Black Sesame Soup (黑芝麻糊)

5 from 2 votes
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This sweet and nutty black sesame soup makes a surprisingly delicious and nutritious dessert to cap off an Asian-themed meal! {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Homemade sesame soup

In China, it’s very popular to have little dessert dumplings that are filled with black sesame cream. You will also see the filling served as a black sesame soup. Americans are used to soup at the start of a meal. And they’re typically savory.

But this black sesame soup is sweet and eaten like a dessert. It sometimes comes packaged in powdered form. And you can simply add hot water and have it any time. I grew up eating it and it’s one of my favorite comfort foods.

Creamy sweet black sesame soup


I would love to introduce you to my homemade version of black sesame soup. It doesn’t have any additives so all you’re getting is fresh ingredients. In fact, there are only three of them! All it takes is glutinous rice, black sesame seeds, and brown sugar, and you can make this all from scratch.

NOTE: If you do not have glutinous rice, you can replace it with regular rice. It will alter the texture of the soup slightly, but is just as tasty.

Toasted sesame seeds vs. raw sesame seeds

You can use either kind. But if you use raw sesame seeds, you’ll need to toast them longer so they are fully cooked through. It usually takes about 10 minutes on the stovetop over medium-low heat using a large nonstick skillet, so you can spread out the sesame seeds into a thin layer. You will hear the sesame seeds popping and sizzling as they’re cooked. 

NOTE: Toasting the sesame seeds too much will result in a mild bitterness. If using toasted sesame seeds, you only need to heat them up to release the fragrance.

Chinese black sesame soup served in bowls

Cooking process

All you need to do is:

  1. Soak the glutinous rice (minimum 4 hours, up to overnight)
  2. Toast the sesame seeds
  3. Blend the rice and sesame seeds together with water
  4. Boil everything with sugar on the stovetop until the texture thickens

When all is said and done, you’ll have a very smooth and creamy textured soup. It has a sweet and nutty flavor that will pleasantly surprise you (consider it a Chinese-version of PB and J!). And the best part? It’s very healthy and nourishing while satisfying that need for sweetness. 

How to serve

You can serve the black sesame soup as a dessert at the end of a Chinese meal. Although I just love to have it for a snack in the middle of the day.

My favorite way to eat it is hot, right after it’s finished cooking, though you can serve it at room temperature or cold as well.

Chinese black sesame soup

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This sweet and nutty black sesame soup makes a surprisingly delicious and nutritious dessert to cap off an Asian-themed meal! {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Black Sesame Soup (黑芝麻糊)

5 from 2 votes
This sweet and nutty black sesame soup makes a surprisingly delicious and nutritious dessert to cap off an Asian-themed meal! {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: comfort food
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Soaking time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings (yield 5 cups of soup)


  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) glutinous rice
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) toasted black sesame seeds (*See Footnote 1)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste) (*See Footnote 2)


Soak the rice ahead

  • Soak the glutinous rice for 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.


  • Add the sesame seeds to a large skillet. Shake the pan so the seeds are spread out in a thin layer. Toast over medium heat until you can smell the fragrance, 2 to 3 minutes. (*Footnote 3)
  • Drain the soaked glutinous rice and transfer it to a blender, along with the toasted sesame seeds and 2 cups of water. Blend until it forms a very smooth soup, 1 minute in a Vitamix, or up to 3 minutes in a blender.
  • Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized saucepan. Add 3 cups of water. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Stir constantly during the whole process to prevent the bottom from sticking (*Footnote 4). When the soup starts to boil, turn to medium-low heat and add the sugar. Stir to melt the sugar and taste the soup. Adjust the seasoning by adding more sugar, if needed. The soup is ready to serve now. If you want the soup to be thicker, simmer it over low heat until it reaches desired consistency.
  • Enjoy the soup hot, warm, or at room temperature.


  • Store the leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months. The soup might separate in the fridge. Stir and reheat it in the microwave before serving.


  1. If you cannot find toasted black sesame seeds, you can use raw black sesame seeds. You will need to toast them for longer.
  2. You can use other sweeteners if you prefer. Rock sugar is a great alternative. Regular white sugar also works.
  3. If you’re using raw sesame seeds, toast them in a pan over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the seeds start popping (you can hear the sound).
  4. It’s very important to stir constantly when boiling the soup. The texture will thicken when it heats up and cause spilling and the bottom to burn unless stirred.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 19.2g, Protein: 3.9g, Fat: 9.4g, Saturated Fat: 1.3g, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 108mg, Fiber: 2.3g, Sugar: 8.8g, Calcium: 192mg, Iron: 3mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

More Chinese dessert recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Doreen says:

    How much glutinous rice does this recipe calls for?

    • Maggie says:

      2 tablespoons (30 grams)

  2. Wenbo says:

    Hi Maggie, can we substitute sweet glutinous rice for glutinous rice flour? Thanks!!

    • Maggie says:

      I don’t recommend glutinous rice flour. I’ve tried that and the taste was not good (the flour has a gritty raw taste). I recommend to replace the glutinous rice with regular rice. It works much better than the flour.

  3. Sigrun says:

    5 stars
    thank you for the recipe. It’s delicious and so easy to make. I had two helpings already and will be making it again.

  4. Amy says:

    5 stars
    Made this twice! Delicious!

  5. Christine says:

    I try the recipe this morning. I use only 2/3 of the water but it already is very watery and I had to thicken it for a rather long time. Do you know why?

    • Helena says:

      I tried it with glutinous rice flower and as Maggie mentioned, it is probably best to use sweet glutinous rice flower instead. I got a very runny consistency and it didn’t taste good.

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