The Churro Debate

Nobody knows exactly where the churro came from, but there are a few theories about this crispy dessert's origins. One version is that simplicity drove nomadic Spanish shepherds to create churros. All they needed was a fire and a substantial doughy bread—something that shepherds had plenty of access to.

Others argue that the churro was adapted from the doughnut-like Chinese fried crullers, youtiao. Portuguese sailors discovered this culinary delicacy and brought it back to Spain, where its unique ridged shape was developed.

No matter where these crispy fried pieces of dough came from, there's no doubt that they've become incredibly popular today. From churro ice cream sandwiches to Oreo churros, there won't be a shortage of churros any time soon. There's no doubt that recent modern churro adaptations and a Mexican classic of fresh churros with a warm cup of velvety champurrado hot chocolate are delicious. But these toasty black sesame and salted egg yolk custard churros are worth trying. 

Flavor Fusion

Carolyn Hong

You've heard about Nutella-filled churros, but what about black sesame? Black sesame is a classic Asian ingredient found in many desserts, such as black sesame paste haak zi maa wu tong sui, mochi, and breads. The color of black sesame in food may be eccentric, but its toasty, nutty, and mellow flavor profile is a pleasant surprise. 

Salted duck eggs originate from the Chinese culture of preserving eggs by brining, a process used before there were refrigerators. Fortunately, this clever method produces an ingredient highly sought after in Asian desserts—salted egg yolks. The orange yolk is rich and fatty, and like other salty foods, salted egg yolks pair well with sweet flavors.

Here's how to combine these flavors and the classic Spanish pastry to up your churro game.

Black Sesame Churros with Salted Egg Yolk Custard

  • Prep Time:12 mins
  • Cook Time:20 mins
  • Total Time:32 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Easy


  • 6 salted egg yolks mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons fresh milk
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/5 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Black sesame powder
  • Black sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame paste
  • 1 tablespoon food-grade activated charcoal powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 piping bags
  • 1 small round pastry tip
  • 1 extra-large star pastry tip
Luna Zhang
  • Step 1

    In a small non-stick saucepan, add salted egg yolks, butter, and milk. Over low heat, stir until butter has completely dissolved and everything is well mixed. Set aside to cool.

    Carolyn Hong
  • Step 2

    In a medium sized bowl, mix together half of milk, egg yolks, caster sugar, and flour.

    Carolyn Hong
  • Step 3

    In a small pot, heat remaining fresh milk until it simmers. Pour thin stream into the bowl while stirring constantly. Pour mixture through a sieve back into small pot.

    Carolyn Hong
  • Step 4

    Cool custard base down slightly by removing from fire and stirring constantly. Fold salted egg yolk paste into custard base. Cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool.

    Carolyn Hong
  • Step 5

    Mix flour, black sesame paste, food-grade activated charcoal powder, and baking powder in a bowl.

    Carolyn Hong
  • Step 6

    Bring water, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small pot. Remove from heat. Immediately mix in dry mixture into water until it forms a ball of dough.

    Carolyn Hong
  • Step 7

    Heat oil in a shallow wok. Oil is ready for frying when a small piece of dough floats and has bubbles surrounding it when dropped in. Lower heat if oil temperature is too high. Pipe and fry churros. Fill with salted egg yolk custard or serve as a churro dip.

    Luna Zhang

The history of the first churro may not be entirely clear, but accepting cultures can do good to your soul—like these churros. Both freshly-made churros and these Asian flavors are too good to miss out on. The world's becoming more diverse and we're all for sharing things, so count on seeing more interesting flavor and food combinations.