Traditional Chinese Mooncakes Go Vegan

Vegan versions of the celebratory cakes are all the rage during this year’s annual moon festival.


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While millions of people throughout Asia celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, countless mooncakes—treats traditionally laden with dairy and eggs—will be eaten in celebration. This year, however, vegan versions made from dates, coconut milk, and nuts are gaining traction. Varying from region to region, mooncakes in China can be filled with everything from lotus to salted egg yolk to pork, and are often made with lard. But at up to 1,000 calories per serving, there is now a push for more health-conscious varieties. At Hong Kong’s Sesame Kitchen, chef Shina Shimizu creates plant-based mooncakes in flavors such as strawberry-chocolate and matcha. These new meat- and dairy-free treats are being embraced by consumers and—just months after the Chinese government pledged to cut its meat consumption in half by 2030—the timing couldn’t be better.