Friday, September 21, 2012

The making of lotus paste with love

I love figuring out how pastry, or rather how comfort food is done. It is an enjoyment and fulfilled my curiosity how these comes about. In the process, I am amazed how much ingredients is used to make them. I usually source the recipes from blogs and recipe books. Some that I did passed with flying colours, some are just not up to the mark. (Most probably due to the modification I made)

The latest craze I have is to make snow skin mooncake since I do not have oven. Well, my first attempt actually failed. My snowskin is too oily and very much like a melted playdough. I substituted shortening with butter and probably in the wrong proportion too. Later, I got to know butter has a lower melting point that shortening and hence, it is not quite possible for it to maintain solid form in the room temperature. However, I did read from one blogger who actually did succeed making them using olive oil. (This is also liquid in room temperature ) So, that sets me thinking hard. I will try out again this weekend.

Well, wonder why lotus paste is expensive? It's hard work! I won't say my lotus paste taste wonderfully nice but it has the basic taste of it.

My recipe is from Christine's Recipe,

The following yield 1.2Kg of lotus paste
400g brown peel lotus seeds ($3.23)
200g organic raw sugar ($2.24)
200ml sunflower oil ($0.65)
Total cost: ($6.12) *If you use non-organic sugar, it would  be even cheaper. Opting for organic is a personal choice

Total time spent: 4.5hr
2 hours washing the skin off and taking out the heart of the lotus seeds
2.5hr to complete the whole process

It is not the first time that I spent long hours in kitchen making food from scratch. I love doing so because I know exactly what is being put into my own food but this preparation one really tired me out. Imagine the hard work cracking the lotus seeds into half and picking the core out one by one. After cooking, puréeing  batch by batch because my chopper is miserably small. Then I have to keep stir frying the lot in the wok because if I don't the paste will stick to the wok and get burnt! That is the real challenge! Luckily, my hubby came to my rescue when I was struggling with it.

My sweet hubby helping me out :)

Wondering why I am using the brown peel instead of the white ones, (They are two kinds available in the market) I do not know whether it is true but the shop owner told me that most white ones are chemically washed! *Gasp* He offered me to used a manually washed ones which was priced slightly higher than the washed ones. I do not know whether this is a marketing strategy because the skins of the brown peel are really hard to washed away. Can it really be manually washed off? Maybe, some day I will try in smaller batch to see if I can wash the skin off one by one.. Also, I just found out from Wikipedia, the brown peel ones are actually ripen or nearly ripen seeds, whereas the white ones comes from young seeds which almost fully developed seeds.In the article, they also mentioned about the use of chemicals to bleach their products, so choose your seeds wisely!


  1. Hi! Stumbled across this via DinoMama's foodie friday. Such a coincidence, I also made snowskin mooncakes this week. I didn't make lotus paste, but read bean and black sesame. I also enjoy taking my time making all the ingredients from scratch. I was contemplating to make lotus paste next time -- and your post is a helpful warning to mentally (and physically) prepare myself should I decide to venture to make it. Never knew about the process of separating the 'heart' from the lotus seeds before... learning something new every day.

    1. Red bean n sesame paste seemed nice! I will try that too! If you are not making a lot, a smaller portion will be less time consuming because there‘s no need to crack so much seeds. I still have about 600g unused paste in my freezer! I will try to make the snow skin again. Alternatively, you can buy those which already had the heart removed but do check with the seller that you do not want chemically bleached lotus seeds. Those bleached seeds are whiter in colour.

  2. wow! I feel so tired just reading at the steps it takes!

    1. Indeed, I probably won‘t make it again unless i find the time. :) If i do, i probably will make more to make fillings for buns or bread.


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