See these little beauties? Aren’t they the cutest little cakes? Mung bean cakes (Green Bean Cakes) are a traditional pastry throughout China, are also known as the mung bean paste, and I just love making them. Oh, yes, and eating them is also very enjoyable, too!
Today I have recipes for two scrumptious versions of mung bean cakes: Milk Mung Bean Cake with Skins and Skinless Mung Bean Cakes with Red Bean Filling. Read on to find out how to make these delicious Chinese pastries.
The Mung Bean Cake is said to be an ancient cake in China. To keep their body safe and healthy during the Dragon Boat Festival, the people drank rice wine, ate green bean cakes and salted duck eggs to avoid diseases caused by the arrival of the mid-summer heat.
Mung bean cakes are sweet. They detox your body, quench your thirst, retain fluid and keep your skin healthy and beautiful.
They are the perfect healthy snack that will also quench those sweet cravings.
They have a nice shape and are pale yellow in color; they are soft but do not stick to your teeth.
I have used moon cake molds to create the gorgeous shapes of these cakes.
Here are two kinds of mung bean cake recipes:
Milk Mung Bean Cake with Skins
- 250g Mung beans
- 100g rock sugar
- 35g butter
- 15g powdered milk
- a handful of salt
1. Add the mung beans to a pot and cover with water to just above the level of the beans.
Bring to the boil, cover, and then turn off the heat, leaving the beans to sit for 15-20 minutes.
Then put them back on the stove and bring to the boil again, turn off, cover and sit for a further 15-20 mins. Do this a third time, being careful the beans do not boil dry.
2. Add the rock sugar and salt and continue simmering until the rock sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend to a paste, then run it through a sieve.
3. Add the milk and butter to the mung bean paste and cook over the stove on a low flame, until the water has evaporated.
4. Use a spatula to scrape the paste from the pan into a bowl.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
6. Brush the molds you want to use with a little oil and then divide the mung bean paste into small portions, and press into the molds, scraping off excess paste.
7. Turn the molds upside down and carefully remove the mung bean portions.
- You can cook any kind of beans this way – bring to the boil, turn off, cover and sit for 15-20 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times until they are soft. Remember not to let them boil dry.
- When you stir fry bean paste you will need to constantly stir to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan. Using a good pan with even heat also goes a long way in preventing sticking.
- The mixture is ready when you can scoop or slide out the whole lot in one go using a knife or spatula.
- When you place the plastic wrap over the mung bean paste, press it onto the surface tightly to prevent a crust forming on the surface.
- If you are using wooden molds, you will need to brush the oil into them the day before. Then, oil again before placing the bean paste into the molds.
Skinless Mung Bean Cakes with Red Bean Filling
This second version of these cakes uses peeled mung beans and has red bean paste as the filling.
- 250g peeled mung beans
- 80g sugar
- 35g malt sugar
- 40g butter
Red Bean Paste:
- 200g red beans
- 65g sugar
- 30g malt sugar
- 30g butter
- Soak the peeled mung beans in water for about 4 hours, adding more water as it is soaked up (or you can place in the refrigerator overnight).
- Place them into a pressure cooker, add enough water so that it comes just above the beans (soaked and peeled mung beans are not too absorbent), and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Put them into the blender to make them into a paste.
- Place the butter in a heated non-stick pan and wait until it has melted.
- Pour in the cooked mung beans and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly with a spatula.
- Add both sugars and continue to stir.
- Cook until the mixture resembles smooth mashed potatoes, turn off the heat and allow to cool so you are able to handle the mixture.
The next step is to make the red bean paste. Of course, if you only want a plain mung bean cake, then you can skip these steps.
Red Bean Paste Method:
- First, wash the red beans and soak in water overnight (red beans need longer to soak than peeled green beans). If it is summer and the temperature is high, it is best to soak the beans in the refrigerator.
- Next, place the soaked red beans into a pressure cooker and add enough water to come 2 to 3 cm above the beans. Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Cool the beans slightly and place them in the blender. Blitz them until they form a paste and press this paste through a sieve.
- Place the butter into a heated non-stick pan to melt it.
- Turn the heat to medium and pour the red bean paste into the pan and stir constantly (to prevent forming a paste at the end).
- Add the sugars and continue to stir.
- When the red bean paste stops sticking to the sides of the pan, then you can turn the heat off and let it sit for a bit.
- Divide the green bean paste ‘dough’into 35-gram (about a tablespoon) portions and roll each one into a ball. Repeat the same process for the red bean paste, but halve the weight of each portion (or 15 grams). I use a 50-gram capacity mold, so the total amount of the two kinds of bean paste add up to 50 grams, but you can base the portions on the size of the mold you are using.
- Flatten each green bean paste ball, place each red bean paste ball in the center and then wrap the flattened green bean paste dough around the red bean paste ball, completely enclosing it.
- Place each ball into the mold and press it slightly. (If the mold is sticky, brush a little oil or sprinkle a little amount of flour into it, but I don’t generally use anything, as my molds aren’t sticky). Roll the ball in your hands to smooth the shape and seal it.
- Press the ball into the mold and then remove. Place the mung bean cakes in the refrigerator – this makes the flavor better.
And there you have it – two kinds of mung bean cake ready and waiting for you to make that well deserved cup of coffee so you can relax and eat as many as you want!
Cooking Tips for Making Bean Paste:
- Red beans are much harder than peeled mung beans, so they need to be cooked in more water and for longer. I use a pressure cooker, rather than a normal pot, as it retains the liquid and cooks quicker. If you use a normal pot you should add more water and cook for longer.
- You can make more red bean paste, use the remaining red bean paste to make red bean buns. (I made 500 grams of red bean paste for this recipe – any remainder can be stored in the fridge.)
- If you do not have maltose, then you can exclude it, as it can make the mixture stickier and more difficult to handle.
- When I fry the bean paste, I use butter, which gives it a richer milky flavor, but it can be replaced by other oils such as sesame oil if you prefer.
- When you are cooking the bean mixture in the water, you should cook on a low flame to stop it from turning to a paste.
More cakes recipes you should know:
- Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe (Step By Step With Image)
- Moist And Delicious Sweet Potato Cake Recipe
- Chinese Sponge Cake – Simple Version But Delicious
- Water Chestnut Cake Recipe – Chinese Famous Dim Sum
- Mango Pancakes Recipe – Hong Kong Mango Crepe
- Snow Skin Mooncake With Milky Pineapple Filling
- Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake Recipe (Ji Dan Gao)
- Chinese Rice Cake Recipe – Step By Step Guide
- Chinese Pumpkin Cake – Two Methods, You Must Love One Of Them
- Red Bean Cakes Recipe
- Wife Cake – Sweetheart Cake
- Taiwanese Pineapple Cake
- 250g Mung beans
- 100g rock sugar
- 35g butter
- 15g powdered milk
- a handful of salt
- Add the mung beans to a pot and cover with water to just above the level of the beans. Bring to the boil, cover, and then turn off the heat, leaving the beans to sit for 15-20 minutes.Then put them back on the stove and bring to the boil again, turn off, cover and sit for a further 15-20 mins. Do this a third time, being careful the beans do not boil dry.
- Add the rock sugar and salt and continue simmering until the rocksugaris dissolved. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend to a paste, then run it through a sieve.
- Add the milk and butter to the mung bean paste and cook over the stove on a low flame, until the water has evaporated.
- Use a spatula to scrape the paste from the pan into a bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Brush the molds you want to use with a little oil and then divide the mung bean paste into small portions, and press into the molds, scraping off excess paste.
- Turn the molds upside down and carefully remove the mung bean portions.