Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Classic Cantonese dessert – Healthy Black Sesame Sweet Soup with Small Tangyuen

自製芝麻糊配小湯圓

Cantonese eat tong-sui/sweet soup all year round. Just like savoury soups, Cantonese cook tong-sui according to the season and body condition. In cold days, I prefer tong-sui in a thick consistence, black sesame soup is one of those thick sweet soups. Besides, almond soup and peanut soup are also classic Cantonese tong-sui.

The concept of healthy eating has been popularized in Cantonese regions for centuries. Black sesame is healthy or even considered super food in recent years. Traditional Chinese medicine has believed sesame, especially black sesame, can help to replenish blood and nourish hair.

In the old days, people would grate sesame seeds with long-grain rice using stone mill. Few dessert bistros would do it in this method nowadays. Read more about Tong-sui in my previous post, .Autumn Tong-sui, snow fungus, pear and sea coconut Cantonese sweet soup

In this homemade version, a helpful electric food processer would be good enough to blend sesame seeds smoothly and silky. Instead of using rice, rice flour is even quicker and easier. Some people would like to add some sweet rice dumplings in the soup but I prefer those small ones without fillings. Black sesame soup should be served hot. It would turn thicker when cool down so reheat it before serving.

Ingredients –
 Black sesame seeds, 1 cup
 White sesame seeds, half cup
 Rice flour, 4tbsp;
 Glutinous rice flour, half cup;
 Water, 4 cups
 Sugar, 2tbsp

The ingredients are simple. Sesame must be toasted before blending. Adding a little white sesame would help to judge if the black sesame seeds are toasted rightly. So a few tablespoons or half cup would be just fine.

How to do –
1. Put sesame in a big bowl and wash for several times, drained;

2. In a frying pan, oil unnecessary, stir-fry the sesame seeds in high heat till water dried out; then in medium high heat, keep stir-fry till white sesame turned light golden;

3. Put sesame seeds in a food processer, with one cup of water (250ml), blend till smooth, sift, keep the juice in a big bowl, then put the dregs back in the processer, with one cup of water, blend then sift again. I did it three times till the juice is very smooth and remove the dregs. There are 3 cups of sesame juice I have;

4. For thickening, Cantonese use long grain rice, or rice flour. Mix 4tbsp of rice flour with 1 cup of water, mix well then sift to remove small flour lumps;

5. Mix it with the sesame juice, pour all liquid in a pot, in medium heat, bring to boil and keep stirring till it’s boiling and smooth. Sweeten with about 1tbsp of fine sugar or 10g of rock sugar;

6. I love small rice dumplings, those without fillings, so I make some quickly. Mix a few tablespoons of warm water with half cup of glutinous rice flour, a nip of sugar to season. Add water slowly and mix with chopsticks till flour turns lump, then knead the dough with your hand;

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7. Roll to small balls, thumb fingernail size;

8. Bring a pot of water to boil, put in the dumplings, boil till float, then cook for 1 more minute, drained and put it on top of black sesame soup.

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