Wednesday, February 04, 2009

“Nian Gao” 年糕 roll with Grated Coconut

Celebrating Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year), “Nian Gao” 年糕 is a must-have traditional treat for each household, it represents the meaning of “going higher every year” implying progress in whatever one does (career, business, studies or status) in a new year.

“Nian Gao” is a type of steamed glutinous rice cake. The one in the photo is the traditional type steamed in a banana leave case rather than plastic wrapper. When it is just freshly made, it is very soft and you don’t have to put them in the refrigerator. Then, it gets harden and you can then cut it into slices and deep-fried with slice of sweet potatoes.

Last year, I have a special Samosa in Malaysia - Ipoh. Guess what, the filling of the samosa is not curry potatoes, is Nian Gao plus sweet potatoes. It is so creative, the Nian Gao and sweet potatoes were cut into little triangle and wrap with spring roll wrapper prior to deep-fried. When I picked up the Samosa and ate it, it took me a while before I can decipher what was in it.

Besides, deep-frying it, you can steam it again until very soft and roll in a plate of fresh grated coconut until it is evenly coated. Just like what I have in the photo.

As time goes by, lesser and lesser people like to eat traditional Nian Gao. Sometimes, people just buy them for praying or just for its symbolic meaning.

Some Vegetarian Restaurants come up with different Nian Gao for the modern generation. There are Yam or Radish or Water Chestnut added to the Nian Gao or Nian Gao made in the shape of fish for auspicious connotation, that come in beautiful gift box where it look so presentable as gift.

Nian Gao is only available during Chinese New Year, if you haven’t got any yet, hurry! quickly grab some before it is gone or you will have to wait till next Chinese New Year.


Emily said...

Ooh, reminds me to go eat my favorite: a piece of nian gao inbetween a pc of yam and a pc of sweet potato - deep fried!

a veg*n @ Blog*Spot said...

:) Emily, can I have some too? I missed this, my mother used to deep-fry them with sweet potatoes.
cheers :)

Anonymous said...

I think what's mentioned can be found at this stall:

Sunny :-)

a veg*n @ Blog*Spot said...

Thanks Sunny for the info.

Heard that the crowds at Chinatown drop after CNY.

Cheers :)

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