Mung bean cake (lvdougao) is a traditional and popular Chinese dessert in summer. The main ingredient, mung beans or sometimes called as green mung bean is a common and daily ingredient in Chinese cooking. In traditional Chinese medicine, those little green beans have a cold property, which can further help to protect our body from hot temperature in summer.Personally, I love various recipes made with mung beans or related ingredients. For example, in Sichuan province, there is famous Liangfen made with Mung bean starch. And there is a national glass noodle—mung bean noodles. I have made two versions this time. One batch of the cakes are custard yellow while the other batch is matcha green( reproduce the green color of the cake).
Many varieties of mung bean cake are available in China from taste, from color to shape. But in general, they are shaped by different cake moulds like mooncake moulds. For a smoother and fine taste, it is important to use unshelled green beans. Unshelled green beans are easy to find in baking ingredient store in China. You may try to search it in Asian stores, sometimes they are named as yellow mung beans (spilt mung beans). Another option is to pre-soak the green mung beans and peel by hand. But it is a really hard task requires patience and time. I have tried one time and do not recommend you doing this.
Pre-soak the yellow mung beans overnight. Rinse and dry.
In a high pressure cooker, add clean water to slightly cover (3-4 cm higher) the beans and cook for a bean (or meat) procedure until the mung beans are easy to smash.
Then smash the mung bean until fine and smooth. It is quite easy when they are well cooked.
Transfer the mung bean into a pan, add butter and vegetable oil and keep frying over medium slow fire.
Add sugar when the oil is well absorbed.
Continue frying over slow fire until the mixture can be easily shaped into a paste. Divide the mixture into two equal portions and transfer one portion out.
Add around 5-8g matcha powder for coloring.
Transfer the mixture into a strainer and then press with a spatula. You may ask help in this step or consider this as a way of body exercise. This will give your mung bean cake a super smooth taste.
And then divide the mixture into small portions around 30g-40g. If you want them to share similar size, use a kitchen scale to weight each portion or resort to a scoop. I wrap some of them with 10g red bean paste. But this step is optional.
Then shape it with a mooncake mould. I am using this one :New Moon Cake Decoration Mold mould 50g & flowers Round 4 stamps DIY Tool. For tips about how to use this tool, you can check the video in snow skin mooncakes.
All the mung bean cakes need to be kept in small air-tight packages after cool down completely. They can be kept for around 1 week.
Mung Bean Cake
- 250 g yellow mung beans ,unshelled mung beans
- 40 g butter
- 50 g vegetable oil
- 110 g sugar or more if needed ,you can slightly adjust this amount
- a small pinch of salt
- 5-8 g matcha powder I use 5g
- Pre-soak the yellow mung beans overnight. Rinse and dry in the next day.
- In a high pressure cooker, add clean water to slightly cover the mung beans and cook with a bean procedure until the beans are soft and easy to smash. Then smash them with a spatula until a smooth and fine mixture. Transfer it to a non-stick pan.
- Add pinch of salt, butter and vegetable oil to the mung bean mixture. Heat over medium slow fine and keep stirring in the process. Add sugar when the oil is well absorbed. Keep stirring until they can sticky together easily. Turn off the fire.
Optional for coloring
- Divide the dough into two equal portions and then transfer one portion out. Add around 5-8g matcha powder to the another portion and mix well.
Straining and Shaping
- Then transfer the mixture to a strain and press them with a spatula. You will see then come out from the small holes. This step can provide a super smooth and fine texture.
- Divide the mixture into smaller doughs around 30g to 40g and then wrap 10 filling if you prefer to have some. Shape with a mooncake mould or any other mould you prefer. You need to operate this step when the mixture is not hot but still warm.
For all sweet teeth!
Excellent recipe Elaine!
I just have 2 questions:
Can we do this with green mung beans? (as that's the only type available for me)
And other than red bean paste what other types of filling can we use inside the cake?
You can directly use green mung beans. They are with skins. But the cake cannot be so smooth as spilt mung beans. Removing the skins is a tough and time-consuming task.
Besides red bean paste and mung bean paste, you can also use lotus seed paste (莲蓉馅) and milk yellow custard filling (奶黄馅).
My wife's childhood cake, I must try this one for her.
You are such a great husband!
Hi! I bought readymade mung bean paste. Can these be eaten without steaming?
would it be possible to use whole green mung beans instead of the split/skinned ones?
Yes, Kim. You can use whole green beans. It is healthier from split version. But the skins may cause some particle sensation.
Can you use mung bean flour for this, or would that not work?
I do not think mung bean flour is a good option for this cake because they have larger particle theoretically. But you can have a try with a very small batch and see how it works.
My chinese friend made me mung bean cakes w/ red bean centers for Christmas. They are quite tasty . I will admit the first one took some time getting used to. I am glad to have been given the chance to try something new from her.
I understand the adaptation of this cake. It is not enjoyed by everyone. But it is so good for me. Happy cooking and enjoy the home cooking.
I‘m totally stoked to try out your recipe. Thank you very much for the detailed steps!
Unfortunately I don’t own a pressure cooker, Is there any way to prepare the beans otherwise? I thought about steaming them directly in a sieve on top of a pot with little water. Or maybe even trying to cook them in my rice cooker.
Do you have any idea how to process them without the pressure cooker?
If you do not have a pressure cooker, soak the beans for a long time, and then double the cooking time either in rice cooker or regular cooker.
❤❤ Very nice recipe ❤❤
I have some question. How many minutes to cook mung bean in a high pressure cooker?
Thank you. The time is depending on the high pressure cooker. I recommend a longer time, around 40 minutes.
Hi there, how many do these make per batch? Thank you!
Depending on the size, for 25g each one, I make around 18 ones. I warp red bean paste too.
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When do you cook it? What temp? How long?
Recipe says store after it cools down but doesn't tell how to cook the cake.
No need to cook the cake, it can be served directly since the green beans are already cooked.