It’s the last day of CNY today, and on this fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year, the Chinese mark the end of the festivities with a Lantern festival (元宵节). A dessert of glutinous rice balls boiled and served in a sweet syrup is usually served, with the round chewy balls resembling the shape of the full moon in the sky. My grandmother used to make the best tang yuan (汤圆). And because I liked it so much, she would make it not just on that night but throughout the year. Ever since she passed away more than two decades ago, I have not eaten the traditional tang yuan, nor have I attempted making it as I’d rather preserve it as a memory.
So, I decided to make a mango and cream-filled mochi, that I first had at a friend’s Shanghainese restaurant. The first time I saw it, I thought it looked just like Japanese mochi. But when I put it in my mouth, a soft, sweet, pillowy cloud of freshly whipped cream greeted me. And hidden in that comforting cloud of cream lay hidden pieces of fresh mango that provided a fresh, fruity contrast. I was in love. I immediately found out that it was called 雪梅娘 (xue mei niang). I have no idea how it originated, if it was considered Shanghainese or Japanese, but I knew it was goooood.
It is extremely quick and easy to make the glutinous skin and gather the ingredients for the filling. The trickiest part, however, is rolling out the sticky dough and shaping it. For this, you’ll need lots of starch (wheat, potato, or corn), a delicate touch, and a never-say-die attitude. What’s the worst that can happen when you can eat your mistakes so no one will ever know?
雪梅娘 Cream-filled Mochi
Yields: 8-10 pieces
50g glutinous rice flour
15g corn starch
Whipping cream, whipped
Mango, cut into small cubes
Potato starch for dusting
1. Combine all ingredients except oil and stir well until there are no lumps. Steam mixture for 15 minutes.
3. Dusting your hands generously with potato starch, grab a portion and roll out thinly.
4. Place a dollop of cream in the middle, add a few pieces of fresh mango, then wrap up the corners and roll into a ball.
5. Chill and then consume!
If you missed the previous CNY-inspired recipes…