Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Mini Kabocha with Red Bean Paste (糯米南瓜团)

I have not made this. This is a post by 素不相识 from the Cooking Forum (私房小菜) that I visit regularly. My friend Debby would like to make these mini squashes, so I needed to translate for her since the English recipe she got using Google Translation was "hilariously bad" (her word). With the author's permission, I'm posting my translation here. All Chinese is from the original post. The English part is my translation with my own notes. Okay, here it is…

日本南瓜

Japanese Squash. [Mei: I don't know if we have Japanese Squashes in our markets here, but I personally believe any squash that look similar will do.]

[Edit: Debby pointed out that these are called kabochas in English and they are fairly common in grocery markets.]

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切开来是这样的

It looks like this once cut open.
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只用了四分之一,切成丁丁

I only used a quarter of the squash. Dice it.
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加点水放微波炉转五分钟

Add a little water and microwave for five minutes. [Mei: Don't ask me how much is "a little". Hey, you are dealing with a Chinese recipe here. ;-) ]

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用叉子压成泥

Mash it with a fork

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加小半包糯米粉,二大勺糖

Add less than half a bag of sticky rice flour and 2 TBSP of sugar. [Mei: The Chinese markets I go to seem to carry limited selection. I think what many people get is the Erawan Brand (the logo shows three elephants) Glutinous Rice Flour.]

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揉成面团

knead the dough
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将豆沙撮成小团子(注意只有这种红黄颜色的罐装冰糖红豆沙才足够干,能撮出小团子!)

Shape the red bean paste into little balls. Please notice that some other canned red bean paste is too watery. Look for the can shown in the picture. It's dry enough that you can shape it. [Mei: If you end up getting the watery ones, I believe you can place it in a non-stick pot on low heat and let the water vaporize a little, although I have not tried myself.]

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像包汤团那样将豆沙包到南瓜面团里

Fill the red bean paste into the squash dough like when you make sticky rice balls. [Mei: I bet many people feel lost reading this instruction. Basically you roll a small amount of dough into a round pancake, put a red bean paste ball in the middle, and lift up the edge of the pancake and close it on the top. Because there is sticky rice flour in the dough, you should not have trouble sealing the top.]

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蒸锅架里铺上一张淋湿后挤干了水的paper towel,将南瓜团稍微压扁点,然后用小刀背压出几道南瓜痕迹。蒸锅水开后放蒸锅架大火蒸6分钟。

Wet a paper towel under water and wring it, and then flatten it onto a steamer. Put the filled and sealed squash balls on to the steamer and press them down a little. Then use a little knife to press the groves as in real squashes. After the water boils, place the steamer on the boiling water and keep it boiling on high for 6 minutes.

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稍微凉点后,手上沾点油取出,放到底下抹了油的Cup Cake 纸杯里。南瓜头上用小糖粒装个小把。

Grease the bottom of some paper cups (e.g. for muffins). After the mini squashes cooled down a bit, brush your hands with cooking oil and take them out of the steamer and place them into the paper cups.

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南瓜美人就是这样造就的

Here it is. Pretty, isn't it?

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吃一口!中看也中吃啊!

cross section after one bite
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Mei's final notes:

1) From what I was told, these squashes can be made a day or hours before. You just need to place them in a greased box and reheat in a microwave for 30 seconds or better yet, re-steam (probably not as long as 6 minutes) before serving.

2) The author didn't say what she used to make the stem, but I guess that's where you can get creative. M&M? Or I think any green stem will work, for example, Chinese celery cut into little pieces should work well.

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