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Gack! Mooncakes!

ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 04:15 PM

Just received 3 boxes of mooncakes ... all kinds, with and without salted egg yolks, sweet (mung beans, pineapple, lotus seeds etc.), savory, as well as some fruity new-age ones.

Any ideas of what to do with these things?

Because eating them is not an option. I've always likened mooncakes to fruitcake, except for the fact that between the two, I would actually eat a slice of fruitcake before partaking in even a sliver of mooncake.

So, what to do?

I don't play hockey. So no need for edible pucks.

I store everything digitally. So need for edible paperweights.

I don't own any guns. So need for edible skeets.

Maybe as ... pie weights?

Maybe I can cut them up and stir-fry them?

Maybe mash them up and use as pie crust?

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  1. tatamagouche RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 04:20 PM

    Send 'em to me. I love 'em...and fruitcake too, for that matter.

    Instead of using them as pie crust after you mash them, why not try just eating them mashed? Once you've broken their will, maybe you'll find them more appealing.

    1. e
      Erika L RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 04:26 PM

      Wow, *three* boxes? Someone must either really love you or really hate you!

      But seriously...do you live someplace with a significant Chinese or Asian population? If so, is there a senior center or community center that caters to those communities?

      Or do you have any relatives who like mooncakes? Re-gifting is *so* Chinese.

      Me, I personally like only the lotus seed ones, if there are enough of those to split between tatamagouche and me.

      1. amyzan RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 04:34 PM

        I'll take the winter melon ones! I adore that freaky texture of the filling, as it reminds me of candied angelica, which I also love. (and yes, I eat fruitcake, and enjoy a good homemade one especially.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: amyzan
          Whosyerkitty RE: amyzan Aug 22, 2008 04:57 PM

          Donate them to a food pantry, Asian or not. More and more people are having to utilize them, and it may be a GREAT treat for someone.

          1. re: Whosyerkitty
            PeterL RE: Whosyerkitty Aug 25, 2008 02:23 PM

            Not too many non Chinese even know what they are. Donating to a food pantry would be a waste.

        2. s
          smalt RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 05:03 PM

          no kidding someone loves you, those can be pricey! ditto on the lotus seed, have you got double yolk?

          1. Sam Fujisaka RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 05:40 PM

            Did you see the Andrew Zimmern episode in NYC? He met an old friend and the friend's SO: Japanese American guy and Chinese American woman. Zimmern and the Bhudda Head start by buying and eating mooncakes. The woman hates 'em, associates them with Chinese New Year obligatory eats.

            Anyway, you have to break them down for re-cycling. Any savory mung paste (and a bit of the sweet) go into a soup. Add some spring onions, milk and savory ingredients for cream of mung soup. The eggs could go in as well. The sweet mung paste has to go into a curry. Take the dough and toast it and then grind. Use later as thickener.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              PeterL RE: Sam Fujisaka Aug 25, 2008 02:25 PM

              Mooncakes are not eaten for Chinese new year. This woman is way too far removed from the old country.

              1. re: PeterL
                Sam Fujisaka RE: PeterL Aug 25, 2008 03:32 PM

                Apologies, probably my fault. I'm a Bhudda Head too and probably got it wrong. She didn't like them because they are obligatory eats at some time of the year (??).

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                  Low Country Jon RE: Sam Fujisaka Aug 25, 2008 08:49 PM

                  Harvest Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival. I believe the egg yolk is supposed to resemble the full moon.

                  I prefer the the non-egg ones myself, both for taste and health reasons, but I enjoy them all. The sweet-and-salt contrast of the egg ones does take a little getting used to though.

            2. pikawicca RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 05:50 PM

              My Asian ESL students bring these to our potlucks. The first time I had one was a big "yuck" moment. The next few times were "maybe I can eat these so as not to offend." I now crave them. The maxim that a child has to taste a new food 10 times before they accept it applies to adults, as well.

              1. h
                HLing RE: ipsedixit Aug 22, 2008 11:56 PM

                As a hard working chowhound, maybe take one bite each year and make it a long term project to see how the palate adapt. Give the rest away. I'll be happy to take those with salty duck eggs off your hands....

                I was like you for a long time, but then something started to change in the past few years. It helps to have had finally, after all the yucky ones, a delicious one to change my impression of mooncake. From then on, little nibbles at a time each year, like Picawicca said, after 10 times, I can now eat a whole mooncake and more at a time...if it's a good mooncake, of course.

                Mooncakes make great energy bars. Go on a strenuous hike and you'll be appreciating all its nourishing qualities as you sit on the summit and bite into the mooncake. Maybe another reason I actually started to eat mooncake is that I exercise a lot more now than I used to.

                2 Replies
                1. re: HLing
                  ipsedixit RE: HLing Aug 23, 2008 02:43 PM

                  Funny, I was just the opposite. As a young kid, I really liked them. But not anymore.

                  I think part of it was that I had to make mooncakes almost every year at my parent's restaurant. That coupled with the trauma of facing "back-to-school" was probably too much for my sensibilities to bear.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    HLing RE: ipsedixit Aug 23, 2008 08:44 PM

                    I see. You've done your Mooncake time, it seems.

                2. c
                  cimui RE: ipsedixit Aug 23, 2008 06:49 AM

                  start serving them to your friends every time they come over. that'll separate out the women and men from the girls and boys, and show you who your real friends are.

                  i'm just kidding. definitely keep them all for yourself because they're great!. ;)i fall very much in the pro-mooncake camp.

                  here are some ideas:

                  * mix chunks of sweet mooncakes into softened vanilla ice cream (a bit like cookies 'n' cream ice cream)
                  * scoop out the innards from a lot of cakes, food process or otherwise finely crumble the shells and mix with butter and sugar. spread on the bottom of a pan an bake at about 350 or 400 until lightly brown. use as a base for lemon bars, cheesecake bars, etc...
                  * repackage the filling in steamed buns or sesame balls, croissants, rolled up into sponge cake (swiss roll style). you may need to soften the texture a bit by adding more oil or water, sugar, egg, etc...
                  * beat into filling a few eggs, additional sugar, cream cheese, and heavy cream and bake into a custard / cheesecake
                  * incorporate the salty ones into a pan of stuffing / dressing and serve to your unsuspecting guests at thanksgiving

                  also... i wonder if you'd like them better deep fried. i bet people would devour deep fried mooncakes as long as they were served on a stick.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cimui
                    tatamagouche RE: cimui Aug 23, 2008 10:05 AM

                    Mooncake ice cream is an awesome idea! Cheers to you.

                    1. re: tatamagouche
                      cimui RE: tatamagouche Aug 25, 2008 08:22 PM

                      actually, i have to thank my sister for that one. we used to mix EVERYTHING into vanilla ice cream. saltines and peanut butter, ketchup, you name it.

                  2. c
                    comestina RE: ipsedixit Aug 23, 2008 06:54 AM

                    Ooof! I received some of these ration-dense jewels once, and politeness dictated that I eat them in the presence of the donor. I felt full, and somewhat spiritually ill after consuming them. I'm not sure I could do it again. I am on Team Re-Gift 'Em. (somebody must like them)

                    1. ChowFun_derek RE: ipsedixit Aug 24, 2008 08:57 AM

                      I like the white lotus seed best..especially from Golden Gate Bakery on Grant Avenue here in San Francisco's China Town...I find that mooncakes and often other Chinese desserts often need to be eaten WITH tea, which makes the perfect accompaniment. Goes down easy and smooth (double yolk please, I like the salty counterpoint to the sweetness of the bean paste!)

                      1. raytamsgv RE: ipsedixit Aug 25, 2008 01:10 PM

                        Do what every self-respecting Chinese person would do: re-gift! :-)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: raytamsgv
                          ipsedixit RE: raytamsgv Aug 25, 2008 02:06 PM

                          Re-gifting has become part of the charm of mooncakes, I fear ...


                          FRIEND: Happy Moon Festival. Here's a box of mooncakes for you!

                          ME: Oh no, you shouldn't have. I have so many already [said while feigning an actual desire to eat mooncakes].

                          FRIEND: No worries, just save them and give them to someone else! In fact, someone else gave me this box and I already have two boxes at home that I can't finish.

                        2. PeterL RE: ipsedixit Aug 25, 2008 02:22 PM

                          Mooncakes are used most prominently as gifts. You re-gift them.

                          1. c
                            cimui RE: ipsedixit Aug 25, 2008 08:24 PM

                            ipsedixit, would you eat these?


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: cimui
                              ipsedixit RE: cimui Aug 25, 2008 09:41 PM


                              I used to make mooncakes that were alot more decorative. Bottom line? No matter how they look, most if not all taste rather nasty to me.

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                cimui RE: ipsedixit Aug 25, 2008 11:06 PM

                                ach, i pronounce you hopeless. ;)

                                the white one with pink filling looks just like a delicious little truffle! i'd agree that the rainbow ones are a little less delectable looking...

                                but pretty cool that you know how to make them. i've only attempted them once and the results were as pebbly and misshapen as the moon is up close. i was going for realism.

                                1. re: cimui
                                  Blueicus RE: cimui Sep 21, 2008 12:59 PM

                                  The only moon cakes I really like are the 'ice skin' style moon cakes, which have that elasticky skin and the cute flavoured bean paste. The reguar ones I can eat a smell wedge of before feeling like I ate a few bricks. And yes, regifting mooncakes is a time honoured tradition and ipsedixit's hypothetical mooncake gifting conversation is spot on.

                            2. j
                              Jase RE: ipsedixit Aug 25, 2008 08:25 PM

                              Ai-yah! Think of all the starving children. Have you no gratitude for your good fortune? Ah say nay. :-)

                              I think you should organize a moon cake taste off in LA and that can be your contribution to the tasting.

                              1. pepper_mil RE: ipsedixit Sep 21, 2008 06:35 AM

                                I threw my extras in the freezer, and today had the luck to sprain my ankle while playing soccer. You can't just walk out and buy ice where I live in China, so now my extra mooncakes are taking turns keeping the swelling down on my ankle.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: pepper_mil
                                  ChowFun_derek RE: pepper_mil Sep 21, 2008 08:07 AM

                                  AHHHH!!!! Multitasking! gotta love Mooncakes!

                                  1. re: pepper_mil
                                    fuuchan RE: pepper_mil Sep 22, 2008 12:04 PM

                                    Im laughing at the mental image XD

                                  2. j
                                    Judith RE: ipsedixit Sep 21, 2008 07:29 PM

                                    Two options come to mind: 1. Take them to the office. 2. Throw them away. You can do whatever you want with a gift. It has been said that it's the thought that counts.

                                    1. f
                                      fuuchan RE: ipsedixit Sep 22, 2008 12:03 PM

                                      Mooncakes are too for eating! Just not three boxes worth. I suggest gifting some to other people.

                                      I prefer the simpler, more traditional ones, lotus paste and a salted yolk. The yolk tempers the uber dense, super-sweet texture of the filling. I warm em up for a few seconds, cut them into tiny slivers (so you're not overwhelmed by their inherent vulcanized rubber density) and have them with a steaming cup of green tea to cut the rich sweetness. I think I will have one later!

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