The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, is almost here.
The harvest festival is marked throughout Asia and occurs during a full moon. This year’s festival falls on Sept. 24, during which celebrants will observe by gathering with friends and family to drink tea and eat mooncakes — round desserts symbolizing unity and family.
For the Mid-Autumn Festival, Shanghainese restaurant Little Alley in Murray Hill is serving both sweet and savory takes on Suzhou-style mooncakes — known for layers of flaky dough — that are filled with red bean paste or minced pork. Both are available now through Sept. 24 ($6/each, $10/two) at the restaurant (550 Third Ave.).
If you’re interested in making the specialty at home, Little Alley shares its recipe for its minced pork mooncakes.
Little Alley’s Suzhou-style mooncakes with minced pork
For the dough
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 20 g. butter
- 1⁄2 cup water
For the pork filling
- 250 g. ground pork
- 2 tbsp. chopped scallions
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced ginger
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 dash white pepper
- 1 tsp. Shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
1. Make the dough: Mix all of the dough ingredients in a bowl and knead until smooth. Divide into 12 balls. Cover with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
2. Make the pork filling: Combine the ingredients for the pork filling in a bowl.
3. Assemble: Fill a ball of dough with about 1 tbsp. of meat, pleat and scrunch the edges of the dough together and press tightly to seal. Flip the ball over and set it aside, covering loosely with cling wrap. Repeat the steps for rest of the 11 balls.
4. Bake: In an oven heated to 375 degrees, bake the balls with the smooth side up on a baking tray for 10 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and bake for another six minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot.