Hopia is also known as bean paste-filled mini mooncakes, but somewhere along the past decade new versions of hopia has sprouted, such as the chocolate hopia and the hopia baboy (pork-filled). But the traditional way of making these Chines delicacies was to use red mung beans (sweet red monggo), pound them into a paste, then use it as filling. Served hot together with chai latte or milk tea, now that's truly delicious!
I remember Dimsum&Dumplings restaurant during their great days when they were still well off and famous. My sister and I used to eat little cubes of freshly made mini hopia squares and wonton soup, and hot steamed buns so full of flavor and taste unlike the siopao many so-called commercialized Chinese food shops sell nowadays.
As of now, I only see the Dimsum&Dumplings as lowly food stalls, selling those hopia but not quite tasting like they used to. Quality has disappeared when the company has gone downhill. Anyway, I have been to Binondo a couple of times and I can say that the food there are very exquisite and tasty. If you're headed to Chinatown, specifically Ongpin, then don't forget to try out their Fresh Lumpia at the New Eastern Garden Restaurant, and go and take home some of those delicious pure cocoa tableas from the famous La Resurreccion. You won't regret anything.
If you're part chinese, or if you just want to make hopia the traditional way for Chinese New Year, then here's a great recipe that would certainly garner praise in any occassion.
Red Mung Bean Hopia Recipe
Note: I use measuring spoons and measuring cups for my recipes, so if you're using normal utensils the measurements would not be accurate and much less than indicated.
- 500 grams red mung beans
- water for boiling
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups refined sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 5 tablespoons lard
- 10 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Soak mung beans in water for 1 hour then drain. Place in pan with 8 cups of water over high heat until boiling, then lower heat to simmer afterwards.
- Turn off stove when skins break and separate from the beans. Wash to remove skins completely then strain well to remove excess water.
- Mix the oil and sugar with the beans and place in a saucepan.
- Stir continuously while cooking until most of the liquid part has evaporated and the filling is paste-like. Set aside to cool.
- Divide filling into 20 equal parts.
- Mix all ingredients for the soft dough until very smooth.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal parts to make balls.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball of dough into a 3-inch diameter circle.
- Put filling in the center of the dough, and fold the edges to the top and pinch to seal edges together.
- Place each mooncake into the chinese pastry mold.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake mooncakes for 20 minutes.