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Red Bean Mooncakes

Photographs copyright Kristina Cho. Used by permission of Harper Horizon, an imprint of HarperCollins Focus LLC.

Red Bean Mooncakes with Salted Egg Yolk by Kristina Cho

Kristina Cho, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and cookbook author, shares her step-by-step, easy to follow recipe for classic red bean mooncakes with salted egg yolk. Perfect for celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

Mooncakes and Milk Bread Cookbook

Taken from Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Kristina Cho. Copyright 2021 by Kristina Cho. Photographs copyright Kristina Cho. Used by permission of Harper Horizon, an imprint of HarperCollins Focus LLC.

21 September, 2021
Average: 4.6 (7 votes)

serves for



For the dough
All purpose flour
300g (2 1/2 cups), plus more for dusting
Canola oil
110g (1/2 cup) canola or other neutral-flavored oil
Golden syrup
160g (1/2 cup) golden syrup (like Lyle’s Golden Cane Syrup)
8g (1 teaspoon) alkaline water
For the filling
Red bean paste
250g (3/4 cup) red bean paste (see below)
6 salted large egg yolks (see below), cut in half
For the egg wash
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
Red Bean Paste
200g (1 cup) dried red beans, rinsed and picked over
Caster sugar
100g (1/2 cup)
Canola oil
90g (1/2 cup)
Salted Egg Yolks
2 cups coarse salt
6 large raw egg yolks

Red Bean Mooncakes

Step 01

To Make the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, canola oil, golden syrup, and alkaline water. Using a flexible spatula, mix to form a shaggy dough, then knead with your hands to form a smooth, cohesive dough. Form the dough into a thick disc, wrap in plastic, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Step 02

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 03

On a lightly dusted work surface, divide the dough into 12 equal portions with a bench scraper (for accuracy, weigh with a digital scale, if you have one). Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten with your palm and roll out dough into a 4 inch round. Continue to lightly dust with flour if sticking. Use a bench scraper to help lift up the dough. Fill with 1/2 tablespoon bean paste, then half a salted egg yolk, and top with another 1/2 tablespoon paste. Bring the edges of the dough up around the filling. The dough won’t initially cover all of the filling; just pinch it together until it completely wraps the filling. Pinch together any cracks that form and roll into a smooth ball.

Step 04

Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Lightly dust the mooncake mold with flour. Press the plunger of the mold down to apply pressure, but take care not to press too hard. Gently release from the mold. Repeat with remaining dough and filling to form more mooncakes.

Step 05

Bake mooncakes until the edges are lightly golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the cakes to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together egg and water. With a pastry brush, lightly coat the mooncakes with egg wash. Return to the oven and bake until deep golden brown, 10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow the mooncakes to completely cool on the sheet. Store mooncakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days to allow the dough to soften before serving.

Step 06

To Make the Red Bean Paste

In a large bowl, cover the beans with 4 inches of water and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.

Step 07

In a medium saucepan, combine the beans and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a simmer and continue to cook until the beans are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse under cold water.

Step 08

Transfer the beans to the bowl of a food processor and add the sugar. Puree until smooth.

Step 09

Transfer the paste to a medium nonstick skillet. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a flexible spatula until blended and smooth. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil and cook, stirring, until the paste is darker in color and the oil is completely blended in, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer paste to a heat-proof container and set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use. Paste can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months. 

Step 10

To Make the Salted Egg Yolks

Pour half of the salt into a medium container with a tight-fitting lid. Gently place the egg yolks on the salt, spacing at least 1/2 inch apart. Cover the egg yolks with the remaining salt and cover with the lid. Refrigerate the egg yolks for at least 3 days or up to 5 days.

Step 11

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Remove the yolks from the salt and rinse under cold water. Pat each yolk dry with a paper towel. Set dry yolks on a wire rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until dried and firm, 90 minutes.

Step 12

Allow the yolks to cool and then refrigerate in a small airtight container until ready to use (up to 1 month). 


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