Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pumpkin Rice Cakes 南瓜饼

     My family has had this huge pumpkin sitting in our garage forever.  I mean since Halloween.  Yeah, I think that it was because nobody felt like cutting the huge thing.  Well, I instantly knew what I wanted to make with it: nan gua bing.  Pumpkins may be out of season, but this treat is perfect for Chinese New Year on February 10th and Japanese kobacha squash works great, too.
Biggest pumpkin I have ever seen

Steam pumpkin until soft

Knead the dough

Add the filling
Squarish shape. Fold up 4 separate flaps around the filling and press together.

Simple circle shape.  I was originally going to pan-fry the circle ones I made, but the  steamed ones turned out so good.

Triangle shape. Pull up 3 flaps around the filling and press together.  

Place in the steamer pan

    I didn't realize before, but this recipe is actually healthy.  Really, and it's not even meant to be.  It's made with whole wheat flour (or wheat starch) and steamed.  Plus, pumpkin is a vegetable and red beans are good for you!  Pan-frying them instead of steaming is another delicious alternative, though less healthy.

    I first can about this recipe from one of my mom's friends and my mom and I made it together.  It tasted great, however, the shape didn't hold.  I think that the wheat flour/starch helps and we didn't add water this time.

   You'll need glutinous rice flour (aka sweet rice flour) and red bean paste, which can be found at an Asian market or in the Asian isle in your grocery store. You'll also need a steamer and pumpkin/Japanese kobacha squash.

   Trust me.  These are delicious, and they don't taste like pumpkin at all.  You may also use different fillings beside red bean, and you can make your own homemade red bean paste which is great.


Pumpkin Rice Cakes 南瓜饼

makes about 24


450g pumpkin or Japanese kobacha squash, cut into cubes
450g (3/4c) glutinous rice flour
150g (1c 2tbs) whole wheat flour or wheat starch
30-60g sugar (1/4c to 1/3c) sugar depending on how sweet you want it
1 can sweetened red bean paste


  1. Steam the pumpkin in a steamer until soft, about 20 minutes
  2. Quickly add flours and sugar and mix with your hands until a dough forms.
  3. On a board dusted with glutinous rice flour, Knead the dough until smooth and a but stretchy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Take about a tbs of dough and flatten it into a circle with thinner edges. Place about a teaspoon of filling into the center and wrap the dough around it. Continue with the rest of the dough.
  5. Prepare a steamer.  Line a steamer pan with a damp towel.  Rub the bottoms of the cakes with a bit of glutinous rice flour and place in the pan.  Steam 8-9 minutes, until soft.
  6. Alternatively, heat some oil in a pan and fry on both sides a few minutes until brown ans crispy. 
  7. Serve immediately.  To store, wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature or refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. 

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