Is it really almost October???!
COVID-19 has really messed with my sense of time. I think perhaps a lot of us feel the same way. On the one hand, 2020 has felt like an eternity, and the carefree mask-free, travel-filled days of 2019 feels like a distant memory. On the other hand, time seemed to stop around March. I feel like I've living on perpetual "pause", still waiting for life to re-start again.
Because of that, it feels like we just recently just celebrated Bryan's birthday and our anniversary before the world went on HOLD.
Even though it doesn't feel like fall here in Hong Kong, I still decided to focus on PUMPKIN for this next post. I spruced up a blog post I wrote back in 2010(!) and updated in 2015 about an old family recipe from Bryan's roots.
This time, I've "modernized" it by trying to make it in the Instant Pot, which worked beautifully. I also decided to film a video on how to make it in Mandarin Chinese (!!) to share with a Mandarin speaking group at my church here in Hong Kong.
It's been a loooooong time since I've really made a cooking video, and eons since my most viewed cooking video about hand-pulled noodle video).
Nevertheless, it was fun to play around with different filming angles and video methods (all iPhone video this time around). A lot has changed since 10 years ago when I used an SLR to film everything!
Enjoy, and please excuse my Mandarin Chinese, haha. It's still not great, but I thought I would try. I also added English subtitles, so you can follow along if you don't know Chinese.
The video discusses both cooking methods, and I have included the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker updated recipe in English below.
Instant Pot (or Oven) Chinese Pumpkin Cake (family recipe)
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Jennifer Che from Tiny Urban Kitchen
Pumpkin baking time (if using fresh): 1 hour
Prep time: 1 hour
Pressure Cook time: 40 min + 20 min pressure release
Total time: 2 hours mins
Please click here for the traditional oven steam-bake method
- 3 lb pumpkin flesh, baked and mashed (or you can use canned)
- 1 lb long grain rice flour
- 1 lb pork loin, cut into 1-2 cm chunks
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 1 T Dried shrimp, soaked and rinsed (optional)
- 5-7 Dried shitake mushrooms, soaked, rinsed, and sliced
- 3-4 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks of scallions, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon five spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- white pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 T Chinese Shaoxing rice wine or sherry
Stir Fry Ingredients
Mix pork with soy sauce and cornstarch and let marinate for 20 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok (or Dutch oven) until hot. Add dried shrimp (if using), Shiitake mushrooms, shallots, and scallions and stir fry for a few minutes until the shallots are translucent. Add the marinated pork and stir fry for about a minute. Add five spice powder, garlic powder, white pepper and cooking wine and continue to stir fry until the meat is cooked. Set aside.
The Rice Cake
Mix mashed pumpkin with the rice flour and mix thoroughly. Add the Stir Fry Ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into one or two glass square containers that fits inside the Instant Pot. Add about 1-2 cups of water into the Instant Pot.
Cook on Manual high pressure for 40 minutes. Let release either naturally or quickly. I used Glasslock containers (affiliate link!) and stacked two on top of each other.
Cool the cakes in the refrigerator. Once cool, slice into ½ inch long pieces and pan fry. Serve hot!
Times are crazy now, but I hope you can all enjoy autumn as much as possible during this unprecedented, crazy time. One bright spot in the midst of all this is that I have been able to cook a lot more. Frankly speaking, it's been years since I've written a recipe onto this blog, but maybe it's time to start again.
Stay safe and hang in there.
Original Recipe: Savory Pumpkin Cakes
Visiting the CHE Home in Xiamen, China
Kabocha Pumpkin Mochi Cake
Pumpkin Thousand Layer Spiral Mooncakes
Project Food Blog Competition: Round 8 - An Unusual Take on Pumpkin