Food & Wine

Nutritious sweet black sesame soup

Updated: 13 Oct 2009
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Sweet dessert soups (Tong shui), play a significant role in Cantonese cuisine. Black Sesame Soup is made with black sesame seeds, rumored to help prevent gray hair (the soup is sometimes simply called "grow hair soup”). This is because the seeds contain sesamin and sesamolin, two substances that help strengthen the blood and liver. Serve the warm soup for dessert or as a snack.
1 cup rice (long grain or short grain)
1 cup black sesame seeds
7 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
Boiling water as needed, depending on how thick or thin you want the soup
1. Soak the rice in cold water for at least 1 hour.

2. Toast the black sesame seeds in a frying pan on medium low heat for 1 - 2 minutes, until they are fragrant and the pan begins to smoke. Remove and cool.

3. Drain the rice and add to a blender with 3 cups water. Blend until smooth. Remove and clean out the blender.

4. Grind the sesame seeds in the blender until they are fully ground and the sesame smell is very fragrant. Add 1/2 cup water and grind briefly until the mixture forms a grayish paste.
5. Add the blended rice/water mixture to the sesame paste and blend.

6. In a large saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil with 3 1/2 cups water and the sugar. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly (5 – 8 minutes). Note: Be sure to stir constantly or there will be splattering and the pot may burn. Add boiling water to the soup as desired, depending on how thick or thin you want the soup. Serve warm.


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