Zhir Ma Bao (Black Sesame Filling for Buns)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins

This was by far the most sinful and delicious of all the bun fillings I found in China. Made from rich, crunchy black sesame seeds and rock sugar, or from black sesame tahini and fine sugar for a more paste-like consistency, this desert filling is absolutely divine in the fluffy filled bun recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Toast sesame seeds very lightly (be careful, black sesame becomes very bitter if overtoasted.).
  2. Add 1/4 cup sugar to the boiling water, dissolve.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup remaining sugar, sesame seeds, and 1 tbs peanut oil in a blender or masher.
  4. Process or crush to desired fineness – it can be anything from a gritty paste to a smooth filling.
  5. Add the hot water and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the remaining 1 tbs oil during the grinding process to adjust sweetness, consistency, and smoothness to taste.
  6. NOTE: This recipe should yield a very sesame-flavored, gritty paste after 5 – 10 minutes of start-stop processing without any extras.


Most Helpful

This recipe was simple to make and tastes wonderful. I only needed about half of the water, but the thickness was perfect. Cleaning out the blender afterward was fun too--just add milk and blend for a black sesame smoothie! :)

base_form_one February 19, 2010

i just made this in the blender and i'm a little sad because i should have toasted the sesame seeds more in order to get the richness and aroma but i was afraid of burning it. i made this to make zhi ma tang yuan. i think if i didn't make that personal error, this would have been perfect. also i did not have peanut oil but i put in a sesame oil blend that also contained peanut oil. i am very grateful that you posted this because it's the only one on zaar.

tyk April 18, 2009

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