I have friends (including myself) who are diabetic and need to control their diet so I’ve been making sugar-free mooncakes for several years (read about my blog posts, Sugar-Free Crispy Matcha Mooncakes With Sweet Red Bean Paste and Sugar-Free Traditional Cantonese Mooncakes for more details). Realizing that some other friends or their kids have food allergies, I have the urge to make some special mooncakes for them such that people with common food allergies could also enjoy. The mooncake recipe I’m going to share below contains no sugar, eggs, gluten, dairy or nuts. When my daughter saw the note “sugar-free, egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free” written on the mooncakes that I gave to my friends, “then what’s in there?” she asked in Cantonese. Well, yes there are lots of ingredients missing there, but they are surely made with lots of love and care!!! She was also very proud of herself as she has helped me to cook the red bean paste.
身邊有些朋友(包括自己)是糖尿病患者需要控制飲食，過去幾年EC都會製作無糖月餅送贈他們(詳細食譜可參考無糖脆皮抹茶紅豆月餅和無糖廣式蛋黃蓮蓉月餅 )。後來逐漸得知原來身邊朋友甚或朋友的孩子都有食物敏感，有見及此，今年便決心做些特製月餅讓有食物敏感的朋友們都可以安心食用。今天準備分享的月餅食譜不含蔗糖、蛋、麩質、奶製品和果仁。當女兒看見EC給友人的月餅上貼著“sugar-free, egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free”的便條時不禁問EC“咁有乜嘢呀？”對，很多材料都沒有，但絕對有EC對朋友滿滿的愛和關懷呀！女兒也很開心自己有份參與其中幫忙製作紅豆餡。
Ok fine it’s time to reveal. My special mooncakes are mainly made with red beans and white kidney beans, along with a small amount of glutinous rice flour, oil and sweetened with natural sugar substitute that won’t cause a rise in the blood sugar (both beans contain carbohydrates though so you still need to calculate carbohydrate intake). I first got the idea from Momoyama mooncake recipes that I searched online but then I followed the Japanese wagashi way to make the dough. This Japanese confection, called Nerikiri, is made with sweetened white bean paste “Shiro-an” and soft mochi paste “Gyūhi”. I’ve adapted the recipes from Japan by Food, Chef Iso and Kohakuto to create a simplified, sugar-free version and applied it to mooncake making. I flavored the dough with matcha powder, but you could add different ingredients and/or food coloring for other flavors and colors as well.
好了，不賣關子了！這些特製月餅主要用紅豆和白雲豆製作，另加少量糯米粉和油，並以不會令血糖上升的天然代糖調味(兩種豆均含碳水化合物因此食用時仍要計算分量 )。製作靈感來自網上的桃山皮月餅食譜，然後EC就加入日式和菓子的元素改製成月餅。這些叫做練切(neri-kiri/練り切り)的和菓子以白豆沙(shiro-an/白餡)和白玉粉做成的糯米糰(Gyūhi/求肥)搓成，EC參考了Japan by Food，Chef Iso和Kohakuto幾個食譜製作出簡化的無糖版本，然後配合紅豆餡製作無糖月餅。月餅外皮用綠茶粉調味，但只要選用相應的食材和/或色素即可轉換成不同口味和顏色。
The dough and filling ratio of the mooncake is 2 to 3, meaning 20 g of dough and 30 g of filling for a 50-g mooncake mold. If you have difficulty wrapping the filling or would prefer less filling then feel free to adjust to a 1 to 1 ratio (25 g each for dough and filling). Just make sure to make more dough so that you have enough.
Please note that both the mooncake dough and filling are fully cooked and the mooncake is ready to eat right after shaping without further cooking or baking. For food safety’s sake, please wear disposable plastic gloves while working and make sure that your work area is clean.
The red bean paste used here is made from red beans with skin removed and therefore the bean paste color is lighter. If you don’t want to do this extra step to remove the skin you could blend the cooked beans with a stick blender or in a food processor before wringing out the water. The red bean paste will also have a darker color. If you have an electric pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot, the bean cooking time can be greatly reduced to just 30 minutes. Check out my other blog posts, Sugar-Free White Bean Paste and Sugar-Free Sweet Red Bean Paste for more details.
Sugar-Free Matcha Red Bean Nerikiri Mooncakes (Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free)
For 50 g mooncake mold, makes 6
For the Sweet Red Bean Paste
200 g strained red bean paste (made from 100 g dried red beans)
40 g erythritol/oligosaccharide blend sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
20 g Korean Oligo syrup
30 g grapeseed oil
1 g salt
For the Sweet White Bean Paste
100 g strained white bean paste (made from 50 g dried white kidney beans)
25 g erythritol/oligosaccharide blend sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
10 g Korean Oligo syrup
10 g grapeseed oil
0.5 g salt
For the Matcha Nerikiri Dough
120 g sweet white bean paste
6 g glutinous rice flour
12 g water
3 g erythritol/oligosaccharide blend sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
1.8 to 2.4 g matcha powder
抹茶粉 1.8 – 2.4克
For the Sweet Red Bean Paste 紅豆沙餡
Rinse 100 g of dried red beans then place in a pot. Add enough water to cover the beans. Bring water to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour beans over a strainer and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and place beans back into the pot, add water and repeat this cooking process two more times. Rinse and drain again.
**This pre-cooking step helps to remove any impurities and bitter flavor from the beans.
Place drained beans in a pot and add enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer over medium-low heat until beans are tender, 60 to 90 minutes. Check water level occasionally to make sure the beans are always covered in water. Skim off any foam that floats on top during the cooking process. Drain beans and discard the liquid. Press the cooked beans through a sieve to filter out the skin and make a smooth puree. Line a large bowl with two layers of cheesecloth and pour the puree inside. Wrap beans with cheesecloth and squeeze out excess liquid. Collect strained red bean paste in a bowl.
Place 200 g of strained red bean paste, salt, sugar substitute, syrup and oil in a non-stick pan or wok and stir to combine. Over medium-low heat and with constant stirring, cook until the paste clumps together without sticking to the side of the pan or the spatula and forms a soft paste. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and press a plastic wrap directly over the surface of the bean paste to prevent drying out. Cool to room temperature then divide paste into 6 equal portions of 30 g each. Shape each into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes before using.
**Using semi-frozen bean paste will make the shaping process easier
For the Sweet White Bean Paste 白豆沙餡
Rinse 50 g of dried white kidney beans then place in a pot. Add enough water to cover the beans. Bring water to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour beans over a strainer and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and place beans back into the pot, add water and repeat this cooking process two more times. Drain well then peel off and discard the skin of each bean. Rinse and drain the hulled beans again.
**This pre-cooking step serves to soften the skin quickly without the need of soaking overnight. It also helps to remove any impurities and bitter flavor from the beans.
Place drained beans in a pot and add enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer over medium-low heat until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Check water level occasionally to make sure the beans are always covered in water. Skim off any foam that floats on top during the cooking process. Drain beans and discard the liquid. Press the cooked beans through a sieve to make a smooth puree. Line a large bowl with two layers of cheesecloth and pour the puree inside. Wrap beans with cheesecloth and squeeze out excess liquid. Collect strained bean paste in a bowl.
Place 100 g of strained white bean paste, salt, sugar substitute, syrup and oil in a non-stick pan or wok and stir to combine. Over medium-low heat and with constant stirring, cook until the paste is firm and clumps together without sticking to the side of the pan and the spatula. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and press a plastic wrap directly over the surface of the bean paste to prevent drying out. Cool to room temperature.
**the white bean paste has to be much firmer than the red beans paste or else the nerikiri dough will be very sticky
** 白豆沙要比紅豆沙炒得更挺身，否則 練切外皮會十分黏手
For the Nerikiri Dough 練切外皮
Stir glutinous rice flour and sugar substitute together in a small bowl. Add water and mix to form a smooth mixture. Pour mixture into a non-stick pan and heat over low heat with constant stirring until the mixture forms a soft dough (Gyūhi). Remove from heat. Add ⅓ of the sweet white bean paste and stir to combine. Add remaining sweet white bean paste and stir to form a soft dough (Nerikiri) that can be shaped with your hands. If the dough is very sticky then heat over low heat to evaporate more moisture. Stir in matcha powder and knead until the dough is cool to the touch. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions around 20 g each. Shape each into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
For Shaping 月餅造型
Take a portion of nerikiri dough and flatten into a disc that is slightly thinner around the edges. With the smoother side of the dough facing down, place a ball of red bean filling in the middle. Wrap then seal edges by pinching them together. I held the dough with one hand and used my purlicue (the space between my thumb and my forefinger) of the other hand to seal the edges while turning the dough slightly. Shape the stuffed dough into a smooth ball again. Repeat with remaining portions.
**the nerikiri dough should be very soft but not sticky. If the dough cracks when flattened then readjust the consistency by kneading in a drop (or two drops) of drinking water into the dough.
Insert a stuffed mooncake into a 50-g mooncake mold, seam side out. Flatten the dough slightly to fill up the mold. Place mold upright onto a parchment paper lined work surface then press down onto the plunger several times to make an imprint. Press the plunger down again to release the mooncake. Repeat with the rest of the dough. The mooncakes are ready to serve or be packaged.
**the dough shouldn’t be sticking to the mold. If the mooncake doesn’t release from the mold after the plunger is pressed, tilt the mold and tap it on the table several times and the mooncake should fall right out. If the mold must be coated, use only potato starch (katakuriko) or cooked glutinous rice flour.
The mooncakes are best eaten within two days. For longer storage, keep them in an airtight container in the freezer no longer than a month and thaw at room temperature or defrost in the microwave with low power before serving.
My very first batch of nerikiri dough was a bit too sticky. I also added too much matcha powder.
My final product after some trial and error. The Nerikiri dough was of perfect consistency and the impression of the mooncake was so pretty.
If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.
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