Zhīma Tāngyuán (Black Sesame Dumplings)

Zhīma Tāngyuán (Black Sesame Dumplings)

Enjoy some dumplings made with sweet black sesame paste and mochi and served in hot ginger soup. This might not be the authentic recipe, since I made from memory. These are called "zhīma tāngyuán" in Chinese!

Ingredients: 12 dumplings (approximately 1,217 kcal)

<For the Ginger Soup>
30 g
700 ml
a pinch
<For the Sweet Sesame Paste>
Ground black sesame seeds
50 g
35 g
Soft light brown sugar
20 g
<For the Dumplings>
100 g
Tapioca starch
20 g
White sugar
1 teaspoon
70-80 ml
1/2 teaspoon


1. <To prepare the ginger soup>Rinse the skin of the ginger well, then roughly chop it up. Put the water and the soft light brown sugar in a pot, then simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add a pinch of nutmeg. After 2-3 minutes, strain the mixture through a fine strainer.
3. Put the strained soup back into the pot.
4. <To prepare the sweet sesame paste>Put the sesame seeds, soft light brown sugar, and lard into a bowl.
5. Mix the sugar and sesame seeds first, then mix in the lard.
6. The lard should gradually soften, bringing the mixture together.
7. This is how the mixture should look.
8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill it for an hour in the fridge.
9. <To prepare the dumplings> In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and sugar.
10. Add water and mix until the dough comes together. Now add the lard (adjust the amount of water according to the type of flour)
11. When the dough becomes glossy, roll it out into a log. Divide it into twelve equal portions.
12. Roll each portion into a ball.
13. Remove the hardened black sesame paste from the fridge. Separate the paste into twelve equal portions, then roll into balls.
14. <To shape the dough> Press the dumpling dough between your thumb and index finger to stretch out the ball. Don't use a rolling pin since it will stick.
15. Cover the ball of sesame paste with the flattened dough. Pinch the seams, then flip it over. Don't worry about the wrinkles; just lightly tap them with your finger to get rid of them.
16. Stretch the dough over the sesame paste, and seal the seams. The professional method is to fold the dough over evenly, but I'm no professional.
17. It looks pretty nice, doesn't it? Now, boil these dumplings for 3 minutes in a generous amount of hot water.
18. The dumpling on the left has been boiled. It appears more translucent compared to the one on the right. The black sesame paste is slightly visible.
19. Heat the ginger soup, then add the boiled dumplings.
20. Dish 'em up, then serve! Enjoy them while they're hot!

Story Behind this Recipe

I heard you're supposed to use tapioca pastry in the authentic recipe, but I couldn't find it in the store. Instead, I used mochiko and tapioca starch flour, since those ingredients are more common. I want to learn how to make them look nicer.