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mudbug

"Lao Po Bing" Filling Recipe? (Dong gwa yung)

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Chinese name spelled in English: Lao Po Bing (sometimes Lao Po Beng)

Common English names: "Concubine's Cakes" or "Wife's Cakes"

Really just looking for a recipe for the filling for a friend. A recipe from scratch with fresh ingredients, not preserved ingredients such as candiied melon.

Rough Example: Winter melon pureed and reduced. Boil soy milk, puree, add sugar, add Midori and thicken with cornstarch and eggyolk. (Anyone?)

But I'm looking for a sweet filling for Chinese pastries that's based on Wintermelon. All applications I know and practice for wintermelon is savory (like your soup recipe). The sweet wintermelon filling tastes like tutti frutti but, as far as I can tell, has no additional flavorings, although some pastry makers do add in stuff like candied citron, nuts or waterchestnut. This I really don't care for as it interferes with the delicate flavor of the wintermelon and gives me the impression that the pastry maker is trying to cut corners by adding fillers to the filling. My mother said that this wintermelon filling was quite costly to produce because of the ingredients and the labor. But it's not like the pastry shops don't make it back. I remember making multiple trips to a bakery in NYC Chinatown when I was a kid just to stand in line in hopes of securing a box of mooncakes made with this filling. The bakery did not take orders so the public had to depend on luck or perseverence. No matter how much the bakery said they were making that year, they always ran out. We scored only a few times. The rest of the year, we bought a lesser pastry made with the same filling.

The bakery is right on Mott Street. It is a bakery called Kwong Wah. It's still there. Folks liked to get mooncake at this place because the pastry skin made here was so delicately thin. Personally, I liked the thicker skin made by less experienced pastry makers because the pastry was the novelty for me. Lotus seed paste was a constant part of my diet so getting a huge hunk of it in the form of mooncake was not so special. But the wintermelon paste was very special. For some reason, it tasted so much better in the mooncake than in a loh po beng, a lesser, more commonplace pastry, even from the same bakery. My mother, who still lives in New York, says that the wintermelon filling is not as good these as it used to be those days. But I'll bet it's still much better than the stuff we get here in SF.


Edited by mudbug (log)

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For wife cakes the filling would likely be a sweetened blend of winter melon puree and glutinous rice flour. I've never eaten winter melon filling in a mooncake before so I don't know what the texture is like. Is the texture similar to lotus seed paste or rubberier like wife cake filling?

ETA: You say the winter melon paste is expensive to make, but winter melon itself is quite cheap. Therefore I would have to think the winter melon is blended with something more expensive, maybe lotus seed paste, aka leen yung? Would adding winter melon puree to the lotus seeds when making leen yung achieve the desired result? Tepee?


Edited by sheetz (log)

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Never made them before. But, thanks, sheetz, you've given me an idea for a sweet I'm making this morning...ping pei rolls. For some texture, I'll chop up some sugared winter melon and add to the leen yung. Yeah!


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Thanks for the recipes, peony and jobean. And, thanks for bumping up chaxiubaos' blog...I've forgotten to visit for quite a while.


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Thanks for the discussion. I'm going to guess the winter melon filling for mooncake is closer to that of bean paste, so to be more specific, still looking for a winter melon filling for mooncakes as opposed to wifecakes.

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