Black Sesame Pudding

Black sesame seed mousse and a matcha Pandan cream.
Black sesame seed pudding layered with a matcha Pandan cream. Getty Images/Alan Spedding
    15 mins
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This scrumptious Asian dessert is low-fat, low-carb, vegan, and gluten-free. While black sesame seeds are naturally sweet and have a deliciously unique flavor, they are also very healthy, being an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, protein, and essential fatty acids (EFA), helping to keep your skin and hair soft. Thai influence on this traditional Chinese dessert can be found in the addition of coconut milk and peanuts.

In Thailand and other parts of Southeast-Asia, puddings like this one are often referred to as "dessert soups" or "gruel", as they are much thinner in texture than a Western-style pudding. However, you can make yours thicker, if you prefer, by adding more arrowroot powder or cornstarch (dissolved in water).

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What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts (or substitute almonds, cashews, or other nuts)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, or more according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
  • Coconut milk, dry shredded coconut, and/or ground peanuts (or other nuts) for garnish

How to Make It

  1. Heat water with salt added in a pot over medium-high heat.
  2. While water is heating: using a coffee grinder, grind the sesame seeds well (to clean out coffee grinder, simply wipe with a dry cloth). The ground seeds should become a little oily and almost look like a paste when you're done grinding (about 1 minute).
  3. Add the ground sesame seeds to the hot salted water and stir, mixing the seeds well into the water.
  1. Using your same grinder again, grind up the nuts to a fine consistency. Add to the pot as well and stir.
  2. Bring the sesame-nut water to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Optional step: At this point, the pudding can be strained (as they do in Asia) to get rid of the little bits of nut and sesame. However, you may omit this step if you wish to keep the added fiber in your diet (and also, this bit of grittiness adds texture to the dessert). If you do choose to strain the dessert, pour the strained sesame-nut water back into the pot and discard the grounds.
  4. With the pudding still placed over medium to low heat, add the sugar, vanilla, coconut cream/milk, and the arrowroot/cornstarch powder dissolved in water. Stir continuously. The dessert should thicken within a minute or two.
  5. Do a taste test for sweetness, adding a little more brown sugar if needed.
  6. To serve, pour into dessert cups or bowls while still warm and sprinkle with a little dry shredded coconut or some ground peanuts. An extra swirl of coconut milk can also be added.
  7. This dessert is normally served warm, but it is also very good served cold on a warm day. To store, keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat before serving.