I use about 500 grams of fresh pumpkin. So it will be about 1 pound after you remove the seeds and the skin. Make sure you use a sweet pumpkin because this is going to be a dessert. Roughly cut them into big chunks. Put it in a steamer and steam it on high heat for 20 minutes. Or until it is completely soft.
Put the pumpkin in a big mixing bowl. Add some sugar. Be sure to adjust the sweetness to your own preference. Add a tinny bit of salt. About 1/8 tsp. Take a fork to smash all the pumpkin until you don’t see any big lumps and the sugar is well cooperated.
Then add 260-280 grams of glutinous rice flour. Every pumpkin is different so you will need to slightly adjust the amount. Use a spatula to mix them together. Do it slowly in the beginning because you don’t rice flour pump in your face. If you can’t find glutinous rice flour, you can also use tapioca flour. I tried it before. It works ok. Just the texture is slightly different. Knead it for 5 or 6 minutes, you will get a bright yellow dough. It is slightly smooth, a little bit soft, not sticky at all.
Divide the dough into 16 even pieces. you can measure it. each one should be about 45 grams. if you don't have a scale, you can just eyeball it. It is not a big problem. I am making 2 recipes today so I going to use half and half for each recipe.
The first one is the pumpkin shape steam bun. it is like a mochi ball -very lovely and tasty. We will need to prepare some red bean paste. This is what I am using today. You can find it in most Asian markets. You can also make your own red bean paste but today’s recipe suppose to be easy so I just use the store bought one. Divide them into 8 pieces. Roll them into a ball shape.
Take one piece of the dough. Use your thumb to make a deep hole in the middle. If you see the edge has crack, don’t panic. That is totally normal. Put the red bean paste into the hole. Press it down so the red bean paste can attach to the inner surface.
Squeeze the edge with your thumb and forefinger. In the end, pinch and close the mochi bun. Roll it into a ball shape again. If you see the surface has the light mark, don’t need to worry too much. It will disappear after steaming. You could steam it now but today’s recipe is for Halloween so we want to make it into the pumpkin shape.
I unbend a paper clip. That is going to be my magic tool. You can also use a toothpick or anything that is thin and straight. Press the surface around the ball. You do want to use some force because I find out that slight mark will disappear after steaming. Do this 4 times. Then you have a lovely pumpkin. Put it in a steamer. Put a raisin on the top and that will be the pumpkin stem.
Steam this on high heat for 25 minutes. And you have the steamed pumpkin mochi ball. You do want to wait until it is cool down. Then take it off the steam mat or else you will ruin the shape. An optional step is to brush some oil on the surface. It will keep the moisture and make it shiner.