Saturday, 25 January 2020

Cake fit only for kitchen god

Look at this sticky mess... I was trying to replicate the panfried nian gao (年 糕 or New Year cake) of childhood -- slices of nian gao dipped in beaten egg and fried.  But the nian gao sold these days are only meant for the kitchen god -- so awfully sticky and sweeeeeeeeeet.

It will definitely seal his mouth when he reports to the jade emperor of any misdoings of this household. His ascent from your stove to heaven is supposed to take place a week before the Chinese New Year -- according to Chinese beliefs of olden days. But it is definitely not for human consumption, not when health gurus are advocating zero sugar consumption. Whatever, it is way too sticky and sweet for my liking.

When we were kids, mum would fry nian gao on the first day of the Chinese New Year for our breakfast.  It was the highlight of the day. All members of the family would be wrapped in utter bliss till lunch, when more bliss followed as the bak-cham gai (Cantonese for poached chicken) literally flew from the kitchen to the table -- with whoever carrying the dish running at top speed.

The nian gao of those days wasn't at all sticky, as you can cleanly slice them into neat pieces. And they were not overly sweet. So what's with the modern day nian gao which was impossible to cut -- and eat? All I can say, in Cantonese, is: "Chay, deow jaw ker!" Which means "shucks, throw it away!"


streetsing said...

Have not eaten any "Nian Gao" for quite a number of years. It used to be fragrant when dipped in egg and fried, simply irresistible :)

Indeed after eating the gooey "Nian Gao" in the photo you posted, a visit to the nearest Dental Clinic will be the order of the day for sure ..hey hey :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

I think I might have missed out a step. Now I remember mum baking the nian gao in the sun first to dry it so that it won't be so gooey. Yes, won't want to pay a visit to the dentist around this time!

streetsing said...

Hi Bitspiece,

long time since your last post. How are things with you?

Do keep yourself safe from the Covid thingy :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Hi Streetsing, great to hear from you. I am doing fine, just missing my roams round Singapore😊 Only outings I am doing now are mad dashes to the supermarkets and back. How are you doing? Must be missing your roams too... and your laksa at Jalan Berseh. Hopefully this Covid 19 will go away soon.

streetsing said...

I am fine :) Glad to hear you are OK. Yes, indeed I missed roaming around and taking photos.

Only started venturing out recently for my jog as it is allowed. Many more people are out

jogging then before the circuit breaker. Had to quickly draw up my mask whenever someone runs

too close, quite a suffocating experience heh heh. Don't know when then can enjoy a bowl,

(maybe two) of Laksa againg :)