top 7 foods to make for Chinese New Year

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Radish Cake 蘿蔔糕

Happy Chinese New Year!

Our New year is like Western’s thanks giving day or Christmas day where we will make a big fat feast like you would for xmas. And when we do feast, not only would we prepare the main festival chinese meals, we would also prepare side snacks or foods that resemble some good luck.

The typical dish that I will make will be radish cake, its a cake that you shreds the radish, add in the fried diced chinese sausage, mushroom etc and then sift the rice flours in where you take it to steam, once done. You will then let it cool down to set before you slice out and pan fry it until golden; serve with some hoi sin sauce!

There’s actually a reason to make this savoury cake, not only its yummy full of goodies but it also has a meaning, radish (菜頭, chhài-thâu) is a homophone for “good fortune” (好彩頭, hó-chhái-thâu) in Hokkien and this is why people reckon if you ate this over CNY, you will gain good fortune for the coming year.


New Year Dumplings 油角

When I was young, I love eating this because all kids love deep fried snacks and this one makes it even tastier with ground peanuts, sugar and coconuts inside each little dumplings pastry. Though, the pastry tastes super flakey that melts in your mouth. Its really time consuming to make from roasting the peanuts to kneading and rolling the pastry. It takes a long amount of time to deep fry a dozen out. The more you make, the easier it will get and faster I would say. I personally would recommend you to deep fry it twice, not only it will be more crunchy but deep frying it second time will get the dumplings to release any extra oil that it first got absorbed, so worth doing this. Give this a try if you want to try a different dumplings to the hot dumplings that you eat in restaurants.

Water Chestnut Cake 馬蹄糕
This is classified as a sweet cake and you often get this in dim sum but we would also make this as a CNY foods. It have the meaning of “馬到功成、步步高陞”; homophone for “step to high rise and succeed in it”.  The ultimate tips that I would give you is to use either palm sugar or damerara sugar to make the syrup, this actually enhance the flavour of the cake, not as plain as using normal white caster.

Tang Yuan 湯圓
This often comes in a sweet form as well as savoury form, however, for CNY wise, you often see people making the sweet version of this in varies sweet fillings, ie red beans, black sesame, peanut filing etc. This dish symbolise the family togetherness and often eat on the CNY eve dinner when the entire family are sitting together for their final year end meal. I would suggest to make the sweet soup using slate sugar with loads of ginger. Yet, there are varies version, my next favourite is putting tangyuen in coconut sago or red bean soup.

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Coconut Milk Nian Gao  椰汁年糕
My favourite of the CNY dishes and yet it is the one that I first ever learnt to make for CNY. I have tune the original recipe to my own taste bud, so feel free to change the sugar level or reduce the coconut milk to suit your taste. Yet, You can reduce the recipe to one can coconut milk and up the ginger juice quantity to make it as a more traditional nian gao.
The little story of why this is called Nian gao and associated with CNY is that “the Chinese word 粘 (nián), meaning “sticky”, is identical in sound to 年, meaning “year”, and the word 糕 (gāo), meaning “cake” is identical in sound to 高, meaning “high or tall”. As such, eating nian gao has the symbolism of raising oneself taller in each coming year 年年高升” (Wikipedia).

Red Beans Nian Gao 紅豆椰汁年糕
I have once again adapted the original recipe turning it into red beans nian gao. This has been a bit of trial and error, referring to other existing recipe online and tuning it into my own. I was fearing that the water quantity got lower would cause it to be really thick and dry, but thank god it came out perfect. Indeed to be sure to use brown sugar but not overly too much, else you might get a sour taste from the sugar.

Both of which involves making the syrup,mix into the flour and steam for an hour. Once cooled, you can slice and pan fry to eat… and loads of variation to consume this gao, my favourite is pan fry with egg!!!! Yummy!

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Dumplings 餃子
Jiaozi, I’m sure everyone know the existent of this savoury dumplings, you would get all sorts of filing, yet this time round I have made it with radish, mince, chinese mushroom, dried shrimps and spring onion. Indeed, you can change the recipe to whatever meat you preferred etc. You wonder what does dumpling got to do with CNY? how do they look like? because the shape looks like golden ingots “yuan bao” and the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money, so serving them is believed to bring prosperity.

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red bean lin go 紅豆年糕

CNY is coming guys!!! Let’s celebrate with me….! I am trying something new this year, which is Red Bean Lin go 紅豆年糕…. 

食譜做法 (食譜參考至小小米桶)

密紅豆 250g
糯米粉 270g
澄麵 30g
水 240ml
黃砂糖 200g (黃砂糖比較又風味,用白砂味道出來有點淡….!)

水和砂糖一起煮溶. 糯米粉和澄麵一切放進大盤裡,然後到入已溶化了的糖水,拌勻。
再加入密紅豆,輕輕拌好,便可以倒進已抹好油的模子。用大火蒸約1小時,便可以放涼後,放進冰箱。
要吃的時候可以切片,煎至金黃。

密紅豆做法
紅豆300g
黃砂300g
鹽1/4 tsp

紅豆泡過夜,然後以多次煮滾再燜的方式燜熟. 我大概做了三次,便直接煮下去。煮一會之後,便關火,蓋著,讓他自己燜熟。 約時候後,便可以開火收乾水份,然後加入砂糖和鹽進去煮至適中的乾身。不要煮太乾,因為涼了便會濃稠起來。^^

radish cake 蘿蔔糕

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raddish cake!

CNY is almost coming to the end. While English Valentine’s has just gone by, our Chinese Valentine’s falls on this coming Thursday, called 元宵節, it literately seats on the 15th day from CNY day and this is a signal that our CNY has come to an end. As much as I want to review Hummus Bros asap but I felt I need to finish all of CNY dishes/cakes before I post any other thing. I have shared this Chinese raddish cake with you before, it is not a dish that you only eat in CNY but throughout the year at Chinese restaurant aka dim sum. Do ask for “lor bak go” next time when you visit any dimsum restaurant in China town. I promise it taste as good as a Victoria Sponge! kakak~~~~ oh and don’t forget to get some hoi sin sauce. Yummy~~~

農曆新年快要結束囉。各地華人應該享受了最為熱鬧的慶祝吧? 倫敦唐人街。。 熱鬧熱鬧﹐太多人﹐但沒什麼好玩。。。。 納悶!

兩年前嘗試過在某位網友分享的食譜。今年﹐我便嘗試了阿蘇家姐的蘿蔔糕。 味道怎樣?? 很不錯﹐很真材實料的蘿蔔糕﹐很多蘿蔔絲而不像外面賣得麵糊比較多。但調味方面﹐個人覺得比較濃味。我已經減少了蠔油了﹐要不就是我的蠔油不好吃或是他們的調味真的比較濃。還好﹐我不是加了很多﹐要不然整鍋都可能浪費掉了。

我很認同阿蘇家姐說的額外加水和麵是比較難掌握份量的。真的﹐這次做出來得成品﹐完全很正。軟硬剛好﹐不像其他食譜有時候會很硬有時候太軟。

弄完很多糕後﹐發覺我右手臂真的比較結實。。。 暈!

阿蘇家姐蘿蔔糕
4個 x 8吋厚底錫紙盤

A) 白蘿蔔 7斤﹐我是6斤刨絲﹐1斤打成蓉。
B)臘腸 1斤﹐蒸軟﹐切丁。
冬菇 14 朵 ﹐泡軟﹐切丁。
瑤柱 12 粒﹐先蒸﹐撕開. 留精華水 (我沒有加這個﹐而用了蝦米代替﹐份量是100g﹐先泡軟﹐瀝乾)
蔥 大量, 切粒 (蔥較白的加進去麵糊﹐其他可以等蒸好後﹐放在糕面)
白芝麻﹐炒香的﹐作裝飾用的
C)粘米粉 1斤 減一杯 (我量過是480g)
澄面 一杯

調味
鹽 4 茶匙 (我用了3茶匙)
糖 1/2 茶匙 (我用了1.5 茶匙)
胡椒粉 約1茶匙
蠔油 大概1/3瓶

做法
蘿蔔絲直接煮軟﹐如果有瑤柱水的話﹐可以一起加進去煮。煮到蘿蔔出很多水﹐便可關火﹐調味。個人覺得蠔油太重味道﹐家人及我都比較不喜歡。胡椒粉適量就好﹐太多糕會比較重味。
另外﹐將B的材料爆香。可以直接爆或是加蔥頭爆﹐取其香味﹐然後拿掉。將爆過的材料加入已煮好的蘿蔔絲﹐加入蔥粒。
然後﹐分三次篩粉﹐每加一次﹐就要慢慢攪拌。小心麵粉起粒喔! 拌好後﹐便可以倒進盤裡﹐拿去蒸約30-45分鐘﹐看盤子大小而定。

1斤=600g

nian gao 雞蛋煎年糕

sticky cake with egg.

It’s that time of the year again. A very special beginning for those who celebrate Chinese New Year. This year falls on the 3rd Feb… (yah! I know I know.. we got to work, unlike those in China/HK/Taiwan!!!).

Same receipe used as my last niangao post. However, I still reckon that you can add another slate of cane sugar (片糖). As I personally found it below my preferred sweetness, though my parents reckon this sugar level is perfect for them. Oh, my colleague has said the same thing too!

A typical way of eating ninggao is actually pan fry it with egg. Some people would opt to slice the niangao thinly, coat it with egg and pan fry it in shallow fire until the niangao is soften inside while the outside is golden burnt.
Funny enough, I prefer thick niangao. So what I do is pan fry it first till the niangao is soft, dip the niangao slices into egg and return it back into the pan and fry it till eggs are cooked and golden. =)

椰汁年糕
糯米粉 600g
椰漿 800cc
清水 190cc
片糖 600g ** 我覺得可以再加多一片的
澄麵 150g
薑汁 1湯匙 **我也覺得可以多加一點﹐我喜歡重薑味的。

做法比之前有少許改變。
片糖跟水﹐一起煮至片糖都融化掉。放涼後﹐加入薑汁。
糯米粉和澄麵一起放﹐然後慢慢倒入椰漿﹐攪拌勻。
當你倒完兩罐椰漿時﹐粉已變成團了。然後再慢慢加入放涼了的糖漿。
拌勻後﹐過濾兩次。倒入已抹油的盤裡﹐拿去蒸約一個小時﹐即成。

**記得哦﹐蒸的時候記得要用foil 包好才拿去蒸。
**放涼後﹐才好放進去冰。

note: ahhh i m too lazy to translate into English *blushes* but if you want to try, drop a note and i will do it asap.