Q: Can I use an electric steamer instead of the traditional bamboo steamer and charcoal fire?
A: Yes, you can use an electric steamer, though the traditional method may impart a unique flavor.
Q: How crucial is the sun-drying process in this recipe?
A: Sun-drying is essential as it helps to naturally remove some of the outer shells of the sesame seeds, changing their color and enhancing their flavor.
Q: Is there an alternative to manually grinding the black sesame seeds?
A: A food processor or a high-powered blender can be used instead of a manual grinding method. However, care should be taken not to overheat the seeds.
Q: Can I replace honey with another sweetener?
A: Honey is preferred for its texture and health benefits, but you can use alternatives like maple syrup or agave, though the flavor and consistency might slightly differ.
Traditional Nine-Times Steamed and Sun-Dried Black Sesame Pills
- Black sesame seeds: 500g
- Honey: 75g
- Sunlight: 9 days
- Patience: a lot
- Wash black sesame seeds to remove impurities. Preferably use a bamboo steamer and steam for 2-3 hours after the water boils.
- Steam the sesame seeds using traditional methods like a charcoal fire, if possible.
- Start steaming early in the morning, and expose the steamed seeds to sunlight until sunset. Check the weather forecast to ensure sunny conditions for effective sun-drying.
- After nine cycles of steaming and sun-drying, the sesame seeds will partially shed their outer shells and turn brown.
- Grind the treated black sesame seeds into a powder.
- Use a blender on the milkshake setting to grind the sesame until it releases oil and becomes a paste. Use a pulsing method to avoid overheating.
- Gently heat honey until small bubbles form. Test by dropping a bit into cold water; if it solidifies, it's ready.
- Mix the warm honey into the sesame paste.
- Stir until the honey is fully absorbed and integrated.
- Once the mixture reaches the right consistency, start shaping it.
- Form the mixture into balls, approximately 10g each.
- Wrap each ball in foil and store at room temperature, sealed. They should last for up to 3 months.
- Photograph your beautiful black sesame pills!
- The final product should have a soft, non-greasy texture with a slightly sour, slightly bitter aftertaste, and a rich sesame flavor. Optionally, add nuts or dried fruits as desired.
- Rich in antioxidants
- Good source of healthy fats and fiber
- Contains calcium, magnesium, and iron
- Energy-boosting properties