Frog mooncake, anyone? Shanghai chefs hop to it ahead of festival

Other new flavours of the Mid-Autumn Festival treat include shrimp and cheese, and abalone

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 4:15pm

Shanghai’s mooncake makers have been working on some new recipes ahead of this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, with fillings including shrimp and cheese, abalone and even frog meat.

At the Shanghai First Food Hall, chefs have been busy preparing the leg meat of bullfrogs paired with pickles in chilli oil as their new take on the festive treat, the Shanghai Morning Post reports.

The frog mooncakes are priced at 15 yuan (US$2.25) each, and abalone mooncakes are also on offer.

“This year we’re targeting young people who like to eat bullfrogs,” one of the food hall’s managers told the newspaper.

The new flavours have divided opinion online.

“I don’t want to go anywhere near a bullfrog mooncake,” one online commenter wrote.

Others were intrigued. “Want to try it – let’s go to Shanghai.”

Cantonese restaurant Xinya, meanwhile, has combined shrimp and cheese for its new mooncakes, and they’re limited to 5,000 a day because the recipe is so complex.

Sold at 10 yuan apiece, a spokesperson for the restaurant said the flavour was the best of 10 new recipes its chefs came up with, and again they were trying to attract adventurous youngsters who were less worried about price.

The harvest festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, with family get-togethers, lanterns, gazing at the full moon if the skies are clear – and eating mooncakes. This year it falls on October 4.

Traditional mooncakes are stuffed with lotus seed or red bean paste and duck egg yolks, but in recent years many new flavours have emerged – everything from matcha, sweet potato, custard and pineapple to garlic chives and crayfish.