Posted in Sweets for the Sweet, The Flavors of Asia, The Joy of Snacks

In Which Hopia Gets a Creamy Upgrade…

Not exactly your average hopia...
Not exactly your average hopia…

It’s one of the most underrated yet seriously craved for snacks in this part of the world: flattish cakes made of flaky pastry encasing things like sweet bean paste or yam paste and cooked on a flat griddle till browned on both sides.  This is hopia, a small, sweet cake that has been popular as a snack in Southeast Asia since the beginning of the 20th Century when Chinese immigrants from Fujian province devised the pastry as an alternative to heavier rice cakes and dumplings to go with tea.

Chinese-Filipino bakery Eng Bee Tin, the shop with the ubiquitous purple facade (even their mall stalls are a deep purple!), has been selling hopia in virtually all its delicious variants for much longer than even my folks can remember.  You have your classic sweet white mung bean (monggo) paste-filled discs, those filled with purple yam [ube], the slightly savory kind made with scallions, candied wintermelon, and pork fat (hopia baboy), and even the cuboid sort with the doughier skins cooked on a buttered griddle (dice hopia).  And now, to push the envelope further, they are offering custard-filled hopia.

I kid you not; there's practically a whole single-serve leche flan in there...
I kid you not; there’s practically a whole single-serve leche flan in there…

Referred to as the Classic Custard Hopia, this particular cake features the classic flaky lard-pastry surface but features a deliciously creamy and rich creme patisserie within.  (It would really have to be the creme rather than a true cream-based custard because it wouldn’t hold up at room temperature.)  The filling is eggy and melts smoothly in one’s mouth, going beautifully with the slightly salty taste of the pastry encasing it.  At P 48.00 – 50.00 a pack (depending on where you get it), I consider it something of an everyday indulgence.  🙂

Oh, and check out the add.  It claims that chilling custard hopia is bound to give you the chills because it tastes so gosh-darned good…



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

4 thoughts on “In Which Hopia Gets a Creamy Upgrade…

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