How to make mooncakes – ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival, a lesson from Hong Kong dim sum chef Tse Sun-fuk

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here

With the coronavirus pandemic under control in Hong Kong, families will be able to gather and celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival this year – and enjoy eating mooncakes.

Usually square, traditional mooncakes are dense – filled with sweet lotus seed paste and whole salted egg yolks. They are sliced up for sharing while admiring the moon at its fullest on the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Post got a lesson in making traditional mooncakes from Tse Sun-fuk, a dim sum chef at the Cordis Hong Kong hotel in Mong Kok who has 30 years’ experience.

Asked if he likes making traditional mooncakes, Tse gives a typically pragmatic Hong Kong answer. “I prefer making egg custard mooncakes because you just need to bake them once and they’re done. With traditional mooncakes you need to bake them twice,” he explains.

Nevertheless he was game to demonstrate how to make the hotel’s signature white lotus paste mooncakes with double salted egg yolks.

Making traditional mooncakes from scratch can be tedious. The lotus seeds need to be soaked overnight, boiled, the skins painstakingly removed and the seeds mashed (thank goodness for blenders), and then mung bean paste, sugar and cornflour added. To save on time and effort, cooks can buy lotus seed paste from shops instead.

Tse had already prepared the ingredients for the mooncake dough, which is made with flour, sugar syrup, lye water (or alkaline water), rapeseed oil, and lard – the latter makes it smell and taste delicious. He says it’s quite hard to knead the dough by hand; he uses an industrial mixer.

The lotus seed paste filling is divided into even portions and rolled into balls. But how to put two firm egg yolks in there? Tse places one of the yolks on one side of the ball and the other directly opposite, then pushes each towards the centre and rolls the combination again into a ball shape.

Once that’s done, it’s time to encase the lotus seed paste and egg yolks in pastry dough. The dough is divided into even portions; each is rolled into a ball, and flattened using the side of a cleaver. I was definitely not adept at this and the dough stubbornly stuck to my cleaver.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here

Lotus paste and salted egg yolks. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here

Lotus paste can be bought, or made at home in a painstaking, overnight process. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

The rolled out dough is placed on top of the lotus seed ball, then Tse deftly manipulates the dough downwards while simultaneously pushing the lotus seed ball into the dough so that eventually it is almost completely covered.

This seems a near impossible task at first, but by following Tse’s instructions, I somehow achieve it.

Now comes the fun (and noisy) part. Tse has a wooden paddle with a carved design, and somehow we are going to fit the dough ball into this mould.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here

Mooncakes before and after being moulded. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

“Throw some flour inside the mould first, otherwise it will be difficult to get out without ruining it,” Tse warns. Then we flip the paddle over to shake off the excess flour.

I watch him squeeze the giant ball into the mould, and he warns me to ensure the corners are filled by pressing down on it with my palm.

Then he takes the paddle and knocks it three times against the table – once on the right side, then, after a twist, on the left side, and then face down with his other hand waiting below to catch the mooncake.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here

Bernice Chan brushes the mooncake with egg wash after the initial baking. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Luckily mine felt out with relative ease (and none landed on the floor).

The mooncakes are arranged on a baking tray and baked at 250 degrees Celsius (480 degrees Fahrenheit) for about five minutes. Then they are taken out of the oven and carefully brushed with egg wash before being baked for another 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit) until they’re golden brown.

Tse advises not to eat them right away, but a day or two later to allow the flavours to meld together first.

Like what you read? Follow SCMP Lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Step Inside Marlena, Bernal Heights' Mom-and-Pop Michelin Stunner

© Patricia Chang Marlena, that newish neighborhood restaurant on the north slope of Bernal Heights, just celebrated its one year anniversary at the same time as receiving its first Michelin ... Read more »

Chick-fil-A Is Testing a New Twist on a Popular Beverage in One Georgia City

© Provided by Southern Living Chick-fil-A It’s true! Chick-fil-A is testing a refreshing twist on the Chick-fil-A Sunjoy drink, but there’s a catch: It’s only available in one Georgia city. ... Read more »

How to make easy buttery garlic bread

© jabiru/Getty Images How to make easy buttery garlic bread A good crusty loaf of bread, softened butter, and fresh garlic are all you need to make garlic bread. Use ... Read more »

Netflix's Ted Sarandos Admits “I Screwed Up Internal Communication” Amid Dave Chappelle Controversy, Says “Storytelling Has Impact On Real World”

Today was a big day for Netflix, which reported strong quarterly earnings and “mind-boggling” 142 million households that have sampled runaway hit Squid Game. But the celebration was subdued in ... Read more »

‘We're Here's Bob The Drag Queen On Dave Chappelle Controversy & Juxtaposition Of Selma Civil Rights & LGBTQ+ Struggles

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix continues a turn in the barrel with today’s staff walkout to protest displeasure with Dave Chappelle’s The Closer. Across the dial, HBO has upcoming an episode of its ... Read more »

El Sevilla, de empate en empate

© PASCAL ROSSIGNOL (Reuters) Renato y Acuña pugnan por el balón, este miércoles en el Pierre Mauroy. El Sevilla logró esta noche un empate en su visita al estadio Pierre-Mauroy ... Read more »

Brian Laundrie's belongings found close to human remains, FBI reveals

© Instagram Screen Shot 2021-10-20 at 10.14.23 AM.png Human remains have been found along with Brian Laundrie’s belongings, in an area that was previously underwater. FBI special agent Michael McPherson ... Read more »

Orionids meteor shower 2021: How to watch ‘shooting star' spectacle tonight

© Getty Images/iStockphoto The Orionid meteor shower will peak on 21 October 2020 – Getty Images/iStockphoto The annual Orionid meteor shower is set to peak this week, giving sky gazers ... Read more »

Chelsea's breathtaking win over Malmo overshadowed by injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner

© EPA Chelsea players celebrate defeating Malmo 4-0 in the Champions League – EPA Chelsea’s joy at an exhilarating attacking performance to dispatch Malmo 4-0 was quickly washed away by ... Read more »

Goleada y primera victoria del Villarreal en esta Champions

© ANTHONY ANEX (EFE) Moreno remata de forma acrobática para firmar el segundo gol del Villarreal. El Villarreal logró un triunfo imprescindible para seguir optando a los octavos de final ... Read more »

Instagram model Genie Exum, accused of stabbing boyfriend, plugs her OnlyFans day after arrest

Instagram model Genie Exum was back plugging her OnlyFans account Wednesday — less than 24 hours after she was freed on bail after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend with a kitchen ... Read more »

Facebook cambiaría el nombre de su compañía en ésta fecha

Facebook podría cambiar de nombre el próximo 28 de octubre con la intención de entrar al mundo del metaverso, según informó el sitio especializado en nuevas tecnologías The Verge. © ... Read more »

The Best Gifts for Marvel Fans: From Loki and Sylvie Hot Toys to Avengers Lego Sets

© Courtesy of Marvel All products and services featured by Variety are independently selected by Variety editors. However, Variety may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, ... Read more »

Upcoming Documentary ‘Filipinx Food Seattle' Will Explore the Filipino Food Scene, and the Family Legacies Behind It

© Terrence Jeffrey Santos The documentarian and Filipino chefs stand with Leila Rosas of Oriental Mart in the Pike Place Market. Pictured left to right: Elmer Dulla, Aaron Verzosa, Terrence ... Read more »

Jim Jordan says he can't remember how many times he spoke to Trump on 6 January

© Getty Images GettyImages-1330929152.jpg Representative Jim Jordan stammered and struggled through a series of questions on whether he spoke with then-President Donald Trump during the 6 January insurrection. The Ohio ... Read more »

Rioter who witnessed attack on Mitch McConnell's office on 6 January has been asked to testify before Congress

© Fox17 Lori and Thomas Vinson – Fox17 A House select committee has asked a Kentucky man who pled guilty to entering the US Capitol to testify as a witness ... Read more »

‘Justice for Gabby': Protesters chant as FBI reveal human remains found next to Brian Laundrie's backpack and notebook

© Instagram Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie – Instagram Protesters repeatedly chanted “Justice for Gabby” as the FBI revealed it would take some time to confirm whether human remains found ... Read more »

Amber weather warning for torrential rain and flooding in London and southern England

© Met Office Heavy rain was likely to cause flooding overnight – Met Office The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for London and much of southern England on ... Read more »

Fox News host Neil Cavuto urges vaccinations after bout with Covid, but Fox News hasn't shared his message

© Getty Neil Cavuto is an anchor on Fox News and Fox Business – Getty Fox News host Neil Cavuto has contracted the coronavirus, he says, and credits his Covid ... Read more »

FDA OKs Moderna, J&J boosters, along with 'mix and match' approach

The move will greatly expand access to booster shots. Read more »

From records to rodents: Gold Fields chief Chris Griffith needs Operation Chinchilla to succeed

Chris Griffith, who took over as chief executive of Gold Fields in April, has had a varied career as a mining executive, including stints as CEO of Kumba Iron Ore ... Read more »

DiDi lanza un nuevo servicio de la empresa china que brinda liquidez a pasajeros y conductores —los montos llegan hasta los 30,000 pesos

© Cortesía. DiDi lanza Préstamos en su aplicación con montos de hasta 30,000 pesos. DiDi anunció este miércoles el lanzamiento de un nuevo servicio dentro de su aplicación. Se trata ... Read more »

5 best Squid Game soundtrack covers and remixes, from Eka Gustiwana of Weird Genius' EDM rendition of the Netflix series' Red Light Green Light Game to MayTree's a cappella track

The popularity of South Korean drama Squid Game is unrivalled. The survival series, which debuted in mid-September this year, has become the No 1 show on Netflix in more than ... Read more »

WHO numbers underscore urgent need for stronger leadership and ambitious TB recovery plan

According to new estimates from the World Health Organization, around 61,000 people died of TB in South Africa in 2020, an increase of around 5% over 2019. That works out ... Read more »

Bellagio's Le Cirque Is Poised to Reopen October 28

© Bellagio/Website Las Vegas French fine dining icon Le Cirque is, at long last, reopening October 28, with new executive chef Dameon Evers at its helm. The fountain-side Bellagio restaurant ... Read more »

‘My scrunchie made national news': Jill Biden speaks out about pressures of being First Lady

© Office of the First Lady of the US The scrunchie in question, seen top left in Dr Biden’s hair – Office of the First Lady of the US US ... Read more »

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers try to bar prosecutors from calling Epstein accusers ‘victims'

© Getty Images Ghislaine Maxwell – Getty Images Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell have said they will ask a US judge to ban the prosecution from referring to Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers ... Read more »

Meghan Markle just sent a letter to congress - this is what she demanded

© AFP via Getty Images GettyImages-1235506202.jpg Meghan Markle has fired off a letter to Nancy Pelosi and congress, to advocate for paid leave for all. “I’m not an elected official, ... Read more »

Threat level for MPs raised to ‘substantial‘ after David Amess murder, says Priti Patel

© PA A review by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre linked to MI5 was launched after Sir David Amess was stabbed to death – PA The threat facing MPs has been elevated ... Read more »

Young Boys - Villarreal en directo, el partido de la Champions League en vivo

© ANTHONY ANEX (EFE) Moreno remata de forma acrobática para firmar el segundo gol del Villarreal. El Young Boys y el Villarreal se ven las caras esta noche a las ... Read more »

Piqué hace de Luuk de Jong

© Joan Monfort (AP) Luuk de Jong remata una falta lateral de Memphis ante el Dinamo de Kiev. Cuando enfilaban el túnel de vestuarios en el entreacto, Memphis y Luuk ... Read more »

Curator of new Beano exhibit: There is still ‘joy in the rebellion' of the comic

© PA Wire Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules exhibition The curator of a new exhibition based on the Beano has said the comics have evolved to reflect societal ... Read more »

China's ‘unfair trade practices' draw heavy fire at WTO trade review

China was accused of a laundry list of trade felonies and economic bullying during a series of attacks by other nations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on ... Read more »

Nation's vaccine experts debate goal of booster campaign

Are boosters meant to prevent infections? Or to keep people out of the hospital? Read more »

The Found Oyster Team Shores Up a New Seafood-Focused Project in Highland Park

© Wonho Frank Lee Oysters and clams from Found Oyster. East Hollywood’s Found Oyster team is on the expansion path, plotting a new kind of East Coast seafood destination in ... Read more »

I've Never Used An Air Fryer Before—Here's What Happened When I Finally Did

© Felicia LaLomia – Hearst Owned Overnight, seemingly everyone made counter space for a magical air fryer. Is it finally time for me to test it out? I’ve never understood ... Read more »

Dark Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie Is The New Classic

The only thing better than pecan pie? Chocolate bourbon pecan pie! That’s right, your favorite sticky-sweet pie got a chocolatey makeover so good you’ll have to make it at least ... Read more »

Corrie twist as villain Harvey survives sinkhole fall and has gun to kill Leanne

Coronation Street villain Harvey Gaskell lives on in a twist for Super Soap Week. The ITV soap opera saw dangerous scenes for Leanne Battersby on Wednesday night as Harvey (Will ... Read more »

Alex Jones returning to work on The One Show after maternity leave

© PA PRI188007765.jpg Alex Jones is returning to work at The One Show onThursday following the birth of her daughter Annie. The television presenter began her maternity leave for her ... Read more »

“This Is Peak Cricket” – Twitter On Fire As Virat Kohli Bowls Against Australia

Virat Kohli Virat Kohli was seen rolling his arms in the warm-up game against Australia as India’s hunt for the sixth bowling option continues ahead of the T20 World Cup. ... Read more »