Chinese pumpkin cake or Nan Gua Bing is the perfect recipe to try this pumpkin season! It is a sweet, chewy dessert that is served warm and perfect for the colder weather.
We love exploring Asian food and today we bring you this delicious Chinese pumpkin cake recipe for a sweet twist!
What is Chinese pumpkin cake?
Chinese pumpkin cake (Nan Gua Bing) is a delicious fried Chinese dessert that is crispy on the outside, but gooey on the inside. It is also often filled with a sweet red bean paste filling which matches well with the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.
The Chinese pumpkin cake is a popular dish you can find at dim sum spots. It was originally made for the holiday season during family gatherings but you can enjoy it all year round!
Every household should be enjoying this vegetable not only for Halloween lanterns but for its nutritional value.
Pumpkins are full of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A helps the skin, lungs, kidneys, and bones stay healthy. It also makes a protein that your eyes need to work right.
Beta-carotene which is what gives pumpkins a beautiful orange color is a powerful antioxidant. It can trigger our bodies to release natural killer cells. These cells fight and eliminate free radicals, which are small particles that can cause cancer.
Pumpkin doesn’t just give a splash of colour to your dish, it's also fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. You’ll also get a lot of vitamin B1, B6, C, manganese, copper, folate and fibre. The high fibre content means it’s also good for weight loss as you’ll feel full for longer. It is packed with a lot of good for your heart, mind and soul.
Many of us may have delectable recipes passed down from generation to generation from bread, butter, custard, pies, cookies and soup. If this Publix weekly ad is anything to go by, you’ll realise that pumpkin can be used to make a lot of variable dishes from breakfast to dessert. Roast it, stew it, steam it, bake it, or simmer it in soups, the yumminess is guaranteed.
To make this snack, you will need glutinous rice flour, pumpkin, sugar, red bean paste and toasted sesame seeds. You can also enjoy this dessert without the red bean paste filling or substitute it with another filling of your choice.
Chinese pumpkin cake contains roughly 518 calories in one serving. You can use reduce the number of calories by pan-frying these rather than deep frying.
Pan Frying Vs Deep Frying
You can make fried Chinese pumpkin cake by either pan-frying or deep frying. Deep frying your cakes is the traditional way of cooking. This will give you a more appealing and crispier exterior.
Meanwhile, pan-frying your Nan Gua Bing will give you a similar texture but it is a lot healthier as it uses less oil.
How to cook pumpkin
You can either steam or microwave your pumpkin to prepare the puree. First, begin by peeling the pumpkin and removing the seeds inside. Then cut it into small cubes.
If you’re steaming this, place the small cubes into the steamer. Steam your pumpkin for 10 minutes or until they become soft.
Alternatively, you can also microwave your pumpkin. Cover your pumpkin with plastic wrap and microwave for roughly 6-8 minutes or until they become soft.
Chinese Pumpkin Cake
- 1 lb pumpkin
- ½ pound glutinous rice flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 200 g red bean paste
- sesame seeds
- Skin the pumpkin and cut it into cubes. Steam it for about 25mins, or until very soft.
- Use a fork to smash and puree the pumpkin and also remove excess water.
- Add sugar whilst the pumpkin is hot. Then put it aside to cool down.
- Add your glutinous rice flour and mix well. Knead it into a smooth dough and then roll it into a long log. Cut out at least 12 portions from the log and roll them into balls, then one by one press them flat with your hand. Fill each one with as much red bean paste as you desire.
- Wrap the cakes and brush them with a little water before coating them in sesame seeds. Deep-fat fry or pan-fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Re-fry the cakes for around 20 seconds over medium heat for a crispier flavour and less oil absorption
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.