Crispy Chinese pumpkin cake used to be a yummy dessert for holidays. Those lovely and colorful little cakes are deep-fried in order to get a crispy surface. However they will also amaze you by the soft inside and sweet filling.
About how to choose a perfect pumpkin for this recipe;
The principle is to choose bright orange colored and sweet ones. You can make a thin slice and taste it at the very beginning.
About the cooking methods:
There are two ways to cook this Chinese pumpkin cake: deep-frying or pan-frying.
Deep-frying version usually is serving for holidays because they usually have a better appearance and a fluffy texture.
However if you are really heat deep-frying or prefer to have a healthier version, you can use pan-frying with slow fire.
Now let's begin.
Remove all the skins of the pumpkin and then cut into cubes. Place the cubes into a steamer, cover with plastic wrap (so that there will be no extra water) and steam for around 25 to 30 minutes until completely soft. Smash the steamed pumpkin with a fork and squeeze the extra water out. Stir the sugar in when the pumpkin puree is still hot. Set aside to cool down as shown in picture 1.
Add glutinous rice flour in as shown in picture 2. During this process, stir the mixture with a fork. You need to adjust the amount of glutinous rice flour depending on your texture of the pumpkin.
Knead the dough for several minutes until smooth as shown in picture 3.
Then divide the dough into a long log. Cut around 12 equal portions out. Take one portion and wrap filling-red bean paste as shown in picture 4 and 5. You can also use other fillings like nuts or mung bean paste. I use homemade red bean paste, the instruction is here(Sweet red bean paste)..
Brush some water on the surface firstly and then coat with bread crumbs. Deep-fry until golden brown in both sides. For pan-frying, you can coat the cake with sesame seeds. For a crispier taste and less oil, fry the cakes again for around 20 seconds over medium fire if necessary.
Remove extra oil and here we are.
Chinese Pumpkin Cake
- 1 pound pumpkin
- Red bean paste , as needed
- ½ pound glutinous rice flour , or as needed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar , or as needed
- Bread crumbs for coating
- Oil for frying
- Remove all the skins of the pumpkin and then cut into cubes. Place the cubes into a steamer, cover with plastic wrap (so that there will be no extra water) and steam for around 25 to 30 minutes until completely soft.
- Smash the steamed pumpkin with a fork and squeeze the extra water out.
- Stir the sugar in when the pumpkin puree is still hot. Set aside to cool down.
- Add glutinous rice flour in.
- Knead the dough for several minutes until smooth. Then divide the dough into a long log. Cut around 12 equal portions out. Take one portion and wrap filling-red bean paste. Assemble as a ball firstly and slightly press with hand to make a flat cake.
- To deep-fry: Heat up oil in wok or pot until really hot, brush some water on the surface and then coat the cake with bread crumbs. Lower your fire and slide the cake in the hot oil and fry until both sides becomes crispy and golden brown. Be careful during this process. Use kitchen pepper to remove extra oil. If some of the coating drops out in deep-frying process, remove them before the next batch. For a crispier taste and less oil absorbed, re-fry the cakes for around 20 seconds over medium fire.
- To pan-fry: brush some oil on a pan and then fry the cake over low fire until golden brown in both sides.
- Set aside to cool down a little bite. Serve warm.