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Niche Topics (Food and Drinks) offers a large collection of delicious food and drink
recipes to help you decide what to cook, whether it’s a family dinner, lunchbox for
the kids, or entertaining friends at home. Each recipe promises a completely different
taste experience, and all are really easy-to-make.
Try the best pandan chiffon cake recipe for a moist, light and fluffy "melt-in-your-mouth"
texture. Include troubleshooting tips.
Homemade Lotus Paste
While store-bought lotus seed paste saves time and hassle, it can sometimes be so
tooth-achingly sweet that it overshadows the rest of the ingredients. Making your
own lotus paste from scratch allows you to adjust the amount of sugar according to
your taste and usage.
This simple-to-make low sugar lotus paste recipe boast subtly sweet and silky smooth
texture. And, you can also make your homemade white lotus seed paste come alive with
a wide array of dazzling additions – pandan juice, green tea powder, mocha, chocolate
and even lavender.
If you want the paste to be "somewhat" healthy and less sweet, further reduce sugar
amount according to your desired taste or substitute with artificial sweeteners such
as SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener.
Aside from moon cakes, you can use this lotus paste recipe as fillings for buns,
breads, dim sum, and many other Asian pastries.
Before we start, let me talk about alkaline water and maltose, just in case you aren't
familiar with them.
Alkaline water, also known as lye water or Kan Sui in Cantonese, is an ingredient
used in Asian cooking for making traditional cakes and cooking noodles. It's colorless
and usually added as part of the recipe in very small amounts to help break down
the gluten. Lye water cost very little and is available in most Asian grocery stores.
If you can't get hold of alkaline water, don't bother to find a substitute and forget
about making it with a pinch of baking soda diluted with water – you can simply leave
Also called malt sugar, maltose is commonly used in a variety of Chinese sweets (confectionery
products). This thick, sticky malt syrup can be found in the same supermarket aisle
where you find your baking ingredients. And, don't even think of using honey in place
of maltose. It just doesn't taste right.
You might have also heard something about steaming instead of boiling the lotus seeds
will retain more flavor, but I disagree. The cooking water will be used along with
cooked lotus seeds when you blend, and this makes your homemade lotus paste really
smooth. Steaming will not give great results – the lotus paste tends to be dry and
If you are not going to use your homemade lotus seed paste right away, store it in
an air-tight food container and then brush some vegetable oil (peanut oil or corn
oil is good) over to prevent it from turning moldy. It keeps well at room temperature
for 1-2 days. Any longer than that, you have to store it in the refrigerator.
Homemade Lotus Seed Paste Recipe
(Makes 16, about 110g each)
600 grams lotus seeds with skin
½ tablespoon alkaline water (about 7 grams)
4 cups water
500 grams white sugar
2½ cups peanut oil (groundnut oil)
1 tablespoon maltose (about 15 grams)
How to make lotus seed paste
1. Wash lotus seeds thoroughly. Add to a deep saucepan or pot, and fill up with enough
water to cover. Heat and bring it to a boil.
2. When it begins to boil, add alkaline water and let boil for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain.
3. Add cold water and rub off the lotus seed skins. Also, remove the bitter green
centers if any.
Note: skip steps 1, 2 and 3 if using lotus seeds without skin.
4. Using the same saucepan, pour in water and cleaned lotus seeds. Boil until lotus
seeds are soft and tender, and cooked through.
5. Blend the lotus seeds (and cooking water) in an electric blender until very smooth.
6. Heat up a wok or a non-stick frying pan, melt half the sugar amount until it turns
7. Add lotus paste and cook until it thickens, stirring constantly.
8. Then add remaining sugar and oil, a little at a time. Cook until thick and then
stir in maltose. Mix well and continue to stir until lotus paste leaves the sides
of your wok.
9. To test for doneness, use a knife to slice a lump of cooled lotus seed paste.
If it comes out clean, the paste is of the right consistency.
By Justina Lee
I usually buy ready-made lotus paste from bakery shops to use as fillings for Chinese
pastries, but they're often way too sweet for my liking. Can you give me a really
smooth homemade lotus seed paste recipe which I can make easily and use it for mooncakes.
A low sugar version would be great! – Felicia, Malaysia.