Many people believed that moon cakes are sweet, even overly sweet based on traditional moon cake perceptions. However, this is not true, not all moon cakes are sweet and one of the classic example of savoury moon cake is Suzhou Meat moon cake which is common the Jiangnan area especially Suzhou and Shanghai. If you are interested in the recipe, you can refer to this post: Not All Mooncakes Are Sweet…. Suzhou Style Meaty Mooncake (苏式鲜肉月饼）
I like the above Suzhou meat mooncake and I have actually prepared a number of times not during the moon cake festivals but as a snack. I knew Taiwan has another version of savoury sweet moon cake (绿豆椪） which is one of their traditional moon cakes. I was told that this moon cake was sold rather pricey and order have to be placed in advance during the moon cake festivals. If you Google Lv Dou Peng and this is what you get.
It is a flaky crust moon cake with the savoury sweet mung meat fillings. Some braised meat was added to the mung bean filling that provide an unique texture and surprising the mung bean paste blends very well with the braised meat. It is hard to describe unless you have a chance to taste it. Unlike normal moon cake, you have some bits to bite in the smooth fillings. The savoury complement the sweetness. Having said that, braised meat is optional.
I am utterly surprised that my boy at 2 of the moon cakes. Obviously this moon cake suit his taste buds. He does not like to eat angku kuih nor normal moon cake yet he ate two. The moon cake is not small, it weighs about 150 grams per moon cake. I have to stop him for further eating. Well, if you are not preparing this for moon cake festivals, it is definitely a good snack or a nice break fast item.
I am not extremely happy with this batch because the skin tends to break. I discovered that the original recipe may have used much more oil dough for the layering . Though it looks less than satisfactory, on the other hand, it provide much more layer that gives a flakier crust.
The recipe is rather long winded but it is rewarding. There are some version that do not have braised meat as the filling and you can omit the meat portion if you wish to.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 12 moon cakes
Mung Bean Paste
- 300 grams of split mung beans, soaked overnight
- 250 grams of sugar
- 5 pieces of Pandan leaves
- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons of shallot oil (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 300 grams of minced meat
- 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of dark soya sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- 4 tablespoons of deep fried shallots
- 200 grams of plain flour or medium protein flour
- 50 grams of peanut oil or lard
- 100 grams or ml of cold water
- 20 grams of icing sugar
- 150 grams of cake flour or low protein flour
- 70 grams of peanut oil or lard
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Steamed the soaked split mung beans and Pandan leaves until the beans are soft. You will know it is cooked if it break easily when you press the beans. Add the sugar, stir until well mixed, continue to steam for another 2 minutes until sugars are dissolved. Add the salt and the shallot oil. Use a tablespoon to press the mung beans until it resembles a thick paste. If you prefer final texture, you can use a blender to expedite the preparation.
- In a wok, heat up the cooking oil, put the blended mung bean paste, stir fry the mung bean paste until it dries up. Constant stirring is required. You will know it is ready if it does not stick to the wok and there are less and less water vapour. Let it cool completely before usage. Once it cooled, it will be firmer.
- If times permit, it can be prepared the night before and store in the fridge. The same filling can also be used for the preparation of angku kuih.
- In a wok, heat up the cooking oil, add the minced meat and stir fry until the meat turns beige colour. Add about 1/4 cups of water, dark soya sauce, sugar, five spice powder and white pepper powder. Stir fry until well combined. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the meat juices dries up. Before dishing up, add the deep fried shallots, stir fry until well mixed and off the heat.
- This minced meat is slightly on the salty side to complement the sweet mung bean paste. If times permit, it can be prepared the night before and store in the fridge to let the flavour develops.
- Minced meat is an optional item and you have a choice of not putting any.
- Put the plain flour, peanut oil and icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the cold water and use a pair of chopsticks to stir until it forms a sticky dough. Lightly transfer to a floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth dough. Put it back to the mixing bowl, cover with a clingy wrap and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
- For the oil dough, add the peanut oil to the flour and lightly knead until it forms a dough. The dough can be slightly sticky but do not worry.
- While the dough is resting, divide the cooled mung bean paste into 12 equal portions and shape round.
- Take a ball, lightly pattern, put 2-3 teaspoons of the meat filling on the centre and wrap the filling with the mung bean paste. Perform the same for the remaining 11 portions. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.
- Divide the water dough into 12 equal pieces, shape round and set aside
- Divide the oil dough into 12 equal pieces, shape round and set aside.
- Lightly pressed down the water dough, put a ball of oil dough at the centre.
- Seal the oil dough with the water dough, shape round again, set aside and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Take a ball, use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a rectangular shape as evenly and as thin as possible. Roll it up like you are preparing Swiss roll. Turn the “Swiss roll” direction with the shorter side pointing at you. Use a rolling pin to roll it again in a rectangular shape as evenly and as thin as possible. Roll it up again like you are preparing Swiss roll.
- Take a rolled dough, use the rolling pin to flatten it into a circle shape. Put a mung bean ball on top of the rolled dough, seal the edges, shape it round and use the rolling pin to lightly flatten it so that it looks like a disc shape. Use some thing to chop a red mark at the centre of the cake. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 170 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
- The cake can be kept for 3-4 days at room temperature and best served when warm.
This recipe suits my taste bud and personally i found it rather addictive. While I do not have a constant craving for sweet moon cake but for this moon cake, I can easily finish one by myself. If do not intend to prepare this for moon cake festival, why not try this as a snack and an alternative to the normal angku kuih ?
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