Thursday, March 17, 2011


Monncake with Lotus Filling

Mooncake is a traditional cake that is a must-have delicacy on the mid-autumn festival day for all families. In Vietnam, mooncakes are known as bánh trung thu (literally Mid-Autumn cake) and is adorned with an imprint that reads Nguyen Family. They have a very rich taste and are offered as gifts for and from family, friends, colleagues, and even business partners.

It is a stuffed pastry cooked only once a year. Imagine how eager the children are! In Vietnam, they are usually square. According to an old legend, the round shape symbolizes the sky and the square symbolizes the earth. Traditionally, the filling also includes a small yolk which represents the moon.

If  they are baked, the outer dough is a thin pastry, rolled flat and smoothed around a ball of filling, such as savory roasted chicken, pork, shark fin, mung beans, coconut, durian, sweet green bean, or a sweet mixture of lotus seeds, sliced lemon leaves, ground beans, and sometimes salted egg and pork fat for flavor. They can also be made of sticky rice, in which case they look like that:

Mooncakes are rich, heavy, and dense. The best way to have it is over a cup of lotus tea. A piece of traditional mooncake should cost about $1-$2.

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