Lotus Seed Paste
- Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
- Prep Time: 2 days
- Cook Time: 2.5 hours
- Total Time: 6 minute
- Yield: Makes about 2 cups
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Chinese
How to make homemade Lotus Seed Paste for use in Asian breads and cakes. Recipe with step-by-step photos.
- 200 g (7 ounces) dried lotus seeds
- 150 g (2/3 cup) caster sugar, or to taste
- pinch of fine salt
- 100 g sunflower oil (or another flavourless oil)
To soak the lotus seeds
- Place the dried lotus seeds into a large bowl.
- Cover the seeds generously with cold water.
- Leave the seeds to soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
To cook the lotus seeds
- Drain the lotus seeds.
- If the lotus seeds have a green germ in the centre, you will need to remove them from every seed.
- Place the soaked lotus seeds into a large pot and fill it with cold water. I like to cook the seeds in a lot of water, so I cover the seeds with at least 5-10 cm depth of water.
- Bring the pot to the boil, and then turn it down to a medium simmer.
- Top up with boiling water every 30 minutes or so to keep the water level constant.
- Cook the lotus seeds for about 2 hours on the stove. Alternatively, if you have a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, you can cook the lotus seeds on high pressure for about 15-20 minutes.
- The lotus seeds are cooked when the seeds can be easily mashed with a fork. If you taste a cooked seed, it should be very soft with no bite.
To purée the lotus seeds
- Drain the cooked lotus seeds.
- Place the cooked seeds into the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the sugar and salt.
- Blitz until you have a very smooth purée. If the mixture is too thick, add a dash of water until you can blend easily. The texture should be like a wet hummus.
To cook the lotus seed paste
- Scrape the mixture into a large non-stick pan.
- Start cooking the paste over medium-high heat.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the paste so that the moisture can evaporate from the mixture.
- As you stir, add about a tablespoon of the oil at a time.
- Keep stirring until the oil is well-incorporated into the paste.
- Once the mixture has emulsified, add some more oil.
- Continue until all of the oil has been added.
- Once all of the oil has been added, continue stirring the mixture so that it can thicken.
- Eventually, the goal is to be able to fold the paste from the outer-edges into the centre until the paste is a little firm and can hold its shape. By this stage, the paste will resemble a very soft cookie dough.
- Be careful to not over-cook the paste as it can burn, or it can split, i.e. the paste will separate and look grainy. If this happens, it’s probably too late to rescue the paste, but you can try by adding a splash of water and mixing everything together furiously.
- Transfer the paste to a large bowl and let it cool completely. The paste will firm up more as it cools.
- If you are making this paste ahead of time, you can keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge for several days.