Sunday, February 26, 2006

Eastern Delights: Black Sesame Sweet Soup & Red Bean Nian Gao

I am a fan of Chinese Tongshui (sweet soup) too. Black Sesame Paste (Hak Zi Ma Wu) is another classic tongshui, just not so common in KL. I usually have my fix in Hong Kong.
Anyway, I recently found a simple and easy recipe for it so I gave it a try.
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Verdict: Passable but no where as good as those found in Hong Kong. Still worth a try though. Recipe below.

Then, I discovered another gem of a recipe. Red Bean Nian Gao (Glutinous Rice Cake). I know Chinese New Year was way over but who says that there must always be an occasion for everything? Definitely not so, in my books.
The uniqueness of this recipe is that it is quick, fast and baked (instead of the usual labourous steaming method).
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Verdict: Ultra yummi-licious! Especially when just baked. The outer layer is very crispy (as if it was pan-fried) and fragrant while the inside remains soft and chewy (but not sticky chewy). Would definitely be making this again. Maybe I will substitute with Lotus Paste next time.

Black Sesame Paste Tongshui (Hak Zi Ma Wu) Recipe
(Apx 4 bowls)
- 100g dry-roasted black sesame (I toast it in the oven till fragrant)
- 750ml milk/water
- 1/2 sugar (adjust according to your taste)
- Thickening: Corn Starch/Potato Starch mixed in a little bit of water

1. Put the black sesame and milk/water in a blender. Pulse until paste-like.
2. Transfer to a pot and add sugar.
3. Cook over low/med fire. Stir at all times.
4. When it starts to simmer, add thickening until it reaches the consistency that you prefer.
5. Serve hot.
* Be careful when watching the fire to ensure that the tongsui remains liquidy paste-like at all times.


gina said...

viv, Black Sesame paste is not easy to make. and to get that nice consistency of creamy smooth paste is not using cornstarch. You need to add Calrose Rice(which is a kind of short grain rice) to blend with the seeds. Then slowly simmer it till it thickens.

Siquek said...

hi, would you be able to post up the recipe for the nian gao? I can;t seem to access the link given

myCoffee said...

Recipe for Red Bean Nian Gao:

Ingredients ~
1 lb (500g) glutinous rice flour
2 1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 can (15 oz) red bean paste

Method ~
Preheat oven at 180C.
Grease a 9 x 13-in pan. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients, except red bean paste.
Beat the mixture with a beater, mixing well.
Pour 3/4 of the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, put spoonfuls of red bean paste all over the baked batter.
Cover the remaining 1/4 of the batter on top of the red bean paste & continue to bake for 30 to 50 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Dip into beaten eggs and pan-fry.

Violet said...

Try this recipe for BLACK SESAME SOUP.

i think you'll find it more authentic. I've never had it so I'd have nothing to compare it to. Please let me know what you think of it if you try it.

Anonymous said...

thanks violet! i just tried the recipe from the link you provided. I been trying to make the authentic version of this dessert for the longest time. I tried it twice before using rice and it just didnt work for me. This time, following the same recipe I made some changes from past recipes I have found. I used a strainer after grinding seeds and rice. I had to use a soup spoon to press it in. Took some work, but it makes a big difference. I just gradually added water if it was too thick. Also, I used brown rock sugar instead. Much healthier! My mother's secret recipe in giving her kids great skin was this popular dessert! thanks, now i can pass this on to my kids.
p.s. I slow cooked in for two hours for a better consistentcy. Ive seen someone use a slow cooker before. I will try that next time.