Making Sake Mooncake with Chef Wu Chee Keong
The 15th day of the 8th Lunar month happened to fall on mid September this year and the Mid-Autumn Festival or “Zhongqiu” Festival will be celebrated. Lunar worshiping and moon watching are part of the ritual during the night of the celebration day while mooncakes are offered between friends and even during family gatherings. It was treated as luxury when I was a child and my dad will make sure we will have a least a box for this special occasion. We the kids we jumping up and down with joy when the mooncake was sliced and looking at the golden orangy salted duck egg yolk was just a glowing jewel with dismay. Now the mooncakes come in awesome beautiful packaging and huge range of flavours and colours. Basically you can have them in golden baked or snow skin while the fillings can be anything beyond your imagination such as white lotus paste, lotus paste, chestnut paste, red bean paste, chocolate brownie and even sweet potato paste. Just awesomely amazing. It makes you just wanting to try them all.
This time I meet up with Dim Sum Chef Wu Chee Keong at West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa. This session I had my hands on making chef’s favourite green tea sake snow skin with white lotus and melon seed paste. Chef Wu Chee Keong also another very talented and experience Dim Sum chef started his Chinese pastry 20years ago. A soft spoken chef himself loves the art of creating and presenting Dim Sum through fine dining, from bamboo basket to bone China. Truly exciting and I had already made a date to try out his Dim Sum.
We started off by pouring the ingredients such as cooked glutinous rice flour, icing sugar, green tea powder wheatstarch flour and shortening into a mixing bowl. Concurrently ice water and Japanese sake are poured in and mixed well till the dough is formed. The dough is then placed aside. A good quality of white lotus paste is then mixed with peeled melon seed and divided into smaller portion according to weight. The sake snow skin is then rolled out and wrapped over the white lotus paste ball. Once completed, the sake snow skin white lotus paste ball is the placed and pressed in the mould for the mooncake formation. By hitting the sides of the mould, the mooncake is released and the mooncake is ready. It was truly excitingly and easy to follow.
Green Tea Snow Skin with White Lotus Paste and Sake Kuaci
(8-10 mooncakes weighing 180gm to 200gm each)
For the skin
170gm “Koh Fun” (commercialised cooked glutinous rice flour, sifted)
250gm Icing Sugar
8gm Green Tea Powder
11gm Wheatstarch Flour
130ml Iced Water
130ml Japanese Sake
For the filling:
1.2kg White Lotus Paste
50gm Kuaci (peeled
For the skin
1. Mix and sift ‘koh fun’ icing sugar, green tea powder and wheatstarch flour.
2. Combine shortening, Mix Well.
3. Mix well 130ml iced water and Japanese sake.
4. Hand-knead and mix well into a soft, smooth dough. Gently rub off the dough to ensure a smooth surface.
5. Place dough in a bowl and seal it with cling wrap.
For the filling:
1. Mix peeled kuaci with white lotus paste.
2. Divide white lotus paste to 140gm each and form a small ball.
3. Divide dough to 70gm each. Spread some glutinous flour on a clean table.
4. Spread and roll out divided dough into a thin circle that is large enough to wrap a ball of filing with bread wood roller.
5. Wrap white lotus paste with the divided dough.
6. Press the wrapped-up dough into wooden mooncake moulds that have been lightly dusted with glutinous flour. Next, knock mooncake out of the mould.
7. Store the snow skin mooncakes in an airtight plastic container in the refridgerator. Serve chilled.
*Chef’s Note : Snow skin mooncakes will only last up to 3 days if refrigerated
Making mooncake can be really fun and I will definitely be making some at my studio sometime this September. If I am too lazy, I will definitely be buying a few boxes and tonight will be the festival and not to be forgotten . . . . . Sidney Kan
West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant (Pork-Free),
Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa,
Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway,
Tel:03-7492 8000 ext 3181