Suzhou-Style Mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival

In China, one of the most emblematic dishes for the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated throughout East Asia, is the mooncake, a beautiful sweet with a thin, chewy skin and a myriad of fillings. However, today we were introduced to an intriguing variety of mooncake unlike any other variety we had seen: Suzhou or “Su” style mooncakes. This style of mooncakes from the city of Suzhou in the Yangtze River Delta has a different kind of “skin,” instead consisting of a shell of undecorated, multi-layered, flaky puff pastry! The filling for Suzhou mooncakes can be either sweet or savory, which is atypical of other mooncakes. To prevent any surprises, a red mark on top often distinguishes the sweet mooncakes from the savory. The version I tried was filled with sweetened squash, nuts and black sesame, though red bean is also typical. If you would like to make your own savory version, Food 52 and the New York Times have versions stuffed with pork, while the Woks of Life has a sweet red bean version.

Sweet Suzhou-style mooncake

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