What is your favorite dressing? Mine is Japanese sesame dressing (胡麻和え – goma ae). This super easy dressing makes the most humble greens shine through.
I make this dressing all the time and pair it everything from spinach, broccoli, watercress, yu choi, and of course, broccolini.
Despite this broccolini sesame dressing recipe uses broccolini, feel free to pair this lovely goma ae with all sort of greens.
Goma Ae (Sesame Dressing)
The amount of dressing works for any one pound of vegetables.
You will need 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoon sugar, and 100 ml (6 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) dashi stock.
Don’t worry if you cannot find sesame seeds that are pre-roasted. You can easily toast them on a frying pan (as is, without any oil) over medium heat until fragrant and golden brown.
I have a slight intolerant to peanuts and all sort of nuts, so this sesame dressing is a God send to me 🙂 It is super nutty just like nuts, but completely nut-free!
Most of the times, broccolini comes with green tops and stalk bottoms. It is best if you can separate the greens from the stalks. I usually half or even quarter the stalks depending on how thick they are.
Not much needs to be done to the broccolini. Just boil a large pot of lightly salted water, then blanch for 2 minutes.
To retain the lovely green color of your vegetables, you must rinse in ample cold water and even soak in a large mixing bowl of cold water with ice cubes.
Once completely cool, gently squeeze and cut into bite sizes. Arrange the vegetables in a nice platter, and serve with the goma-ae.
If you love mochi and want a super quick recipe to curb your mochi craving, then you need to make this ASAP. You probably need less than 15 minutes from start to finish, and it is a good thing too since you may want to make another batch, and another batch.
This is a good recipe to learn, not only because it is super easy, but also because this ticks all the boxes if you have guests coming. Vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free; everyone will be able to sample your treats and you will be a hero!
School Days Memory
When I say mochi, I mean Chinese version, not Japanese version. Anyone growing up in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and probably most Asian countries will definitely have a very fond memory with this snack.
I remember fondly the mochi seller on a bicycle with his tin box on the passenger seat, selling mochi to hungry school kids. It’s definitely one of my favorite treats in school, and judging by the crowds, a lot of other kids too.
Being kids are fun, the hardest thing to decide is which treat to get for school breaks. 😀
Microwave, parchment paper, and a plastic knife
This mochi recipe is easy because your microwave is going to do everything for you. If you don’t have a microwave, you can go old school and steam your mochi.
But once you try using your microwave for making mochi, you kinda don’t want to go back to steaming again, ever.
Next little help is a piece of parchment paper. I turned my cooked mochi on this and it will be so much easier to handle because it won’t stick to your chopping block!
The same with using a plastic knife to cut the mochi, it’s just so much easier, trust me.
Be sure to wait for the mochi to cool slightly until they are warm and you can handle them comfortable with your hands. Then, proceed with coating them with the sesame seeds and sugar mixture.
Sesame seeds + sugar
Technically you can use all black sesame seeds, or all plain sesame seeds. But if you have both kinds stocked in your pantry, might as well use both since I think the color contrast is very pretty.
You can buy pre-toasted sesame seeds, but you can also toast them yourself. Just place the required amount on a frying pan, and heat on medium until the seeds start to jump a bit.
You may want to stir them every so often so the seeds are evenly toasted. Once toasted, simply use a food processor to grind them to powder, and then mix with sugar.
Allergic to sesame seeds?
If for whatever reason you cannot eat sesame seeds, then you can substitute with ground toasted peanuts. Another idea is to use roasted soybean flour (kinako), which you can get from Asian market selling Japanese ingredients.
Sesame seeds are super common in Asian desserts, and it is not surprising that we even have them as cookies.
I bake these black sesame seeds cookies annually to celebrate Chinese New Year, but they are great for just about any time of the year. If you love sesame seeds, definitely give these cookies a try.
Ingredients for black sesame seeds cookies
These cookies only use common ingredients. We will need black sesame seeds, all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, egg, ground almond, powdered sugar, and salt.
Black sesame seeds vs white sesame seeds
I use black sesame seeds to bake these cookies. I generally prefer black sesame seeds in my dessert since I find them more fragrant compared to plain sesame seeds. But if all you have at home is the plain version, don’t hesitate to bake these cookies with plain sesame seeds.
Whole seeds vs. ground seeds
In this recipe, we use 40 grams of toasted black sesame seeds. You have two options on how you want to incorporate them into the dough:
You get delicious cookies regardless of your choice, but visually option 2 is prettier since you can still detect whole black sesame seeds in the final cookies.
Step-by-step to bake sesame seeds cookies
Mix all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, ground almond, and ground black sesame seeds.
Add chilled butter cubes, use a pastry blender (or 2 butter knives) and mix until the dough is crumbly.
Add whole black sesame seeds and egg yolk, mix and form into dough.
Cut into two portions, shape each portion into a log (or a block) of 6 inch long. Wrap each log/block with saran plastic, and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut each log of cookie dough into 24 pieces (each piece is 1/4 inch thick). If you bake the whole recipe at once, you get 48 cookies in total. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are brown..
Cool the cookies in the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Gently remove the cookies and cool on wire rack. Once the cookies are completely cool, store in airtight containers.
These black sesame seeds cookies fall into the category of icebox cookies. So once you form the dough, you can shape it into a log (most typical shape). If you don’t feel like baking the cookies now, you can refrigerate the cookie dough log(s) for up to 3 days!
When you feel like baking them, remove the log(s) from your fridge and cut into thin 1/4 inch slices. The most convenient is to shape the cookie dough into 6 inch logs. One log should be cut into 24 slices of 1/4 inch thick slice each.
There are endless varieties to Chinese bakery bread, and they come in endless variety of shapes too. In this post, I am sharing another one of my all time favorite, black sesame seeds bread in super pretty spiral shape.
If you are thinking of gifting somebody a baked good, you can be sure the receiver of this black sesame seeds bread will be in awe. Of course, you will want to bake this all the time for your own enjoyment too.
Black sesame seeds filling
To me, black sesame seeds are tastier than regular sesame seeds, especially in desserts and baked good such as bread. And the black sesame seeds filling is one of the easiest filling ever, you only need two ingredients in equal amount:
black sesame seeds, toasted and ground
regular granulated sugar
Typically, I only fill each bread roll with 1 tablespoon of filling. And since this recipe yields 12 rolls, I prepare 12 tablespoon of black sesame seeds, meaning 6 tablespoon black sesame seeds and 6 tablespoon sugar.
If you want your bread to be bursting with black sesame seeds goodness, feel free to increase the amount of filling as needed.
How to shape the bread into spirals
When I am not lazy, I love shaping my bread into pretty or cute shapes. One of my most favorite shape is the spiral bread roll.
The spiral shape looks super pretty and complicated, but it is actually quite easy to pull of, and here’s how to do it.
Roll bread dough into an oblong.
Add filling, in this case, brush with melted butter and about 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds filling.
Fold in half lengthwise and pinch to fully encase the filling.
Make 2 long slits, then grab the ends with your hands and twirl a couple of time, and connect the two ends to create a spiral shape.
If the written explanation gets you nowhere, I hope the shot by shot photo guide can do a much better job.
Proofing, egg wash, and black sesame seeds sprinkles
Once you have shaped and arranged the bread rolls in a 9″ cake pan, cover this with a wet kitchen towel or a saran wrap.
Let the dough proof until the volume is doubled. You should see that the bread dough completely fills the pan at this stage.
Then apply an egg wash to get that shiny Chinese bakery style look on your bread, and if you wish, you can also add some black sesame seeds sprinkles.
How long does it take to bake the bread
I wish I can give you the exact time you need to bake this bread, or any other bread that I have in my bread recipes collection.
I state in the recipe that it needs about 20-25 minutes, but sometimes, you need 25-30 minutes, and sometimes, you better be damn sure to grab that pan of bread out once it hit 20 minutes.
When it comes to bread, I find that it is better to slightly err on the short cooking time as long as the bread is fully cooked then err on the long cooking time since bread that bakes for too long tends to become hard and dry.
Also, as you learn to understand the quirks of your oven, you will become better and better at judging the time it needs to get that perfect bread. Have fun!
Chinese black sesame soup (黑芝麻糊) is one of many Chinese desserts that falls into the category of sweet soup (糖水 – tong sui). With both sides of my grandparents being Cantonese, this dessert makes regular appearances in our family table.
It is now rather common for people to buy canned black sesame powder to make this dessert instead of starting with whole roasted black sesame seeds. I prefer making everything from scratch since it’s not difficult and I get to control what I put into the soup.
This easy three-ingredient soup is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free. Pretty awesome right as far as dessert goes? 😍
Ingredients for Chinese black sesame soup
This is a very simple soup with only three ingredients: black sesame seeds, glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. The photo shows the exact products I use to prepare this soup at home.
Black sesame seeds
You can use either roasted black sesame seeds or plain (unroasted) black sesame seeds. You should be able to easily find packets of roasted black sesame seeds in a Chinese/Asian market. My neighborhood Asian market carries at least three different brands, each with a multitude of different sizes to choose from.
When you are using a newly open packet of roasted black sesame seeds, you can get away with skipping the roasting portion for the black sesame seeds.
If your packet of roasted black sesame seeds is more than 1 week old, or when you start with plain unroasted black sesame seeds, you will need to roast the black sesame seeds first. I will describe how to do this later.
Glutinous rice flour
The function of glutinous rice flour is to thicken the soup. You can also use rice flour (the one with a red label instead of the green label) for this soup, though I prefer the one with glutinous rice flour.
I use Chinese rock sugar when I make Chinese sweet soup. Rock sugar is not as sweet as regular granulated sugar. You can substitute rock sugar with regular sugar, but please half the amount so your soup doesn’t end up too sweet.
Step-by-step to prepare Chinese black sesame soup
1. Toast black sesame seeds
Place black sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as needed and increase the stirring frequency near the end. You will know that the sesame seeds are ready when they start to pop.
Immediately transfer the seeds to a cool plate/bowl. Properly toasted black sesame seeds have a fresh nutty fragrance, and they shatter easily when you press with your fingers.
By the way, you can use this exact method too to toast white sesame seeds.
2. Grind black sesame seeds
Wait until the sesame seeds are at least warm to touch. Transfer them into a food processor and pulverize into a fine powder.
A powerful food processor can grind the seeds into a very fine powder. Since the smoothness of the soup depends on the fineness of your black sesame powder, using a powerful food processor will help.
3. Toast glutinous rice flour
Place glutinous rice flour in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as needed and increase the stirring frequency near the end. Toast until the flour is lightly toasted with a light brown color.
4. Cook the soup
Boil a pot of water. Stir in black sesame seeds powder, toasted glutinous rice flour, and rock sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a whisk to stir until all the sugar melts and the soup is thick and smooth.
For an even smoother soup, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to further puree the soup.
Serving, storing, and reheating
There are two ways to serve this soup, as is, or with sticky rice balls (tang yuan). I love the soup as is, though it will be more filling and more satisfying with some boiled sticky rice balls.
If you wish to make sticky rice balls, please follow my savory tang yuan recipe and prepare the tang yuan portion of the recipe.
You can store any leftover of the black sesame soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Simply reheat in a microwave when you wish to enjoy the soup. If the soup has become too thick during storage, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin the soup.