Savoury Pumpkin Cake

Bite-size savoury pumpkin cakes

Aunty No. 2 from my dad’s side of the family has bestowed many slabs of this tasty treat to us when we were growing up and it remains a personal favourite snack of mine. Much like the white radish cakes served at yum cha establishments, this savoury pumpkin cake is made with rice flour and a whole bunch of aromatics; loads of garlic, dried shrimp, chinese sausage (lap cheong) and five spice powder so it does pack a flavour punch! The appearance however, is a little unremarkable especially when left in it’s steamed form but this is rectified by slicing the starchy slab into squares and then pan-frying them to that golden hue. (Pumpkin in chinese translates to Golden Gourd/Melon/Fruit). Pan-frying also adds a slight crisp to its starchy texture. This is considered a snack but it does fill you up pretty quickly and I could definitely scoff a few down with some very fine  Tie Guan Yin chinese tea. Mmmmmm….

Making this recently was extra special because the pumpkin, chillies and spring onions were from our garden so it was very rewarding to eat from our own harvest. We are slowly going through our autumn stash of pumpkins (harvested a 5.4 kg beauty plus 19 misshapen butternut pumpkins that leave a lot to the imagination :mrgreen: ) Mom was obviously thrilled at our pumpkins and took back (overseas) five as souvenirs!


Well if you’re planning on making this, don’t be deceived by the sticky batter (It does look quite yuck) but once steamed and left to cool and set then pan-fried, it is undeniably irresistable.

My favourite childhood snack!

Savoury Pumpkin Cake

650 g pumpkin flesh, cut into rough 5 cm chunks
250 g rice flour
1 tbsp Green/Mung Bean Flour
700 ml water
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon white pepper
8  cloves garlic, minced
90 g/3 sticks of lap cheong/ chinese sausage, minced
100 g dried shrimp, finely minced
2 long red chillies, deseeded and chopped
handful of spring onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons oil

extra  cooking oil for pan-frying the sliced pumpkin cakes

  1. Mix the flours, five spice powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Steam the pumpkin chunks until soft (about 20 minutes); then mash while still warm; add this to the flour mixture then stir in the water to form a batter.
  3. Heat up the oil then sauté the dried shrimps until fragrant; add the minced garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute or until fragrant; add the minced lap cheong/chinese sausage, chillies and stir-fry this for about 2 minutes (until the oils are released from the sausage). Lastly, add in the spring onions.
  4. Lower heat and add the pumpkin and flour mixture. Stir until batter is well mix ( It will look quite lumpy and sticky at this stage but this is ok.. 🙂 ) Taste and adjust seasoning (you may add a little more salt if you wish)
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 25 cm (10 inch) square tray. Smooth the surface with the back of a lightly oiled spoon.
  6. Steam covered for 40 minutes; remove from heat; mixture will still be soft so wait for the pumpkin cake slab to completely cool down before cutting into smaller squares or cubes.
  7. To serve, heat up some oil in a wok/frying-pan then fry the pumpkin cake slices until all sides are crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately with chilli sauce.

larger squares!

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