Let’s make thick and creamy Homemade Lotus Seed Paste. Lotus Seed Paste is the most popular filling for traditional mooncakes and other chinese pastries too. This homemade lotus paste certainly tastes better than store bought ones. A healthier option too, with no preservatives and additives.
Watch How To Make Lotus Seed Paste (Lian Rong)
Let’s Make Homemade Lotus Seed Paste (Lian Rong 莲蓉)
The Chinese Mid-Autumn festival is just around the corner. So, it is time to make some traditional Chinese mooncakes. Before we can make mooncakes, we have to prepare the mooncake filling first (and Mooncake Golden Syrup too).
Of course, the most popular filling for traditional mooncake is the delicious creamy lotus seed paste, also known as Lian Rong 莲蓉. We can make mooncakes with just plain lotus paste filling, or lotus paste with single and even double salted egg yolks. Lotus seed paste can either be store-bought or homemade. If you are making your own lotus seed paste, you can adjust to your taste by controlling the amount of oil and sugar used in the lotus paste. Best of all, there won’t be any preservatives and additives as well. Certainly a healthier option too.
So, if you are making traditional mooncakes for the festival, this smooth homemade lotus seed paste is definitely the perfect choice for you! Let’s start cooking.
What is Lotus Seed Paste?
Lotus seed paste is traditionally considered as a luxurious Chinese dessert ingredient. This popular ingredient is also known as Lian Rong 莲蓉. Lotus seed paste is made from dried lotus seeds which are soaked, boiled, then blended and cooked into a thick creamy paste with sugar and oil.
Different Types Of Lotus Seeds
There are 3 types of lotus seeds available in the market, namely:
- White Lotus Seeds
Processed lotus seeds that already have skin and centre bitter green pith removed. Do not use this to make your lotus seed paste.
- Split Lotus Seeds with Skin
Lotus seeds that are already split in the middle, with the centre bitter green pith removed. This is ideal for making lotus seed paste as we do not need to remove the centre pith, hence saving a lot of time.
- Whole Lotus Seeds with Skin
Lotus seeds with skin and centre bitter green pith still intact. This can also be used to make the lotus seed paste. (For this recipe, we are using the whole lotus seeds with skin)
Ingredients You Need To Make Lotus Seed Paste
- Dried Lotus Seeds
- Alkaline Water
- Groundnut Oil (or vegetable oil)
Overview On How to Make Lotus Seed Paste
Prepare Dried Lotus Seeds:
- Boil lotus seeds with alkaline water. Remove lotus seeds skin and centre green pith.
- Simmer lotus seeds till soft and tender.
- Blend softened lotus seeds into a smooth puree.
Cook Lotus Seed Paste:
- First, prepare caramel by cooking sugar and oil.
- Add lotus seed puree and remaining sugar.
- Then, add oil in stages and stir constantly till lotus paste becomes thick.
- Add maltose and stir till lotus paste comes together in one big dough.
- Transfer lotus paste on a plate and cool completely before use.
How to Store Lotus Seed Paste
- Spread the lotus seed paste on a plate to let it cool completely. Then wrap with plastic or cling wrap. Put into an airtight plastic or container.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Or, store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Leave to room temperature before using.
How To Use Lotus Seed Paste
You can use this homemade lotus seed paste as filling for traditional baked mooncakes. Also, as a filling for other types of mooncakes, such as Baked Shanghai Mooncakes, puff mooncakes and no-bake snow skin mooncakes. Can also be used for other types of Chinese pastries too.
You can use this lotus seed paste for these recipes below:
- Plain Lotus Paste Mooncakes 素莲蓉月饼 (Vegan Mooncake)
- Traditional Baked Mooncakes 传统烘月饼
- Baked Bamboo Charcoal Mooncakes 竹炭烘月饼
- Mini Lotus Paste Mooncakes 迷你莲蓉月饼
- Shanghai Mooncakes 上海月饼
- Plum Blossom Mooncakes 梅花月饼
Don’t have an oven? No problem. Try these no-bake mooncake recipes:
Important Tips To Make Homemade Lotus Seed Paste
Preparing Lotus Seeds For Puree
- Some tips to remove skin from lotus seeds: be sure to add alkaline water when boiling the lotus seeds, as alkaline water helps to remove the skin easily. Allow to boil till seed skin can be easily removed. When done, drain off the hot water and add cold water onto the lotus seeds. Rub the lotus seeds lightly with your hands and the skin should come off easily. Change the water and continue to rub and clean.
- Do not use too much water to cook the cleaned lotus seeds. Just cover about 1 cm level above the lotus seeds will do. If too much water is used to cook the lotus seeds, you will need a longer time when cooking the lotus paste.
- Blend the soft lotus seeds while it is still hot. Do not blend when it has turn cold. Otherwise, it will not be smooth and velvety. To test, take a little paste and feel with your fingers to see if it is smooth.
Cooking Lotus Seed Paste
- Be sure to cook some caramel so that the lotus paste will have a gorgeous golden brown colour. Cook using low heat. Do not use high heat. Otherwise, the sugar will be burnt easily and turn bitter, hence resulting in bitter lotus paste.
- Use low heat to stir and cook the lotus seed paste throughout the whole process till thicken.
- When cooking, stir lotus seed paste well right to the bottom of the pan and not just the surface, as the paste sticks easily at the bottom and can get burnt, resulting in a bitter tasting lotus paste.
- After adding sugar, stir lotus seed paste mixture continuously till it becomes thick before adding in the oil.
- Add oil in 3 stages to allow the lotus seed paste to gradually absorb the oil.
- Be careful not to overcook the lotus seed paste mixture. If it is too dry, the lotus seed paste will turn oily later. If under cooked, it will remain soft and can’t form into a dough.
- The lotus seed paste is done when upon stirring, it leaves the sides of the pan and does not stick to the bottom anymore. It will look shiny and the lotus seed paste will not drip from the spatula.
Homemade Lotus Seed Paste (Lian Rong) 自制莲蓉
Tap or Hover to Adjust Servings
Ingredients to prepare lotus seed:
- 300 grams dried lotus seeds
- ½ tbsp alkaline water
Ingredients to cook lotus seed paste:
- 250 grams sugar
- 200 grams vegetable oil
- 30 grams maltose
- First bring water to a boil. Then add alkaline water and dried lotus seeds into the pot. Boil for about 5 minutes.
- Then drain off the hot water. Next, remove the skin of lotus seeds by rubbing under running water. Next, remove the bitter tips and stems inside the softened lotus seeds.
- Once you are done, put them in a pot and cover with enough water. Bring it to a boil and then turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for about 1 hour. Cover and cook until the water turns milky and the lotus seeds become tender.
- Then, transfer the tender lotus seeds together with some of the water to a mixer. Puree until the lotus seeds become very velvety and smooth. And we're ready to cook the lotus paste.
- Start by cooking caramel. Heat up a non-stick pan glazed with 2 tbsp vegetable oil (from the 1 cup of oil). Then, on low heat add in ¼ cup of the sugar and cook till sugar dissolves and turns golden in colour.
- Next, add in the lotus seed puree and remaining sugar. Using a heat resistant spatula, stir till the paste becomes almost dry and the water has evaporated.
- Add in ⅓ of the remaining vegetable oil and keep stir frying over the heat till combined before adding another ⅓ of oil. Repeat until all the oil has been added. Stir constantly till the paste becomes thick.
- Then, add in maltose and stir non-stop till the paste starts to leave the side of the pan and eventually come together in one large dough piece. And we're done! Transfer and spread the paste on a plate or casserole and let it cool before use.
- This lotus paste can be made one day in advance. Roll into round balls to make filling for the mooncakes. So Enjoy!
Preparing Lotus Seed Paste:
Cooking Lotus Seed Paste:
- This recipe yields about 800g of homemade lotus seed paste.
- If traces of oil starts to surface on the lotus seed paste, it means the paste is overcooked and is too dry. If the paste is too dry, place back onto the wok, add some boiling water and continue to cook again over low heat.
- If the cooked lotus seed paste is too soft, it means the paste is undercooked. If the paste is too soft, spread it out in a shallow baking pan and dry it out in the oven, preheated to 150 degree celcius for 10 to 15 minutes. Remember to stir it occasionally while it is baking in the oven.
- When lotus seed paste is cooled, it will become firm to the touch.
- Unused lotus seed paste can be cling wrapped and stored in the refrigerator. When need to use, take out the lotus seed paste and put on the table and knead till smooth before dividing and rolling into desired small balls.
- Cool the lotus seed paste completely before storing in the refrigerator in airtight container. This lotus seed paste is best made one day in advanced, as it is easier to work with after it has been chilled.