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My Shanghai Mooncake Journey

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

As I was posting about mooncakes, an InstaFam, @joycexi DMed me about this traditional mooncake from Shanghai. I began more fascinated by it. The biggest hurdle is pork lard as I don't eat pork, so lard is just outta the question.

Even tho vegetable shortening seems like a great substitute, the process of turning palm oil into something that looks like lard is really gross. To add insult to injury, vegetable shortening is flavorless.

The pastries cracked during the baking process...

So I tried a combination of butter & ghee. It still lacked that flakiness texture and to be honest, it tastes rather blend (without that aromatic perfume). I had to improvise. I tried a combination of duck fat and peanut oil.

The texture, as well as flavor, improved. The 2 main problems are that during the baking process, the pastry cracked open again. Some even erupted. They still lack that flakiness that I am looking for, even tho they made progress.

I will give this another shot in 2023. If you still wanna try my recipe, it is written down below with a video included. Here I wish all you lovely people a very Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!



(Make 16 mooncakes)

  • Fillings:

  • Chicken Thigh Skinless Boneless, 75g

  • Chicken Breast Skinless Boneless, 75g

  • Shrimp Deveined Shelled, 100g

  • Shiitake Mushrooms Finely Diced, 2

  • Garlic Finely Grated, 1 Clove

  • Ginger Finely Grated, 1/4 Inch

  • Green Onion Thinly Chopped, 2 Stalks

  • Granulated Sugar, 1/2 TSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Cornstarch, 1/2 TSP

  • Shaoxing Wine / Hua Tiao Wine, 1/2 TBSP

  • Light Soy Sauce, 1/2 TBSP

  • Sesame Oil, 1 TSP

  • Pastry Dough:

  • Italian 00 Flour / Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 200g

  • Granulated Sugar, 20g

  • Sea Salt, 1/4 TSP

  • Lukewarm Water, 100g

  • Duck Fat, 25g

  • Peanut Oil, 25g

  • Oil Dough:

  • Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 56g

  • Cake Flour, 94g

  • Sea Salt, 1/4 TSP

  • Duck Fat, 75g



  • Oven

  • Food Processor / Meat Grinder



  1. Prepare the fillings.

  2. If you have a meat grinder, use it to grind the chicken and shrimp.

  3. If not, you can use a food processor.

  4. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients together.

  5. Keep mixing and stirring for about 2-3 mins.

  6. The fillings should stick to the spoon without falling off.

  7. Do not take it too far as it will be gummy after the baking process.

  8. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight.

  9. On baking day, prepare the pastry dough.

  10. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar and salt.

  11. Mix to combine well.

  12. Add in water, duck fat and oil.

  13. Mix to combine well or until it comes together into a dough.

  14. Knead inside the bowl to pick up all the nooks & crannies.

  15. Shape into a ball & cover with cling film.

  16. Set aside on the counter to rest for 30 mins.

  17. Prepare the oil dough.

  18. In a large bowl, combine the 2 flour, salt and duck fat.

  19. Keep mixing until it comes together into a smooth dough.

  20. Shape into a ball and cover with cling film.

  21. Set aside on the counter to rest for 30 mins.

  22. Shaping & assembly.

  23. Weigh and divide the 2 doughs into 16 equal pieces.

  24. Shape each piece into tight balls.

  25. Shape the pastry dough balls into discs with a rolling pin to about 1/4" thick.

  26. Place the oil dough onto the pastry dough disc and wrap the oil dough.

  27. Smooth it into a larger dough ball with hands.

  28. Cover and set aside for 15 mins.

  29. Roll each dough ball into an oblong shape with a rolling pin.

  30. Roll it up like a cigar.

  31. Flatten and roll horizontally. Roll into a cigar.

  32. *You can watch the video below for better illustration.*

  33. Cover and set aside for another 15 mins.

  34. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius or 360 fahrenheit.

  35. Roll each dough ball into discs with a rolling pin, sim side up, about 1/4" thick.

  36. Scoop a small portion of fillings and place them at the center of the disc.

  37. *Do not overfill.*

  38. Wrap tightly and smooth into balls, making sure there is no gap or hole.

  39. Transfer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

  40. Gently press down the dough to flatten it slightly to resemble small wheels

  41. Wack into the oven and bake for 8 mins, flip and continue baking for another 8 mins.

  42. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

  43. Once cool, serve and enjoy.


Recipe Video:

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