Suzhou-Style Mooncakes

August 31, 2015


Author Notes: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! This year it falls on September 27, 2015, and I’d like to introduce you to the lesser-known Suzhou-style mooncake. It’s savory and it does not have lotus paste, egg yolks, or red bean paste stuffed inside. Instead, it’s got a lovely, aromatic pork filling that's surrounded by an incredibly flaky exterior. It’s sold year-round at bakeries, but of course during the ,Mid-Autumn Festival, they’re consumed by the dozen. If you can't find or don't want to use lard, you can use other forms of fat, such as shortening, butter, or oil. I'd recommend lard though. For step-by-step instructions, see here: https://food52.com/blog...Betty

Makes: 12

Ingredients

For the water and lard doughs:

  • For the water dough
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 20 grams lard
  • For the lard dough
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams lard

For the pork filling:

  • 250 grams lean ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine

Directions

  1. Combine meat ingredients and shape into 12 balls. Cover lightly with cling wrap and place in the fridge to firm up.
  2. For the water dough, mix all of the ingredients together and knead until very smooth. Add water or flour as needed. The dough should be soft with no lumps. Divide into 12 balls. Set on table, cover with cling wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. For the lard dough, mix all of the ingredients together until they form a dough. Divide into 12 balls. Cover in cling wrap and set aside. The lard dough will be much more dry, yet still oily. It’ll almost flake apart but it should hold together.
  4. Roll the hybrid ball of dough into a long, thin oval. Then roll it into a log, widthwise.
  5. Repeat with the remaining 11 balls of dough, making sure to keep the finished logs under cling wrap to prevent drying out. Let the logs rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Take one log and press your finger down the middle so that the two edges bends upward. Now flatten this semicircle with your palm so that you see two spirals—the two flattened ends of the dough logs—along the surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thin circle.
  7. Place one of the firm balls of meat inside the circle and bring the sides of dough up.
  8. Pleat and scrunch the edges of the dough together, making sure to press tightly to seal. Use scissors to cut off any excess dough. Flip the ball over and set it aside, covering it loosely with cling wrap to prevent drying out. Repeat with all of the logs of the dough and balls of meat.
  9. Heat a dry pan over low heat. Place the mooncake, their smooth sides up, in the pan. Once the bottoms are nicely browned, flip and continue to fry. The outer layer will start to split. Once both sides are golden brown, remove the mooncakes from the pan and serve hot.
  10. You can also bake the mooncakes: Preheat oven to 375° F, brush the mooncakes with an egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with a splash of water, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

More Great Recipes:
Pork|Fry|Fall|Side|Snack

Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

Web-Avenger September 24, 2015
here's the missing lines of the procedure. <br />Water Dough: mix all the ingredients together and knead until very smooth. Add water or flour as needed. Dough should be soft with no lumps. Divide into<br />12 balls. Set on table covered in cling wrap and rest for 30 minutes.<br />Lard Dough: mix all together until it forms a dough. Divide into 12 balls. Cover in cling wrap and set aside.<br /><br /><br /><br />The WATER dough is on the left, and the lard dough is on the right. The lard dough will be much more “dry”, but still oily. It’ll almost flake apart but<br />will hold together. It has a very high fat content (160g flour : 100g lard).<br /><br /><br /><br />Meat: Combine all ingredients. Divide into 12 balls. Cover lightly with cling wrap and let rest in the fridge. This allows the meat balls to firm up a<br />bit, allowing for easier wrapping later.<br /><br /><br />Using palm, press water dough into a round circle.<br /><br /><br /><br />Add a ball of lard dough right into the center. Bring up the sides of the water dough and press flat.<br /><br /><br />Roll mixed dough into a long, thin oval and roll into a log, width-wise. Repeat with the remaining 11 balls, making sure to keep the finished logs under<br />cling wrap to prevent drying out.<br /><br />
 
Ness September 24, 2015
Is the meat already supposed to be cooked on its own or in the mixture or is it raw when it goes into the dough? If so, how do you know it's fully cooked?
 
Author Comment
Betty September 24, 2015
Hi Vanessa - good question. I treat it like a dumpling. The mixture is raw and is cooked with the skin - I usually sacrifice one and crack it open to check. The timing works for me, but if you're not sure definitely check one to see if it is ready.
 
Ness September 24, 2015
Thank you, I'll definitely do that! I don't have much (read: any) experience with dumplings with uncooked fillings, so this really helps!
 
LisaD September 20, 2015
I'm really confused about the "hybrid ball" of dough, as if the two different kinds of dough had been "mated," but the directions for that are missing. The instructions for rolling the dough and spirals are confusing. There is nothing that describes what to do with the filling ingredients. It looks delicious but needs clearer instructions.
 
Author Comment
Betty September 24, 2015
I'm so sorry about that! It's hard to visualize this method of making dough - there are step-by-step rolling instructions in the article associated with this recipe: https://food52.com/blog/14003-we-re-over-the-moon-for-suzhou-style-mooncakes<br /><br />Hope that helps! Feel free to ask more questions.