I know Chinese New Year is very near and even my family is making preparation to celebrate it and this involved making a lot of cookies and food. One thing I always look forwards during New Year is food because I get to eat many kind of traditional food. One of it this Nian Gao. It means New Year cakes.
This is sure a heavenly made New Year cake that I only get to see once a year making the suffering long wait really worth it.
It is called Nian Gao in Mandarin, Kuih Bakul in Malay, Ti Kueh in Hokkien. I don't know what it is called in Cantonese.
The real traditional one has the banana leaves wrapped around it. I don't like the plastic one because it taste far away from the real Nian Gao. It is already hard to find now knowing the effort and time to make it is really long.
The ingredients are simple and it is actually white in colour before cooking. So, if it doesn't turn red brown, then you have failed in making the Nian Gao. It is not an auspicious sign if that happens and the reason why many prefer to leave it to the expert. A real Nian Gao can last months without changes in taste or cause food poisoning. I personally have eaten one which was already one year and it tasted so GOOOOD. It taste really good sandwich in between yam and sweet potatoes. The melting of the caramel Nian Gao can rival some chocolate lava cake or praline chocolates. The taste is just superb provided one know how to cook it right. Done wrongly, you will lumps of inedible burnt Nian Gao which is such a waste.
The Nian Gao comes from an incident done during a war. The family made a wall full of Nian Gao bricks. Since it is a wall, no one would think that it is something edible. Years passed and family were run out of food supplies since there was a war. One of the family members suggested that they eat the 'brick'. They cut away the outer layer of the bricks and just steamed them. No one dares to eat it at first but once they ate it , the taste was so good that they decided to share it with the neighbours. The name came because it was New Year and they have that as their food.
Now, it has become a traditional food for the Chinese community and eaten during New Year. I love it very much. Did I say how much I love it again?
So yummy that I wonder why I have to suffer so long and yet only get to eat a few each year? Too many Dinosaurs at home and I eat slower than all those Dinosaurs
Do love Nian Gao or do you have traditional food that you like too?
Food is not sponsored. The opinions expressed here are my own and honest as always.
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