Mar 26

Black Sesame Pudding (Kuro Goma Purin, 黒ごまプリン)

in Blender Recipes, Dessert, Fuji Favorites, Japan, Japanese, Miso Hungry Podcast

Black Sesame Pudding (Kuro Goma Purin)

Black sesame pudding (Kuro Goma Purin, 黒ごまプリン) may sound a bit strange if you’ve never had sesame seeds in a dessert, but let me promise you that this pudding not only works, but it is divine Black sesame seeds are one of the ingredients that I fell in love with when we moved to Japan for the first time 10 years ago.  Think of how versatile peanuts are, easily switching from savory dishes to desserts—well sesame seeds are the same.  Black sesame seeds, especially after being toasted, are fragrant and nutty and wholly addictive.  It’s not surprising that sesame seeds have been used for thousands of years in food preparation—they are delicious.

Black Sesame Seeds

When Allison (Sushiday) and Son came over last month for our Hinamatsuri party, they brought me some black sesame pudding that they had purchased at a Japanese market on their way to my house.  Japanese “purin” (プリン) takes its name from the American word “pudding,” but is more like a crème caramel in consistency.  Purin is extremely popular in Japan and can be found at any Japanese convenience store, usually in multiple varieties and from different companies.

Black Sesame Pudding from Mitsuwa

Allison and Son mentioned how much they loved the black sesame pudding and I offered to come up with a recipe so they could make it at home.  So began my quest to make a version of kuro goma purin that we all loved.  One of the issues with making this type of purin, is that all of the Japanese recipes I looked at called for “kuro neri goma” (black sesame seed paste), a paste made from toasted black sesame seeds (unlike tahini, which is made from untoasted white sesame seeds).  Neri goma (sesame seed paste) is a common ingredient on Japanese supermarket shelves, but a bit more difficult to find here in the US.  I decided that I wanted to come up with a recipe that would be approachable for anyone, which to me means not having to hunt down an ingredient that the regular American wouldn’t have already in their pantry.  Granted, black sesame seeds may not be a regular part of your pantry repertoire, but I believe that they are much easier to find a use for in American cookery than the paste.

Ground black sesame seeds and sugar

After lots of tweaking and several batches of imperfect purin, I finally came up with a version that I loved, and it couldn’t be easier.  I solved my sesame paste problem by grinding toasted sesame seeds with a bit of granulated sugar in a food processor (the granulated sugar helps to more evenly process the sesame seeds).  This doesn’t produce a paste, but achieves the same results in the finished purin.

Kuro Goma Purin

The purin is smooth and creamy, but not too thick, with lots of sweet, nutty, toasted black sesame flavor.  I saw Allison last week and was able to give her several jars to taste test for me.  The result turned into a mini Miso Hungry episode for you to listen to!  Now go make yourself a batch of black sesame pudding.

Black Sesame Pudding

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Black Sesame Pudding (Kuro Goma Purin, 黒ごまプリン)

Makes 8 servings

1 packet (.25 ounces) powdered gelatin
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup toasted black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream

1. Soften the gelatin: Put the cold water in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the water and set aside to soften.

2. Grind the sesame seeds: Place the sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar in a blender or food processor and grind until well ground.

3. Make the pudding: In a medium-size saucepan, mix the ground sesame seed mixture, milk, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar together. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the milk from burning. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, add the softened gelatin and stir to melt and combine. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cream.

4. Cool the pudding: Fill a large bowl halfway with ice, then cover the ice with cold water. Pour the pudding from the saucepan into a slightly smaller bowl, and carefully place the bowl into the ice water bowl, taking care not to spill water into the pudding bowl. Whisk the pudding briefly, then leave it to cool for 5 minutes.

5. While waiting for the milk mixture to cool, set out 8 clean containers to pour the pudding into.

5. After cooling, whip the pudding for about 5 minutes (this whisking will produce a lighter pudding), then equally divide the pudding between the prepared containers. Cover the containers and place in the refrigerator to set up for a minimum of 4 hours, or until firm. Serve cold, garnished with a bit of whipped cream or topping of choice.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Melody Fury // March 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

I’m a huge fan of all things goma – thanks for doing all the hard work to tweak this recipe :) I’ll be sure to try it soon.


Fuji Nana March 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

I remember loving black sesame ice cream in Japan. This looks drool-worthy.


Alayna @ Thyme Bombe March 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

Black sesame is my favorite dessert flavor, but I’ve been unable to find the paste even in the asian markets around Atlanta. Cannot wait to give this a try so I can have that flavor again!


Maria March 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

I am intrigued! Never tried black sesame paste before and just the other day I saw a package of black sesame seeds beckoning to me! Now I know what I’m going to do with it! Thank you for the recipe.


Janice March 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

This sounds delightful.
I have a Japanese grocer close to my house (over here in Sydney, Australia) and have used black sesame paste (and the white one) before for different savory dishes. Love
a good goma-ae! Please, I’d like to know what would be the amount of paste needed in this recipe instead
Of toasting and grinding the sesame seeds?
Thank you very, very much.


Abigail (aka Mamatouille) March 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

Natsukashii yo! :)


Abigail (aka Mamatouille) March 26, 2012 at 11:51 am

I have a container of kuro goma just waiting for this. We’re not doing much dairy these days so I might try it with almond or rice milk – yum.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

@Melody Fury // — Thanks Melody! I’d love to hear about it if you make it!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

@Fuji Nana — Yep, because you’ve got great taste. :) I miss that black sesame ice cream. Mmmmm….


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

@Alayna @Thyme Bombe — I’ve had the same problem! It’s a well-known Japanese ingredient, yet such a pain to find outside of Japan! Fingers crossed that this gives you a proper black sesame fix!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

@Maria — I would love to hear about your adventures in using black sesame seeds!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm

@Janice — I would use about 1/4 cup of paste!

@Abigail (aka Mamatouille) — Yay! I think this would be divine with almond milk. That nuttiness combined with the nuttiness of the kuro goma would be fabulous!


Isabelle @ Crumb March 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I’m utterly addicted to black sesame ice cream, so this pudding practically screamed my name when I saw it on Pinterest. Can’t wait to try it…. black sesame bliss, here I come! :)


Barbara March 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I look forward to making this. And now I now how to sub ground seeds for paste I’ll try making icecream also.


sunnygrrl March 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Is there a way to make this vegetarian (i.e., without the gelatin)? It sounds delicious.


LiztheChef March 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Oh, this looks terrific – I love puddlings, flan, etc.


Sara{OneTribeGourmet} March 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I love black sesame and this pudding looks so creamy & delish!


Julia {The Roasted Root} March 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I’ve never seen anything like this! I love trying new dessert ideas, so I want to give your recipe a shot. I have never even bought sesame seeds – looking forward to this tastey little adventure!!


AW March 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

How yummy! Another great post to remind me of my childhood. I haven’t had any kind of black sesame dessert in a recent years. Now I want to go out a get some. It’s a good thing I can find easily in Chinatown (NY).


hiroko March 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I love love anything black sesame, especially black sesame sweet!!! I always prefer black sesame over white sesame since I was little girl ^_^ Thank you for your receipt. Can’t wait to make them


Karriann March 31, 2012 at 8:19 am

Very interesting. Can’t wait to give this a try ;)

“Happy Cooking”


Doris April 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Your recipe looks like something that my Chinese parents made when I was a kid:

Black Sesame Pudding

1 cup rice (long grain)
1 cup black sesame seeds
7 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar or Chinese rock sugar

1. Soak the rice in cold water overnight.
2. Toast the black sesame seeds in a frying pan on medium low heat for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove and cool.
3. Pour rice into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse. Add rice and sesame seeds to a blender with 3 1/2 cups water. Blend until you have a smooth grayish paste.
4. In a large saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil with 3 1/2 cups water and the sugar. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly (5 – 8 minutes). Allow to cool. Place into fridge until well- chilled. Serve chilled.


Robert Richards Recipes April 5, 2012 at 8:57 am

Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now, I have to get to the store to get the ingredients!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm

@sunnygrrl — Making a vegetarian version is on my to-do list! It requires a bit of technique tweaking, but it should work!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

@Doris — The Chinese version sounds fabulous! Nice for those who have dairy allergies!


nicole April 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

I noticed that you used jars but instead of the two part disk/ring lids, you have plastic lids that also fit the jars. Where did you get those? My bf hates the two-part lids. While they are less pretty, the plastic ones are more practical.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Ball makes them, but they’re harder to find. Maybe look on Amazon?


M0m0 July 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

This is actually Chinese. Instead of gelatin, other kinds of powder is used for the solid consistency. Without adding the gelatin, it is a Chinese dessert, black sesame paste. Look it up online.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) July 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi MOmO, The Japanese may have originally gotten the idea from the Chinese, but like so many food cultures, they take an idea and make it their own! This is a very Japanese representation of a popular dessert in Japan. Sometimes they use agar agar as a thickening agent instead of gelatin. I bet the Chinese version is delicious!


Tammie October 16, 2013 at 4:13 am

I have a Chinese friend that says she uses glutinous rice flour.


Ash January 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

I’d love to try making it with agar agar, I have some in the cupboard now that I’ve never figured out how to cook with! Do you have any idea how I might adjust the recipe to use this instead of gelatin?


Tabitha July 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Totally going to try making this, and adding some tapioca pearls.


Florence December 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Hi! So glad to come across this post! I have a question… what is the pale yellow layer in the third picture in this post? Just thinking that it’d be nice to make a topping layer for my kuro goma purin too… do you have brief instructions/suggestions on how to go about doing so? Thanks!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Hi Florence, It was a vanilla custard layer! If you wanted to do something similar, you could make the puddings according to my directions, and then make a small amount of vanilla custard to pour on top once the black sesame pudding layer has set. Hope that helps!


Paela January 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

This looks amazing! I love black sesame filling in little steamed buns, so I immediately set out to make these puddings, but I just noticed that my pack of black sesame seeds is labelled as ‘roasted’ and smells really different from what I’m used to. Is there a difference between roasted and toasted seeds? Would these seeds work in this recipe? Thanks very much for posting this :)


Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Hi Paela — Thanks! Okay, so I’m not sure why your seeds are smelling different. But to maybe answer your question, roasting seeds is a cooking method that uses dry heat source (such as an oven), and it’s typically done without the addition of oil. Toasting seeds is a slightly different method that yields the same results. Toasted seeds are usually toasted using a direct heat source (such as a hot skillet), and again, usually without the addition of oil. Even when a package of sesame seeds says they are roasted/toasted, I always give them a quick pan toast myself, as I find that the flavor is so much better! Just make sure not to burn them!


su March 24, 2013 at 1:19 am

thanks so much for this recipe, its gold!!! it was so easy, turned out amazing and my family/friends loved it!! =)

the only troubles I had:
– whipping it for 5 mins, it was really liquidly and didn’t seem to hold any air/thicken it. I felt like I just made a mess? does it really make a difference?
– I couldn’t grind the seeds fine enough and majority of it sunk to the bottom…?
– mixture seemed too sweet, so I added extra milk and gelatin at the end which may have diluted the black sesame seed flavor a bit? may add a touch less sugar and more seeds next time

the finish result was melt in your mouth, smooth, creamy goodness plus the sexiest wobble when I turned it out (that happened out of curiosity. I might actually use moulds next time instead of using plastic wine glasses) – the envy of panna cottas everywhere! =)


Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Hi Su, I’m so glad you liked it! To answer your questions:
– When I was working on the recipe, I found that I had less problems with the black sesame powder settling when I whipped it. And yes, the finer you are able to grind the seeds, the less settling you will have! In Japan this dessert is easier because you can buy black sesame paste.
– I played around with the sweetness a lot, and this was the amount I settled on to match what I am accustomed to eating in Japan. But it’s totally a personal preference, so if you like it less sweet, then of course add less! :)


savory June 7, 2013 at 9:03 am

@su – I just tried this and I agree with you about it being a little too sweet. Maybe remove 1-2 T of sugar. Also I had the exact problem with the seeds sinking to the bottom.

Otherwise it was spot on in terms of texture! I was wondering what happens if you replace the cream with all milk (other than the taste being less rich) -will this drastically affect texture?


Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Hi Savory, As I mentioned to Su, the amount of sugar was based on trying to replicate the puddings I am accustomed to eating in Japan, but of course, reduce the sugar if you like it less sweet! The finer the grind you are able to achieve with your black sesame seeds, the less of a sinking problem you will have. Also, you can absolutely replace the cream with all milk, but as you said, it will be less rich and a bit lighter in texture. You can also do part cream and part milk if you like. I’ve even made a version using almond milk for a friend who is lactose intolerant!


Diella July 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Super delicious! Also, I was wondering how long could this last in the fridge? I was hoping to make the pudding ahead of time. Thanks for the recipe! :D


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Shawn February 11, 2016 at 12:34 am

Hi, i was wondering if the whipping cream used is unsweetened?


Yohana August 5, 2016 at 5:20 am

Hi Rachael,

I made your Sesame Black Pudding recipe yesterday but I encountered some problems:

1) I use 0.25oz (which is equivalent to 7g) of powdered gelatin, but the final product doesn’t set even after I chilled overnight. It is still quite liquid.

2) This morning, I try to take out all the pudding from the cups and boil the sesame pudding mixture again in a saucepan and this time I add another 5g of powdered gelatin. This time the pudding set, but there is a layer of sesame seeds floating in the middle of the pudding. It doesn’t mix well with the pudding, so when you eat them you can taste grainyness of the sesame seeds in the middle.

My question, how can I make sure the pudding set properly is it because the amount of gelatine is not enough? And also, how can you get rid of the grainyness so the final product will be smooth and mixed well?

Please help. Thank you.


Yolanda December 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for posting this, excited to try it out. How long do you think this keeps in the fridge after it is made?


Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 13, 2017 at 10:07 am

It will keep for several days!


Simon July 30, 2017 at 9:38 am

Made this recipe tasted delicious reminded me of Japan. So happy it worked perfectly


Iris June 14, 2020 at 11:25 pm

I just made it and it tasted great. Mine came out like the one in your first photo which the sesame sunk to the bottom. While taste is still great, I am wondering if you have any tricks to make the mixture floats and solidifies more evenly like yours with the whipped cream topping and in the small jar. Thanks.


Golfuniversity November 21, 2020 at 1:52 am

It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before finish I am reading this wonderful piece of writing to increase my experience.


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