Black sesame has a deep, complex, nutty and bittersweet flavor that is great in both sweet and savory foods. Check out these black sesame recipes for their bittersweet but delicious
💭 What is Black Sesame?
The unhulled version of white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds (黑芝麻馅 Hei Zhi Ma Xian in Chinese/ 黒ごま kurogoma in Japanese) are less sweet and more crunchy than its white counterpart. They're also more fragrant, which is why we see them used in desserts more often. (I love them in my sushi bakes!)
They contain lots of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals such as zinc, fibre, iron, magnesium, calcium and (good) fats! Best of all, it has a bold, nutty and complex flavor that is perfect in Asian desserts. Pretty much a powerhouse of flavor!
You can find it in original seed form (roasted and non-toasted), as a powder or a paste from most Asian supermarkets or online.
Non-toasted seeds last the longest and give you more flexibility as you can easily blitz it into a powder or blend it into a paste when you want to use it. (Do remember to dry-fry beforehand to enhance the aroma!)
Once you know how to make your own black sesame thick paste, you can use it in anything from Chinese glutinous rice balls to lattes and ice cream!
Black Sesame's earthy, deep and nutty flavor that helps to balance out sweetness, and is the perfect dessert flavor for people who don't like overly-sweet snacks. Kind of like a grown-up treat!
The taste of black sesame also complements chocolate, vanilla and creamy ingredients such as cream cheese and butter well. (Hence all the black sesame shortbreads and cheesecakes out there!)
Another common flavor pairing is with matcha green tea powder, as both have an earthy flavor.
📋 How to Use
Black sesame can be used in both savory and sweet recipes, either for the flavor or to add texture.
Scroll down for the recipes!
Black sesame tofu is a Japanese side dish traditionally served at the beginning of a Buddhist meal. You can find it in grocery stores in Japan but it's not common outside of the country.
Thankfully, it's very easy to make at home with just 8 ingredients! (4 of which are for the sauce!)
Toasted Black Sesame Seeds can also be used as a garnish for savory recipes, such as pan-fried teriyaki salmon or these baked turnips.
This under-30 minute recipe which only requires 8 ingredients is the perfect noodle dish for busy weeknight dinners!
With broccoli and a made-from-scratch sauce, it's also good for you!
🍦No Bake Desserts
Black Sesame Sweet Soup
These sweet rice balls made from Glutinous Rice Flour are associated with the Lantern Festival. The round shape symbolises reunion
I like mine oozing with black sesame filling, but red bean paste is a popular choice too.
This black sesame brittle only requires 3 ingredients (no corn syrup!) and is full of nutty, delicious flavor.
No-churn Ice Cream
This is an easy no-churn, 5-ingredient recipe but do remember to leave at least 6 hours for it to chill in the freezer. Now you can skip the expensive Japanese restaurant and recreate this popular Japanese ice cream flavor at home!
No-churn ice-creams usually use condensed or evaporate milk, which can make the ice cream overly sweet. However, the bold nuttiness of the black sesame balance the sugar out perfectly!
This pretty, no-bake cheesecake only takes about 15 minutes to make, if you have your black sesame paste at-hand (but 3 hours to chill!)
Note: if you don't have gelatine, you can swap out for agar agar powder. Don't forget to use pasteurised eggs, since this a no-bake recipe!
When I used to sell vegan chocolates, black sesame was 1 of the flavors I experimented with. (They went together really well, with a hint of soy sauce to add some umami!)
As I'm not ready to share my recipe yet, here is another black sesame truffle recipe from Love and Olive oil. Super easy and delicious, these 5-ingredient chocolates are the perfect gift for Valentine's-Galentine's Day!
🍪 Baked Treats
This twisty, yeasted Babka-esque bread uses black sesame paste to create beautiful swirls in the dough, and will be sure to awe your guests! (Click here for how to make your own sesame paste.)
Another recipe that uses black sesame paste, these scrumptious 8-ingredient cookies have a toasty, sweet but savory flavor and a beautiful ripple pattern.
Black sesame is a popular flavor in Chinese and Japanese desserts. If you like the chewy texture of glutinous rice flour, you'll love these mochi donuts!
Note: not a donut fan? Make black sesame mochi muffins instead!
These vegan decadent 7-ingredient brownies are made for tahini lovers. Not just tasty, they're also good for the Earth!
Note: you will require a few unusual ingredients such as raw cacao powder and coconut sugar though!
Which of these scrumptious black sesame recipes was your favorite? Personally, I like black sesame tang yuan the best!
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