Monday, January 26, 2009

Home Made 'Nian Gao'

During the Spring Festival period or Chinese New Year, the northerners China people prefer to eat Jiao Zi, but southerners’ people like to eat NianGao, Nian Gao literally mean Year Cake or Chinese new year's cake is made of glutinous rice. Traditionally Nian Guao is the main Chinese New Year cuisine; it is considered good luck to eat Nian Gao during this time. In Chinese, Gao is a homonym for high. Nian Gao is also called Nian Nian Gao, which is a homonym for "higher each year", symbolizing progress and promotion at work and in daily life and improvement in life year by year.

They are verities of production method to made Nian Gao, however the main ingredient will be the glutinous rice pounded or ground into a paste then mix up with other ingredients and molded into shape then cooked again to settle mixture. Nian Gao also categorized into a few type, such as Shanghai Nian Gao and Cantonese Nian Gao.

The Kitchen God is fed with a sticky New Year cake to ensure that if Kitchen God speaks ill of the family in Heaven, the gluey cake would stick his mouth. This tradition seems to be quite an implicit pact between the Kitchen God and his devotees. According to various accounts this cake was given either as bribe, or simply a means of ensuring the Kitchen God's mouth was too full of cake to submit an unfavorable report in the Heaven.

Having the sticky cake believed to closer the relationship between the family members especially during Chinese New Year celebration. Apparently, my family doesn't like sweet foods, so decide to make own Nian Gao.
Home made 'Nian Gao' or sticky cake by my dad
Two layers with plain at the bottom and Milo powder mix on top. It was excellent! People believed that the more sticky the NianGao is, the more closer relationship between you and your family members.

But remember don't make it too over sticky, if not you will be having problem chewing "nian gao". Happy Chinese New Year!

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