When my sister told me she wanted to make mooncake, I welcome her idea with open arms. After all it’s not her first time making mooncake. Then she continued “I want to make lotus seed paste from scratch too”. I thought I heard her wrongly. Why? Why bother when we can easily get the mooncake filling from the shop? Then I realized it’s actually a good opportunity to learn how to make them. It’ll be a good experience and yup it certainly was a good experience. Making your own lotus seed paste are cheaper than store-bought plus they contain no artificial preservatives and coloring. The hard work you put through makes you appreciate the work goes into making lotus seed paste. In terms of mooncake, lotus seed paste is the lifeline!
The version I’m showing here is less sweet than any you could find commercially. If you prefer your lotus seed paste sweeter, feel free to add more sugar. Plus I will show you how to make pandan flavoured lotus seed paste as well.
Homemade lotus seed paste. It can’t get any better than this. 🙂
600g worth of lotus seeds. We bought these at a TCM shop (traditional Chinese medicine) and cost RM15.00. Some baking supplies shop were selling them at RM12+. When making lotus seed paste, make sure to buy lotus seeds with skin on them. This is because all the flavour has not escaped yet and so will make the paste more flavorful. This is what I heard from two experts.
Ingredients for making lotus seed paste. Clockwise from top left: alkaline water, sugar, groundnut oil and maltose.
First thing first, we need to get rid of the lotus seeds’ skin.
In a pot, bring water to boil. Add lotus seeds and alkaline water. Once alkaline water is added, the water will turn brown (must be the color from the lotus seed skin). The use of alkaline water is to soften the lotus seed skin so that it can be removed easily. As you can see some of the skin has came off. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Btw, notice the green stems? You need to remove them later.
After boiling and discarding the water, you can see that there are still some skins on the lotus seeds. Now come the tough job of removing the skins.
Remove skin by rubbing under running water or in a large bowl filled with clean water. Make sure to remove the tip and stem of lotus seed if any. It’s here that you wish you have extra hands. Sis and me took 2 hours to remove the lotus seed skin! My sis use the rubbing under running water method while I pick the skin out one by one under running water.
Ta da… the skins are removed! Don’t mind the reddish stain.
Now that the skins are removed, it’s time to boil the lotus seed and make into puree.
Cover pot with just enough water and boil the lotus seed until soft. Remove from heat.
Allow the lotus seed to cool down before blending the lotus seed in food processor in 2 or 3 batches. Run puree through a sieve. We actually skipped this step. If you’re confidence like us, you may skip too. Haha
Blended lotus seed (or lotus seed puree).
Now we’re ready to cook the blended lotus seed with other ingredients to make into real paste.
Heat a wok in low heat and add 3-4 tablespoons groundnut oil. Then, add 1/4 cup of sugar.
In low heat, stir-fry sugar until sugar dissolved and turns golden.
Add lotus seed puree and the remaining sugar. Here you have the chance to adjust the sugar level. Stir-fry until paste become almost dry.
Add some oil and stir until combined before adding more. Stir constantly (to avoid burnt) until paste become thick.
Add in maltose. Keep stirring.
Stir until paste leave the sides of wok and that’s when you know the paste is ready. Plate the paste and let it cool.
Once cooled, add melon seeds and mix the paste until combine. That’s it!
Homemade lotus seed paste… it’s definitely worth all the hard work! We started with 600g of lotus seeds and ended with 1.2kg worth of lotus seed paste. 🙂
You can use this lotus paste filling for making single yolk lotus paste mooncake (the link will also teach you how to make Mooncake Biscuits)
Additional bonus: How to make pandan lotus seed paste
If you plan to make pandan lotus seed paste, before adding the melon take out 380g worth of lotus seed paste for this pandan variation.
Soak 6 large pandan leaves. Then rinse and cut pandan leaves into smaller pieces for easy blending. Blend the pandan leaves in blender together with some water.
Sieve the pulp and save the pandan juice.
In a wok over low heat, add 380g of lotus seed paste and pandan juice.
Add sugar and mix well. Mix until paste is a little dry (same texture as lotus seed paste you made above). Dish up to cool. Add melon seeds once cooled. That’s it.
Homemade pandan lotus seed paste. The pandan flavour is very strong. I like it!
Homemade Lotus Seed Paste For Mooncake Filling
Adapted from Jodeli forum & Mooncakes by Alan Ooi
Yields 1.2kg worth of lotus seed paste
600g lotus seeds, washed, buy lotus seed with skin = more flavorful paste
1 tablespoon alkaline water
300g groundnut oil
50g maltose (mai ya tang/mak ngah tong)
Water to cover lotus seeds in a pot
60g melon seeds (dry fry or roasted until golden brown)
1. Bring water to boil and then add alkaline water and lotus seeds. Boil for around 10 mins. Remove from heat and discard the boiling water. Remove skin from lotus seeds by rubbing under running water or in a bowl of water. Remove tips and stems of lotus seeds (if any).
Note: The use of alkaline water is to soften the lotus seed skin so that it can come off easily.
2. Add enough water to cover the lotus seeds and boil until tender. Remove from heat.
3. Puree the lotus seed in food processor by dividing it into 2 or 3 batches. Filter the puree with a fine sieve. *We skipped the sieving part.
4. Glazed a wok with 3-4 tablespoons groundnut oil under low heat. Add in 1/4 cup of sugar. Stir-fry sugar over low heat till sugar dissolved and turns golden. Add in lotus seed puree and remaining sugar.
Note: If you want to adjust the sweetness, do not add all the sugar. Add little by little to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
5. Stir until paste become almost dry. Add in little oil and stir until combined before adding more oil. Stir constantly until paste become thick.
6. Add maltose and stir non-stop. Once paste starts to leave the sides of wok, it should be ready. Dish up to cool.
7. Once lotus seed paste is cooled, add melon seeds and mix the paste until combine. Your lotus seed paste is now ready.
For pandan flavoured lotus seed paste
380g lotus seed paste
6 stalks large pandan leaves, washed
Water for blending
1. Blend juice from 6 stalks of pandan leaves + a little water. Sieve the pulp. Save the pandan juice and discard the blended leaves.
2. From step no. 6 above, take 380g worth of lotus seed paste for this pandan flavor variation.
3. Place the 380g lotus seed paste in a wok or pan over low heat. Add pandan juice. Mix well.
5. Add 16g sugar (or to taste). Mix until paste is a little dry (same texture as lotus seed paste).
6. Dish up to cool. Once pandan lotus seed paste is cooled, add 20g melon seeds and mix until combine. Your pandan lotus seed paste is now ready.
Hi Benny, thank you. Haha
Hi, I tried your recipe yesterday. It turned out quite dry after frying. Can I know if I can re-blend and re-fry again?
Hi Venez, I think you can re-fry again by adding some oil. We’ve never done that but it’s worth a try.
Your lotus seed paste is just what Im looking for! How long can the paste be kept in fridge (or frozen?) Other than mooncakes, I can just imagine this paste for yummy baos (chinese steamed buns)
Hi HL, I’m not sure actually because we didn’t test how long it can last before becoming moldy. Since it has no preservative, let’s give it at least 2 weeks? If frozen, maybe you can go for a month?
Hi there, I took the short cut way and bought ready made lotus paste but its too sweet for me and my family. Will you be able to advice me if there is any way to made it less sweet? Thanks.
Hi Teo, I’m afraid I don’t have good advice except add more lotus seed paste without sugar ? Anyone has good idea please help Teo.
Could u tell me the use of maltose in mooncake paste ? Is it safe ?
Hi Melissa, another name for maltose is malt sugar. It’s a component produced in malt making. Yes, it’s safe to use. My guess for using maltose in mooncake paste is to achieve sticky and glossy finish.
Hi what is the oil used for in the paste? To make the paste smoother? Thx
Hi Sebastian, we use groundut oil. To make the paste smoother, sieve the puree lotus paste.
You’re most welcome 😉
Hi there, would like to check if I can use rice bran oil instead of peanut oil? Thanks!
Hi Ally, I have never used rice bran oil before. You can use it as long as the oil has a neutral flavor. If the oil has a very distinct flavor it which might affect the taste of the lotus paste.
Hi, tried making this lotus paste last week!The outcome is quite successful except that after take it out from fridge, the texture abit soft when wrapping it with the mooncake skin. Any advice on how to improve it? Thanks for the good recipe!
Hi Mei, thanks for trying the recipe. My sis adapted from the two sources mentioned above. My sis said maybe the paste wasn’t dried enough (step 5).
Hi, can i know how much pandan water did you use in your recipe?
Hi Huyly, after blending the pandan leaves with a little water, add all the pandan juice to the lotus seed paste (step 3 of the variation: For pandan flavoured lotus seed paste.