

Boil a pot of water. Stir in black sesame seeds powder, toasted glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a whisk to stir until all the sugar melts and the soup is thick and smooth.

For an even smoother soup, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to further puree the soup.

Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊).

Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊).

Serving, storing, and reheating

There are two ways to serve this soup, as is, or with sticky rice balls (tang yuan). I love the soup as is, though it will be more filling and more satisfying with some boiled sticky rice balls.

If you wish to make sticky rice balls, please follow my savory tang yuan recipe and prepare the tang yuan portion of the recipe.

You can store any leftover of the black sesame soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Simply reheat in a microwave when you wish to enjoy the soup. If the soup has become too thick during storage, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin the soup.

Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊).

Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊).

黑芝麻糊 - Black Sesame Soup

5.0 from 8 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Toast black sesame seeds: Place black sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as needed and increase the stirring frequency near the end. You will know that the sesame seeds are ready when they start to pop. Immediately transfer the seeds to a cool plate/bowl. Properly toasted black sesame seeds have a fresh nutty fragrance, and they shatter easily when you press with your fingers.
  2. Grind black sesame seeds: Wait until the sesame seeds are at least warm to touch. Transfer them into a food processor and pulverize into a fine powder.
  3. Toast glutinous rice flour: Place glutinous rice flour in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as needed and increase the stirring frequency near the end. Toast until the flour is lightly toasted with a light brown color.
  4. Cook the soup: Boil the 6 cups of water in a pot. Stir in black sesame seeds powder, toasted glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a whisk to stir until all the sugar melts and the soup is thick and smooth. For an even smoother soup, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to further puree the soup.

Notes

  • (1) Or use 50 gram (~ 1/4 cup) regular granulated sugar.
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Comments

  • Christine | Vermilion Roots Christine | Vermilion Roots says:

    This is so perfect for wintertime. It's been cold and rainy where I am in the California Bay Area. I can imagine how comforting this soup will be. :-)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Christine, yes this is really best to have during cold weather :)

  • Alicia Sipocz Alicia Sipocz says:

    I have been craving this since I had dim sum years ago... now I can just eat bowls of the stuff! Amazing, tastes just like the restaurant! Thanks for sharing!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Isn't it? And it is so easy to make at home too, so can save more tummy space for harder-to-replicate-at-home goodies when going for a dim sum :)

  • Florence Florence says:

    I’ve seen black sesame paste sold in stores. Do you think I can use that to make the soup?

    • Anita Anita says:

      I have not tried using black sesame paste before, but I believe it should work. If the only ingredient listed in the black sesame paste is black sesame seeds, then you can simply use the same amount of paste to replace the black sesame seeds, and keep everything else the same.

  • Shirley du Shirley du says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Excited to try. How do you grind the black sesame?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Shirley, I use my Ninja food processor to grind it. If your blender has a dedicated spice attachment, that should work really well too. If all you have is a mortar and pestle, you should still be able to manually grind the sesame seeds once fully toasted. Toasted sesame seeds should be quite crumbly. :)

  • Milky Milky says:

    I love how dramatic black sesame seeds look as a garnish or in the traditional brittle candies, so I tend to buy these over their white counterparts. Recently I obtained a little stockpile of them, so a recipe like this is a perfect use!

    The recipe is straight-forward, and I halved it with no problem. The nice thing about it is that you can grind the seeds to any texture- I whizzed mine briefly using an old coffee grinder, but I could do more if I wanted a smoother soup. It's just up to personal preference! Though I love those instant nut/grain drink/soups from a packet, this recipe is really convenient and easy- while giving you all the control over texture/sweetness.

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    Tried this last night and it was a hit all around the table! Easily, a new favorite recipe in our home!

  • Jill Jill says:

    What a unique recipe. I love sesame flavor. I'm sure I'd enjoy this soup!

  • Irina Irina says:

    The soup is made with only four ingredients! WOW! I use black sesame seeds for baking, and I have never heard about soup. This something to give it a try: we are soup-lovers!

  • Biana Biana says:

    What a great idea to use sesame seeds to make soup! I often use them as a garnish, great to know that I can make a dish out of them as well.

  • Jennifer Jennifer says:

    This really does taste just like how it does at my favorite restaurant. DIY dim sum! YUM!

  • Zerrissa Zerrissa says:

    Hi! How do you roast flour? Do you just put it in The wok/ pan like this?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Zerrissa, I just place flour in frying pan/wok and use medium heat to toast until fragrant and the color turns slightly darker (light brown) than original.

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