Candied Lotus Seeds Recipe (Mut Hat Sen)

Lunar New Year is approaching, and it’s time to prepare some candied fruits for a candy box. There are various types of candied fruits, such as candied coconut ribbons and candied ginger slices, among which candied lotus seeds are one of the most delicious and popular sweets served during Lunar New Year. Let’s make them.

Candied lotus seeds

What Are Candied Lotus Seeds?

Candied lotus seeds (Vietnamese: Mứt hạt sen, Chinese: 糖莲子) are a sweet treat made from lotus seeds, which are the seeds of the lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera). This treat is a specialty for Lunar New Year in Vietnam and Southern China, such as Guangdong and Hong Kong. Along with other candied fruits, roasted seeds and nuts, and dried fruits, candied lotus seeds are added to a candy box to be served during Lunar New Year. A candy box is filled with treats symbolizing wealth, happiness, and luck for this occasion. In the first days of Lunar New Year, family members gather to enjoy these “fortune” treats from the candy box and offer them to their acquaintances when they come to visit.

lotus seed candy

In my memory, candied lotus seeds are one of the most expensive and delicious sweets in my family’s candy box. This is because the treat is made from lotus seeds, an ingredient that requires a more complex cultivation process than ginger or coconut. The process of obtaining lotus seeds involves harvesting them from bloomed lotus plants in lakes or swamps, removing the seeds from the lotus stem, and then removing the green outer shells of each seed. The fresh lotus seeds can then be used to make candies.

However, to make lotus seeds available throughout the year, producers usually dry them and vacuum-seal them before distributing them to their clients. Therefore, the process of making candied lotus seeds is also more sophisticated than that of other candied fruits because you must cook lotus seeds before proceeding with the other steps. In return, you’ll get a very special and luscious treat for the New Year.

Ingredients

To make approximately 400g (14 oz) of candied lotus seeds, you’ll need:

  • 200g (7 oz) dried lotus seeds, or 400g (14 oz) fresh ones
  • 200g (7 oz) granulated sugar

The disadvantage of candied lotus seeds is that they contain too much sugar. In my candied lotus seeds recipe, I reduced the amount of sugar as much as possible, aiming for a ratio of 1 part sugar to 2 parts boiled lotus seeds. However, you can increase it to a ratio of 1.5 to 2 parts sugar to 2 parts lotus seeds if you have a sweet tooth.

dried lotus seeds
Dried lotus seeds

How to Make Candied Lotus Seeds

Step 1. Soaking Lotus Seeds

  • Begin by soaking the dried lotus seeds in hot water for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. This helps soften the seeds and reduces the boiling time.
  • After soaking, the seeds will absorb water fully and resemble fresh ones. Now, carefully inspect the seeds to remove any remaining lotus seed cores (also known as lotus hearts) as they tend to be bitter. Examine one end of the seeds to identify the tip (as shown in the left picture), then use a small stick to push out the core (as shown in the right picture).
candied lotus seeds

Step 2. Boiling Lotus Seeds

  • Boil the soaked lotus seeds over medium heat. Simmer them for 30-45 minutes until they reach the desired softness. While simmering, skim off any foam that forms on the surface to easily monitor the seeds. To test if they are cooked, you can crush a lotus seed between your fingers. You should perform this test every 10-15 minutes; the seeds should be soft but still maintain their shape. Once the seeds are well-cooked, remove them from the boiling water and rinse them with water to cool them down. Finally, marinate the boiled lotus seeds with sugar and let them sit for at least 4 hours.
candied lotus seeds

Step 3. Making Candied Lotus Seeds

  • Transfer both the lotus seeds and the sugar syrup obtained after marinating to a skillet. Cook them over low heat, stirring regularly. Once the lotus seeds reach the recrystallization stage (as shown in picture 2), begin stirring continuously to ensure that every lotus seed is coated with sugar (as shown in picture 3). Turn off the heat.
  • Finally, transfer your candied lotus seeds to a wire rack to allow them to cool down and dry. You have several options for drying: you can dry them in the sun for 1 or 2 days (the traditional method), or use an oven or air fryer for 15-20 minutes. Ensure they are completely cool before transferring them into a jar or box for storage. If they are not completely cool, the seeds may become moist again after just a few hours.
candied lotus seeds

Storing Candied Lotus Seeds

Store candied lotus seeds at room temperature and always keep the lid of the jar closed to maintain their best texture and flavor. When serving, simply take some of the treats out of the jar or box. If you place them in a traditional candy box, remember to close the box’s lid after serving to ensure that all the sweet treats retain their best quality.

Candied lotus seeds

Candied Lotus Seeds Recipe (Mut Hat Sen)

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

There are various types of candied fruits, among which candied lotus seeds are one of the most popular sweets served during Lunar New Year.

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1. Soaking Lotus Seeds

  • Begin by soaking the dried lotus seeds in hot water for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. This helps soften the seeds and reduces the boiling time.candied lotus seeds
  • After soaking, the seeds will absorb water fully and resemble fresh ones. Now, carefully inspect the seeds to remove any remaining lotus seed cores (also known as lotus hearts) because they tend to be bitter. Examine one end of the seeds to identify the tip (as shown in the left picture), then use a small stick to push out the core (as shown in the right picture).candied lotus seeds

Step 2. Boiling Lotus Seeds

  • Boil the soaked lotus seeds over medium heat. Simmer them for 30-45 minutes until they reach the desired softness. While simmering, skim off any foam that forms on the surface to easily monitor the seeds. To test if they are cooked, you can crush a lotus seed between your fingers. You should perform this test every 10-15 minutes; the seeds should be soft but still maintain their shape. Once the seeds are well-cooked, remove them from the boiling water and rinse them with water to cool them down. Finally, marinate the boiled lotus seeds with sugar and let them sit for at least 4 hours.candied lotus seeds

Step 3. Making Candied Lotus Seeds

  • Transfer both the lotus seeds and the sugar syrup obtained after marinating to a skillet. Cook them over low heat and stir regularly. Once the lotus seeds reach the recrystallization stage (as shown in picture 2), begin stirring continuously to ensure that every lotus seed is coated with sugar (as shown in picture 3). Turn off the heat.candied lotus seeds
  • Finally, transfer your candied lotus seeds to a wire rack to let them cool down and dry. You can dry them in the sun for 1 or 2 days (the traditional method), or use an oven or air fryer for 15-20 minutes. Allow them to completely cool before transferring them into a jar or box for storage, as otherwise, the seeds may become moist again after just a few hours.candied lotus seeds

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 100g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325

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1 Comment

  1. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing The clearness in your post is just nice and i could assume youre an expert on this subject Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work

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