Cultural Tastes

Exploring the world of food, culture, and personal experience

February 17, 2013 Chinese Foods , ,

Black sesame pudding with Tangyuan (湯團芝麻糊)

A favorite Cantonese dessert of mine is black sesame pudding, which is incidentally also a favorite of my mother’s. This soup is a hot, sweet dish, usually rather thick, made of ground black sesame and often sweetened with some sugar.

Soup to warm up to

Soup to warm up to

Often, glutinous rice balls are added to the soup. These balls, called tangyuan, are soft and sticky, and are also filled with black sesame. Tangyuan actually have a long history in China, and have been eaten for at least a thousand years (since the Song Dynasty 960-1279 AD). Actually, tangyuan do not have to be eaten in soup, nor do they have to contain sesame inside- and is often thought of as a festival food item… it is a very flexible term, but in this case, I prefer it to be eaten with the pudding!

Delicious sweet center

Delicious sweet center

Black sesame is actually nutritious for you, as explained in this site. My mother said that it is good for the hair.

Although it may be a stretch to find it at a normal Chinese restaurant, most Cantonese-style dessert houses will have it. In Germany, I was able to find instant powder mixes at the local Asian shop. The tangyuan was bought separately in the frozen foods section.

Leave a comment