This Japanese steamed buns recipe with black sesame seed paste is designed to create a soft and airy texture. These steamed buns are made with a black sesame seed paste to deliver a sweet yet rich nutty flavour. I originally posted it for a Halloween round up to explore black sesame seed recipes back in 2017.
What is Mushi Pan (Steamed Buns)?
Mushipan is little Japanese steamed buns with a cottony soft texture that are flavoured with various fillings such as cocoa, strawberry, matcha and yoghurt etc. The word “Mushipan” translates to “steamed bread”, however, these are more like steamed cakes. They even look similar to muffins but the difference lies in the texture.
Because these buns are steamed, they have a lighter and softer texture which make them easier to eat and digest. Mushipan was a big food trend in the late 90s when convenience stores started to sell these little steamed cakes. Nowadays, I really like this black sesame ingredient in the buns because of the nutty flavour.
Steamed Buns Recipe Ingredients
You need to gather cake flour, which contains around 9% protein for a fluffy texture, sugar (I used brown sugar for retaining some moisture), baking powder, egg, milk, and black sesame seed paste.
Special ingredient – Kurogoma Paste
Kuro(Black)Goma(sesame) is well known as a superfood not only in Japan but worldwide. I certainly love both black and white sesame seeds. Japanese often incorporate sesame seeds into daily Japanese home cooking. For example, sesame seeds are typically used in Goma-ae, sprinkled over Sekihan azuki bean rice etc.
Why Add Black Sesame Paste?
The reason I add black sesame paste is because this Japanese steamed buns recipe does not call for any yeast, unlike other Chinese counterparts. Many Japanese steamed buns recipes include oils to minimise the steamed buns become dry and hard. I used black sesame paste instead of oil in this steamed buns recipe.
Health Benefits of Black Sesame Seeds
50% of black sesame seeds are made up of lipids which are unsaturated fatty acids. Although fatty acid has the disadvantage of being easily oxidised, because sesame contains a lot of antioxidants, it is less likely oxidised than other unsaturated fatty acids. Also black sesame seeds contain Vitamin E which enhances the antioxidant properties of sesame seeds. They work together powerfully with “sesame lignan”.
“Sesame lignan” is getting a lot of attention because it is a component that exists only in sesame seeds. It has been said that it has an antioxidant effect, preventing cancer and lifestyle-related diseases, enhances liver function, and protects the liver from alcohol. reference: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Where Can I Get Black Sesame Seed Paste From?
The black sesame seed paste looks similar to tahini, but the main difference is that tahini is made from raw sesame seeds and the sesame seed paste you can get from Japanese or Asian grocery stores is made from toasted sesame seeds. You can also often find it in health food stores as well. Or you can buy Black Sesame Seed Paste with No Additives from online stores such as Amazon.
Cracked Open Effect Method
This is steamed buns recipe with a “cracked open” effect for the buns. To give it a more Halloween feel, I put the ramekins in the already steaming pot. If you want to have nice uncracked round buns, make sure you place the ramekins into the steamer that has not yet started to steam. I hope you enjoy my black Sesame Seed Japanese steamed buns recipe!
FAQ For Steamed Buns Recipe
A: I used a bamboo steamer. However, it is only for the video and photography purposes as it looks nicer. However, it is not necessary for you to use one if you don’t own one yourself. Well, you can use it if you want, but to make 6 buns will take 70 minutes if you can only cook 1 at a time! I only have a tiny bamboo steamer which I bought from Daiso. I steamed one in the bamboo steamer and steamed the rest with a much bigger steel steamer which can fit 6 ramekins at once. So if you are thinking that you can not make this because you don’t have a bamboo steamer, then that isn’t true. Yes, you can! Any steamer will work.
Black sesame seed Japanese steamed buns
- 150 g cake flour (1 cup)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp black sesame seeds paste *1
- 60 g brown sugar (1/2 cup) *2
- 1 egg
- 120 ml milk (1/2 cup)
- Line 6 ramekins with muffin baking paper cups
- Sift flour and baking powder and set aside.
- Place black sesame seed paste, sugar and egg in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine them all together with a whisk.
- Add milk gradually, a little at a time and mix well after each addition.
- Add sifted flour and baking powder to the sesame seed paste bowl.
- Combine sesame seed paste mixture and flour with a whisk. Ensure you do not over mix it. Continue to mix until it is just combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop, divide the mixture evenly to the lined ramekins.
- Steam the mixture in a steamer for 12 minutes.