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Chinese Black Sesame Paste Recipe

Have you heard of black sesame paste? This sweet and nutty paste is a staple in many Chinese desserts and is made from ground black sesame seeds. It's easy to make and can be used in a variety of ways to add flavour and texture to your favourite dishes.

A bowl of black sesame paste being mixed with sugar and water in a traditional Chinese kitchen

Black sesame paste has a long history in Chinese culture and is believed to have many health benefits. It's rich in antioxidants, calcium, and iron, making it a nutritious addition to any diet. Plus, it's delicious! Whether you're using it as a filling for buns and cakes or as a topping for ice cream and fruit, black sesame paste is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Key Takeaways

  • Black sesame paste is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can be used in a variety of Chinese desserts.
  • It has a long history in Chinese culture and is believed to have many health benefits.
  • Adding seafood to your black sesame paste recipe can be a unique and delicious twist on this traditional ingredient.

Origins and Cultural Significance

A bowl of freshly made black sesame paste sits on a wooden table, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils. The rich aroma fills the air, symbolizing the deep cultural significance of this ancient recipe

Black sesame paste is a traditional Chinese dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is made from black sesame seeds, which are native to China and have been used in Chinese cuisine for thousands of years.

Historical Background of Black Sesame in Chinese Cuisine

Black sesame seeds have a long history in Chinese cuisine. They are mentioned in ancient Chinese texts, and were used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments. In Chinese cuisine, black sesame seeds are often used as a garnish or seasoning, and are also used to make desserts like black sesame paste.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Profile

Black sesame seeds are a good source of nutrition. They are high in iron, calcium, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet. In Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds are believed to have a variety of health benefits, including improving digestion, nourishing the blood, and promoting healthy hair and skin.

Here is a table showing the nutritional information for black sesame seeds:

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Calories 573
Protein 17.7g
Fat 49.7g
Carbohydrates 23.4g
Fibre 11.8g
Iron 14.6mg
Calcium 975mg
Vitamin B1 0.9mg
Vitamin B2 0.2mg
Vitamin E 2.8mg

If you are looking to add more seafood to your diet, you can try adding some shrimp or scallops to your black sesame paste recipe. The sweetness of the paste pairs well with the delicate flavour of seafood.

Essential Ingredients and Tools

A mixing bowl filled with black sesame paste, surrounded by measuring spoons, a whisk, and a jar of sesame seeds

Selecting Quality Black Sesame Seeds

When making black sesame paste, it is essential to select good quality black sesame seeds. Look for seeds that are fresh, fragrant, and have a deep black colour. Avoid seeds that are discoloured, have a rancid smell or taste, or have been sitting on the shelf for too long.

You can find black sesame seeds in most grocery stores or online. If you have access to an Asian grocery store, you may find a wider variety of options.

Kitchen Equipment for Making Paste

The equipment you use to make black sesame paste can affect the texture and flavour of the final product. Here are some options:

  • Food Processor: A food processor is a quick and easy way to make black sesame paste. Simply add toasted sesame seeds and process until smooth.
  • Mortar and Pestle: A traditional method of making black sesame paste, a mortar and pestle can give you a coarser texture and a more authentic taste.
  • Blender: A blender can also be used to make black sesame paste, but it may take longer to achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Suribachi and Surikogi: A Japanese mortar and pestle set, the suribachi and surikogi can give you a finer texture and a more uniform taste.

To make the paste, you will also need sugar, water, and a pinch of salt. If you want to add some seafood to the recipe, you can try adding some dried shrimp or scallops. Soak them in water until they are soft, then chop them finely and mix them in with the other ingredients.

Preparing Black Sesame Paste

Black sesame seeds being ground into a smooth paste in a mortar and pestle, with a small amount of oil being added

Making black sesame paste is a simple process that involves toasting and grinding black sesame seeds to a glossy, thick paste. Here are some tips to help you prepare a delicious black sesame paste.

Toasting and Grinding Techniques

Toasting black sesame seeds is an essential step in making black sesame paste. Toasting helps to bring out the nutty and earthy flavor of the seeds. You can toast the seeds on a low heat until they turn golden brown. After toasting, grind the seeds using a food processor or a mortar and pestle until they form a smooth paste.

Achieving the Perfect Consistency

The consistency of black sesame paste can vary depending on your preference. If you prefer a thicker paste, you can add less water during the grinding process. For a thinner paste, add more water until you achieve the desired consistency. You can also add butter to the paste to make it creamier.

Sweetening the Paste

Black sesame paste has a naturally nutty and earthy flavor that can be enhanced by adding sweeteners such as honey or sugar. You can adjust the amount of sweetener to suit your taste. It is important to note that adding too much sweetener can overpower the nutty flavor of the paste.

To make the paste, combine the toasted black sesame seeds, water, and sweeteners in a food processor or a mortar and pestle. Grind the mixture until it forms a smooth and glossy paste. You can store the paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

As a suggestion, you can try adding seafood to your black sesame paste recipe. Seafood such as prawns or scallops can be a great addition to the paste. Simply sauté the seafood in a pan until cooked and mix it into the paste. This will give your black sesame paste a unique and delicious flavour.

Variations and Uses in Desserts

A bowl of black sesame paste sits on a wooden table, surrounded by assorted dessert ingredients like sugar, flour, and eggs. A mixing spoon and measuring cups are nearby, ready for use

Traditional and Modern Dessert Recipes

Black sesame paste is a popular ingredient in Chinese desserts, but it can also be used in other Asian dishes. One traditional dessert recipe that uses black sesame paste is black sesame soup, which is a sweet soup made from black sesame seeds and rice. It has a nutty and fragrant taste, and it is often served hot.

Another traditional dessert that uses black sesame paste is tang yuan, which are glutinous rice balls filled with black sesame paste. Tang yuan is often served during the Chinese New Year as a symbol of family togetherness and unity.

In addition to traditional recipes, black sesame paste can also be used in modern dessert recipes. For example, it can be used as a filling for mochi or as a topping for ice cream. It can also be used in cookies or cakes to add a nutty flavour.

Incorporating Black Sesame Paste in Baking

Black sesame paste can be used in baking to add a unique flavour to your desserts. It can be used in place of other nut butters, such as peanut butter or almond butter, to add a different flavour profile to your desserts.

When using black sesame paste in baking, it is important to keep in mind that it can be quite dense and thick. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe to ensure that the batter or dough is the right consistency.

If you want to incorporate black sesame paste into your baking, you can try making black sesame pudding or using it as a filling for mooncakes. You can also use it to make black sesame cookies or cakes.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try incorporating seafood into your black sesame paste recipe. For example, you could try adding prawns or scallops to your black sesame soup for a savoury twist on a traditional dessert.

Storing and Preserving Black Sesame Paste

A jar of homemade black sesame paste sealed tightly, stored in a cool, dark pantry to preserve its freshness

Once you have made your delicious black sesame paste, you need to store it properly to keep it fresh for longer. The good news is that black sesame paste is quite easy to store and preserve.

The best way to store black sesame paste is in an airtight container. This will help to keep the paste fresh and prevent it from drying out. You can store the paste at room temperature, but it is best to keep it in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf life.

If you plan to use the black sesame paste for savory dishes, you can turn it into a savory paste by adding a pinch of salt and some soy sauce. This will give the paste a more savory flavor that can be used as a condiment or a marinade.

To preserve the black sesame paste for longer, you can store it in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. If you store the paste in the freezer, make sure to thaw it in the fridge before using it.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your black sesame paste, you can use it as a marinade for seafood dishes. The paste works well with prawns, scallops, and squid. Simply marinate the seafood in the paste for a few hours before grilling or pan-frying.

In summary, black sesame paste is a versatile condiment that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. To keep the paste fresh and extend its shelf life, store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. You can also turn the paste into a savory condiment by adding salt and soy sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bowl filled with black sesame paste, surrounded by ingredients and utensils, with a recipe book open to the page for Chinese black sesame paste

What's the best way to make black sesame paste for desserts?

The best way to make black sesame paste for desserts is to use roasted black sesame seeds. Roasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned will bring out the nutty flavour and aroma. Once the sesame seeds are cooled, grind them in a food processor or blender until a smooth paste is formed. Add honey or sugar to sweeten the paste to your liking.

How can I create a simple black sesame paste at home?

You can create a simple black sesame paste at home by using black sesame seeds and sesame oil. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Once the sesame seeds are cooled, grind them in a food processor or blender until a smooth paste is formed. Add sesame oil to the paste to create a smoother texture.

Can you suggest a healthy version of black sesame paste?

For a healthy version of black sesame paste, you can use natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. You can also add some protein to the paste by incorporating nut butter or tahini. If you want to add seafood, you can use smoked salmon or prawns to add some umami flavour.

What are some creative uses for black sesame paste in cooking?

Black sesame paste can be used in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury. You can use it as a filling for mochi or steamed buns, or as a topping for ice cream or yogurt. You can also use it as a marinade for meat or seafood, or as a sauce for noodles or stir-fry dishes. If you want to add seafood, you can use scallops or squid to add some texture.

Why does my black sesame paste taste bitter, and how can I fix it?

If your black sesame paste tastes bitter, it may be because the sesame seeds were over-toasted or burnt. To fix this, you can try using less toasted sesame seeds, or adding more sweeteners to balance out the bitterness. If you want to add seafood, you can use crab meat or lobster to add some sweetness.

How is black sesame soup different from black sesame paste?

Black sesame soup is a sweet soup made from black sesame seeds, rice and sugar. It is usually served as a dessert or snack. Black sesame paste, on the other hand, is a thick paste made from black sesame seeds and sweeteners. It is often used as a filling or topping for desserts. If you want to add seafood, you can use prawns or clams to add some flavour.