Food News

Try These Mid-Autumn Festival/Chuseok Treats

Where to find mooncakes (traditional and not-so-traditional) and a twist on sanjeok

By Katherine Chew Hamilton October 1, 2020

A pandan coconut mooncake with a single egg yolk from King Bakery

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, sometimes also known as the Moon Festival, falls on October 1 this year. That date is also Chuseok, a Korean mid-autumn harvest festival. Similar fall holidays are also celebrated in Japan, Vietnam, other parts of Southeast Asia, and the Philippines.

My family doesn’t do much for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival other than eat mooncakes (and give them to the rest of our family, and receive a bunch in turn). But the arrival of mooncakes at Costco is always a reminder that it’s time to head to the Chinese bakery to stock up for the season. During peak mooncake season, my mom and I will eat our favorite kind—the classic lotus paste with double salted egg yolks—for breakfast with coffee, as an afternoon snack, and for dessert after dinner with tea. 

King Bakery (2346 SE 82nd Ave) has all the classics, including lotus paste with double or single egg yolks, mung bean filling, and nuts and seeds. The lotus one with egg yolk is a solid rendition of a classic. This year, they’ve also got a new flavor for the first time: pandan coconut moon cakes. They’re stuffed with crumbly, bright green shredded coconut and sesame seeds, plus more salted egg yolks.


For lovers of nontraditional mooncakes, boba shop Yoonique Tea (5348 SE Foster Rd) is selling taro boba milk mooncakes. Cut open the cake to reveal taro paste enveloping a liquid coffee creamer center filled with boba pearls. 


I’ve never celebrated Chuseok before, but after seeing photos of the sanjeok musubi from Keeyeowo’s upcoming Monday pop-up at La Perlita (721 NW Ninth Ave), I definitely want to. Sanjeok, which is often served for Korean holidays including Chuseok, is skewered meat and vegetables. Keeyeowo’s version is made with crab sticks, pickled radish, green onions, and spam dipped in egg and lightly fried. It’s served without the skewer atop a ball of rice to form a sanjeok musubi, delicately tied together with green onion. The menu will also include two other Chuseok foods: songpyeon, which are half-moon-shaped rice cakes stuffed with various fillings, and yukjeon, panfried and battered beef.

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