On the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival lights come on. This year, come mid-September, the streets will be filled with lanterns and delicious food from your favourite hawkers to celebrate this auspicious day in all its glory. During this time, we are reminded that, in addition to the festive and colourful atmosphere, the festival is also a celebration of family, good health, and unity. It is a time to give thanks for the year that has passed and to celebrate the autumn harvest.
Share the warmth of the Mid-Autumn Festival with a mouthwatering menu that will have you and your family asking for seconds!
The first dish on our spread is none other than the star of the show: mooncake! We suggest making the dough 24 hours early to save prep time and have the pastry ready on time! Prepare the dough by combining golden syrup, alkaline water, and Borges Grapeseed Oil before mixing in the flour.
200g All purpose flour
140g Golden Syrup
1 tsp Alkaline water
900g lotus paste
9 salted egg yolks
1 tbsp rose-flavoured cooking wine
1 egg (for egg wash)
Method: Mix salted egg yolks with wine and dry with kitchen paper. Cut each into two halves. Place egg yolk inside the lotus paste ball. Take the dough and roll it out. Wrap the dough around the ball of filling. Lightly dust flour on the stuffed dough and the mold. Place the stuffed dough into the mooncake mold. Press the handle and pop out the mooncake from the mold, dust off excess flour.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place mooncakes on top. Preheat oven to 350F (roughly 180C). Whisk the egg, sift through a fine sieve, and set aside. Lightly spray some water on the mooncakes then bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Brush the top with a little egg wash before returning to the oven to cook for 25-30 more minutes in 325F (roughly 165C). Wait for 2 more days before serving to allow the skin to become soft and shiny.
Roasted Braised Duck
Duck is the go-to game during the festival as it is believed to be richer during this time of the year. It is also believed that eating duck in autumn restores the balance of yin and yang in the body, thereby enhancing one’s health.
4-5 lb duck, gutted and without the tail
1 tbsp Borges Classic Olive Oil
5 slices fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tbsp rock sugar
½ cup Shaoxing wine
1 ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
¼ light soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 star anise
3 bay leaves
12 whole peppercorns
4-5 pieces dried orange peel
1 tbsp honey
Method: Rinse the duck inside out and thoroughly pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp of Borges Classic Olive Oil in a wok over medium heat and coat the wok. Lower the duck into the wok breast side down, and let the skin brown and crisp up slightly. Spoon the oil over the parts of the duck. Turn off the heat. In a large pot, over medium heat, add a tablespoon of the fat from the wok, and cook the ginger and garlic for about 1 minute. Stir in the sugar until it’s melted.
Add the cooking wine, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, rice vinegar, anise, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried orange peels, 3 cups water, and the duck. Add more water as needed to partially submerge the duck and bring to a boil before lowering the heat. Simmer for 50-60 minutes, flipping the bird occasionally to cook evenly. Lift the duck out and drain all the liquid from the cavity. Place the duck on a V-rack set on a baking sheet, breast side up. Brush the duck with honey water. Preheat the oven to 425F (roughly 220C). Roast the duck for 12-15 mins, until the skin is crispy. Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 mins before carving. Serve as is or with the sauce leftover from the pot.
Steamed Hairy Crab
Serves 2 (or based on how many crabs you have)
Crabs are also a favourite during the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Just like the duck, the hairy crabs around this season are a nutritious find. Make the most out of these nutrients with a simple (yet flavourful!) steamed hairy crab recipe!
Yellow rice wine
Method: Pour yellow rice wine over crab. Bind the crab in ropes and put it in the steamer where it will steam for about 12 minutes. Chop the ginger into small pieces and mix with Borges Balsamic Vinegar and sugar as dressing.
Baked Lotus Root Chips
Lotus roots are available the whole year, but their harvest season usually falls during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Traditionally, lotus roots are loved for the essential vitamins and minerals they bring in the brisk autumn weather. They’re crunchy, mild in flavour, and extremely interesting to look at with their distinctive holes! This root chip recipe combines all those good things in one plate!
100g edible lotus root stem, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp Borges Classic Olive Oil
1 tbsp granulated sugar
½ kosher salt, or to taste
½ cup water
1 ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 scallion, chopped
½ tbsp sesame seeds
Method: Heat a deep skillet over medium high heat and add Borges Classic Olive Oil, lotus root, ½ tsp sugar, and some salt. Cook for 5 minutes before adding ½ cup water and bringing to a boil. Lower the heat and close the lid. Simmer for another 5 minutes or earlier, for a crunchier texture. Drain and transfer the edible stem to a large bowl, adding in the rice wine vinegar, chopped scallion, ½ tsp of sugar, and sesame seeds. Toss and mix well. Season with salt.
 Adapted from https://ginskitchen.wordpress.com/tag/moon-cake/
 Adapted from https://thewoksoflife.com/roasted-braised-duck/
 Adapted from https://www.honestfoodtalks.com/lotus-root-recipes-renkon/