Pumpkin Cakes: A Traditional Chinese Breakfast

Traditional Chinese Pumpkin Pies (Cakes) Make a Perfect Chinese Breakfast (and a Delicious Dessert too).

To make the traditional Chinese breakfast of pumpkin cakes, you will need:

1/4 pumpkin, 2 tbsp sugar, 200g rice flour, red bean paste (optional), and white sesame seeds (optional). 

You will need to prepare the pumpkin first.

  1. Get rid of pumping seed and it’s inside fiber.
  2. Peel off pumpkin skin. 
  3. Slice into thin pieces ~3mm. Thinner pumpkin slices will reduce the time it takes to be cooked. 
  4. Boil the Water first and Steam it in a bowl for 10 min.
  5. After steaming, pour out water from the bowl if any.
  6. Will need to add 2 tbsp sugar and smash it until there are no pumpkin lumps left. 

Making the dough

  1. Add in 50g of the rice flour, and mix evenly. Repeat 4 times. Do not add-in all the flour at once.
  2. What we want is a rather soft dough. (If you have reach this texture, you don’t need to add exactly the same flour amount as I did; different pumpkin and flour will perform differently).

Making the pumpkin pie 

  1. Take approximately half a hand fist of dough. 
  2. And rub into a ball shape, then press over the dough making a round cake shape. 
  3. If you have red bean paste you can take a scoop of it and place it on the pie shaped dough and close it up and repeat step 2. If you are adding the paste make sure your pie shaped dough is thinner and bigger. Don’t add too much of the paste. 
  4. If you have a plate of white sesame, run both sides of the finished pie in the plate, you can press upon the pie softly allowing sesame to stick to the surface of the pie. 

Cooking the pie 

  1. Preheat the frying pan.
  2. Put in enough oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan.
  3. Add in the pie when oil is hot enough. 
  4. Cook the cakes on low medium heat. 
  5. After every one minute, flip the cake(s) over to the other side. Prevent overcooking on one side. 
  6. To test if it’s cooked. You press upon the pie (cake) and if its shape returns quickly it means it’s cooked. Normally it takes 2-4 minutes.

Pumpkin pie is full of nutrients and is very delicious. Chinese often have pumpkin pie as a dessert or breakfast. Pumpkin pie has the best taste the day it’s made, so please enjoy and finish them quickly after made. This recipe makes 5 to 8 pies; you can adjust the recipe proportionally for your family size!

Wendy Mou, age 16, California. Wendy is an active student who enjoys creative outlets including food. For example, baking is her preferred way to relax after school work and family chores. Since her childhood, she has always held respect for the natural ingredients that go into her food. Currently, she is in the process of starting a food science club at her school. She looks up to those unique recipe makers, and hopes to become one someday. 

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