Black Sesame Rolls

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  • 2/3 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water chestnut powder
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


  1. Toast sesame seeds in a skillet over low heat until fragrant. Place in a blender or food processor and blend 5 minutes, occasionally scraping sides. Add oil and puree 5 minutes, or until mixture resembles soft peanut butter.
  2. Add 1 cup of water. Process until paste dissolves.
  3. Add remaining water, sugar, water chestnut powder and cornstarch. Process until blended.
  4. Pour batter into a large bowl.
  5. Fill the bottom of a steamer with water and bring to a boil. Place steamer basket on top. Lightly oil a heavy-duty cake or loaf pan that will fit into the steamer basket.
  6. Pour batter in a thin layer into the pan. Place pan in steamer and steam 4 minutes or until mixture is set. Remove and cool.
  7. Loosen sides with a spatula, then roll up lengthwise. Place seam-side down on a lightly oiled plate or pan. Repeat steaming process with remaining batter, stirring batter and oiling the pan each time.
  8. Slice rolls into 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature. Rolls may be refrigerated, but steam to soften before serving.

Water chestnut powder is available at Asian markets.

Source: Classic Deem Sum by Henry Chan and Yukiko and Bob Haydock