How to Make Black Sesame Soup

How to Make Black Sesame Soup

| 6

Makes: 4-6 Servings | Prep Time: 60 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Adapted From: Awesomesauce Eats

Black sesame soup is a variety of Chinese dessert soup (or tong sui), commonly served after meals, as a mid afternoon snack and, of course, with dim sum. It’s a sweet, smooth and luscious soup with a rich toasted sesame taste that’s particularly popular in Hong Kong and southern China.

For a dessert that’s so elegant, black sesame soup is surprisingly easy to make, requiring only a handful of ingredients that are commonly available at a Chinatown grocer.

A warm bowl of black sesame soup instantly transports me to the narrow, winding back streets of Sheung Wan in Hong Kong, where you’ll still find small restaurants making these traditional desserts. It’s wonderful that you can make such a faithful version in the comfort of your own home.

Here’s how to make black sesame soup, step-by-step. The detailed tutorial with pictures is at the bottom of the page.

Can you share any expert tips from your experience making black sesame soup? Want to ask a question before you try making it yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!


Black Sesame Soup Recipe

Makes: 4-6 Servings | Prep Time: 60 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Adapted From: Awesomesauce Eats

Ingredients

1 cup long grain rice
1 cup black sesame seeds
7 cups water
6 ounces Chinese rock sugar (or 1 cup granulated sugar)
Additional boiling water, as needed

Directions

Black Sesame Soup

1. Start by gathering your ingredients. It’s a short list! Just black sesame seeds, long grain rice and Chinese rock sugar.

Black Sesame Soup

2. The key ingredient in this recipe is the Chinese rock sugar. It gives the soup a distinct sweetness and the sheen that you’ll recognize from the restaurant. Substitute granulated sugar only if you must.

Black Sesame Soup

3. The rock sugar comes in big crystal lumps, which makes it difficult to measure in cups. Instead, weigh your sugar using a kitchen scale. You’re shooting for 6 ounces.

Black Sesame Soup

4. Soak the rice in cold water for at least an hour, up to 4 hours if you have the time.

Black Sesame Soup

5. Toast the black sesame seeds on low heat for 2 minutes in a wok, until they are fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Black Sesame Soup

6. Drain the rice and combine in a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend until completely smooth, then pour into a bowl and rinse out the blender. It’s really important to get this slurry mixture as smooth as you can!

Black Sesame Soup

7. Grind the black sesame seeds in the blender until smooth, then add 1/2 cup of water and blend briefly until you have a smooth paste. Again, it’s very important to make this paste as smooth as possible. Lumps and grittiness will be difficult to remove later in the cooking process.

Black Sesame Soup

8. Combine the rice mixture and black sesame paste in the blender and blend until combined.

Black Sesame Soup

9. Pour the soup mixture into a large pot, add 3 1/2 cups of water and up to six ounces of sugar to taste, then bring to a boil.

Black Sesame Soup

10. Once the soup boils, reduce the heat to low and then simmer for an additional 10 minutes until the soup thickens. Stir constantly.

Black Sesame Soup

11. Here’s the last trick. You’re shooting for a silky soup with the viscosity of honey. Add additional boiling water to the soup and blend once more with a hand blender until you get that consistency.

Black Sesame Soup

12. Pour the soup into small bowls and serve warm.


Learn more about Black Sesame Soup from these Experts

Watch Miss Wong’s Kitchen make Black Sesame Soup in her home kitchen (VIDEO)
Jessie Cooking Moments makes Black Sesame Soup for her inlaws in Australia
OpenRice shares a simple Black Sesame Soup Recipe

HT: Photo by Tong Pak Fu.

6 Responses

  1. I just returned from Kaiping China where I tried this for the first time. I had it twice from 2 different vendors. One seemed to me to have a subtle hint of ginger in it. Is this just my imagination or will some people add other ingredients such as ginger? As I’ve looked online, all recipes seed to be very similar to this one, and I can’t find anything to suggest that ginger might be an additional ingredient.

    • Dim Sum Central

      Hi Keith, thanks for sharing your experience! This is definitely one of those comfort foods that have many regional variations, family secrets, etc. It wouldn’t surprise me if your vendor added a bit of ginger to add a further warming sensation to the soup. Dessert soups come in many different forms like red bean, sesame and walnut. There are ginger soups, too, of course, but you get the sense that many of these core ingredients can be mixed and matched. ~Wes

  2. Rock sugar is simply sugar! There is no difference, it’s all in your overly sweetened noggin’. 🙂 Think about it; regular “white sugar” is still a collection of very tiny sugar crystals, no different than the giant sugar crystals produced in rock sugar. I lived in China several years, am very familiar with being served rock sugar as my sweetener for tea and other food stuff.

    • Dim Sum Central

      Haha, thanks for your comment, Edward. I hear where you’re coming from, but there’s something about the Chinese rock sugar that gives the soup a certain flavor and texture. Can’t tell you exactly how, but I definitely notice when it’s missing. ~Wes

  3. Just made my first batch and came out perfectly! Super excited. Thanks!

Leave a Reply