This recipe is a two-parter. In Part 1, below, I share the recipe for making a sweet mung bean and coconut filling–a more traditional recipe. If you’re looking for a different fusion of flavors, check out my second filling recipe where I use pumpkin. In Part 2 (to be released next week), I use these fillings to make scrumptious Sesame Balls. The mung bean balls are familiar and delicious but my favorite is the pumpkin filling. I love the combination of pumpkin and spice and the flavors go so well with the fried sweet dough. It is decadent and I hope you’ll give it a try!
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
The key to making a good filling is cooking it just right so it’s not too dry or too wet If it’s too dry you won’t be able to roll it into a ball. If it’s too wet, it becomes difficult to encase with a layer of dough as it will stick to your fingers and the dough. Also keep in mind, moisture content is different when using freshly mashed mung bean versus previously frozen and thawed mung bean. I always have to add more water to the previously frozen mung bean to get the balls to form nicely. If you want a creamy, richer taste, you can always add more vegetable oil as I only use a minimal amount in my recipe. The pumpkin filling has more moisture and the cooking time is longer. Please note these balls tend to be wetter than the mung bean balls. For the pumpkin filling, if I have the time, I’ll refrigerate overnight. This helps to dry them out further.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Mooncakes with Sweet Red Bean Filling (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong Nhan Dau Do), Snowskin Mooncakes Part 1: Making the Syrup and Taro Root Filling (Banh Deo: Cach Nau Nuoc Duong, Lam Nhan Khoai Mon) and Salted Egg Yolks.
Mung Bean and Coconut Filling
Combine water and sugar over Low heat until sugar is dissolved.
In a large skillet over Medium Low heat, add the mashed mung bean, simple syrup, oil and vanilla extract.
Mix together forming a thick paste. Continue stirring the filling as it cooks. After 3-4 minutes the filling dries and has the consistency of a thick dough. Turn off the heat and add in the coconut flakes. Combine well.
When filling is cool enough to handle, roll into even-sized balls. (It’s easier to roll into balls when the filling is still warm.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yields: 1 dozen balls
Pumpkin Spice Filling
Combine water and brown sugar over Low heat until sugar is dissolved.
In a large skillet over Medium Low heat, add the pureed pumpkin, all spices, vanilla extract, oil and melted sugar. Mix together.
Stirring frequently, cook the filling for 10-12 minutes or until it has the consistency of a thick dough.
When the filling is cool enough to handle, roll into even-sized balls. (It’s easier to roll into balls when the filling is still warm.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yields: 1 dozen balls
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