Greenbean paste and choc filling with melon seeds
We recently celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival. I learnt how to make no-bake snow-skin mooncakes. The glutinous rice flour is pre-cooked. The time consuming part is weighing each mooncake and filling individually.
There’re different versions depending on which dialect group you come from. Regrettably that I didn’t take photographs of the Yam filling and the fruity flavoured ones we bought for L’s mom. Next year I’ll make jelly mooncakes.
The Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans celebrate this festive season. It is second to the Chinese New Year celebrations in importance. When I was working in Taiwan, we would throw a dinner feast for our local staff to signify family reunion.
How did the eating of mooncakes begin? Traditionally the story is told about an ambitious and wicked Emperor who wanted to look for an elixir for long life. He sent his officers far and wide, eventually finding this wonderful herb – possibly the ginseng which he had his servants grind into a pill. However, when he was about to pop this pill into his mouth, his consort rushed to snatch it from his hand and ate it first, thus preventing his cruel reign from continuing to everlasting.
To escape his wrath, the fairies took pity on her, and transported her to the moon where the beautiful and kind consort remains. Or did she become so light after consuming the pill that she floated to the moon.
Why do we still eat mooncakes today? To honor tradition of freedom and initiative. Another story is told, that when the Han Chinese were under the control of the Mongolians, one night in order to unite the rebelling troops against the Mongolians, messages were passed, wrapped inside the mooncakes, unsuspected. Boxes were distributed to households and thus in a pre-social media era, people were rallied against the unsuspecting foreign rulers.
Whatever the reason, enjoy.