Several readers wrote in over the weekend to ask for a picture of some of the specialty equipment and/or ingredients. I understand that completely since Asian markets can be bewildering places to those of us who aren’t accustomed to shopping in them regularly. Here’s the stuff you’ll need. Clockwise from the upper left we have sweet bean paste in a can which you can find in the canned vegetable aisle (UPDATE: Homemade is far superior and not difficult, I recommend that instead!). Next we have lye water (alkaline water) which is typically kept in the sauce section near the soy sauce. Salted egg yolks are of course what’s next, they’re also in the refrigerated section near, you guessed it, the eggs.
Last there’s the mold. This one is a traditional wooden style, which I understand is harder to use that the newer plastic plunger-type molds, which are generally available online for under fifteen bucks. This one intimidates me a little I must say, but I’m sure with enough repeated beating I can get the mooncakes to fall out. On to the baking!