Updated: Mar 3, 2020
I used to visit an old eatery in Singapore's hawker or street food scene. At that particular eatery, they used to sell these fried buns with red bean paste fillings, called Ham Chim Peng. What I love about their Ham Chim Peng is that unique hint of coffee aftertaste. Needless to say that their Ham Chim Peng is fired to perfection, without any extra greasy oil what-so-ever; it is light, fluffy and chewy. Sadly, the owners retired and new ones took over. Gone is that special coffee uniqueness, to make matters worse, they do not make great Ham Chim Peng like the previous owners used to.
In case you do not know, Ham Chim Peng is a type of salted pancake or Chinese deep fried bun-like pastry. It is the popular street food in South East Asia. Ham in Cantonese literally means salted, Chim Peng means Pan Cake. So Ham Chim Peng means Salted Pan Cake. It is a round shape. The Ham Chim Peng comes in 3 types of variety: normal salted (Chinese 5 spice), red bean filling and glutinous rice fillings.
I thought to pay homage to my favorite Ham Chim Peng eatery today with my pizza fritta dough. It was just an experiment initially, somehow or rather, it led to something hearty and nostalgic. My daughters said that it is too good to be just an experiment and urge me to share the recipe. I guess the rest is history. I am using my good old koshian recipe for the red bean fillings. I also sprinkle in a pinch of instant espresso and toasted sesame seeds as well. I remembered having those buttered red bean paste sando in Japan, and they are to die for. Using that idea, I dolloped a knob of butter in as well.
I have no idea that my pizza dough works so well with the fillings. Having bite after bite, it truly reminded me of that unique Ham Chim Peng I loved and adored growing up. It isn't about how grand the food is, it is about the experience you have while enjoying the food. Sometimes all it takes is a very simple yet hearty piece of Ham Chim Peng. I really hope you will give this recipe a try.
(Make 3 panzerotto)
Pizza Fritta Dough, 3 Small Dough Balls
Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, For Frying
Koshian / Smooth Red Bean Paste, 1 Recipe
Toasted Sesame Seeds, A Pinch
High Quality Instant Espresso Powder, A Pinch
Unsalted Butter, 3 TBSP
Icing Sugar, For Dusting
Dutch Oven / Deep Fryer
Wire Cooling Rack / Plate Lined with Kitchen Paper
Please visit my “Making Pizza At Home" page for shaping the pizza dough.
Please visit my “Pizza Fritta Dough” page for the dough recipe.
Please visit my "How To Make Koshian" page for the koshian recipe.
Divide the pizza fritta dough into 6 equal dough balls instead of the usual 3.
Prepare a dutch oven or a deep fryer with at least 3 inches of oil.
*Drop a small pinch of dough into the oil. If it starts to sizzle, the temperature of the oil is ready.*
After shaping the pizza dough, add a scoop of koshian on to the dough. It should only cover half of the dough.
Sprinkle sesame seeds and espresso powder onto the koshian.
Add 1 TBSP of butter over the top.
Fold the dough into a half-moon shape.
Lightly wet your hands, pinch and seal the edges.
Gently drop the dough, away from you, into the oil.
Deep fry until golden brown on both sides.
Remove from heat and set aside on a wire cooling rack or a plate lined with a paper towel.
Transfer onto a serving plate, dust icing sugar over the top.
Repeat the steps for the remaining panzerotto.