Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Red Bean Year Cake (Nian Gao) 年糕

Nian GaoContinued the Bunny year Chinese new year goodies baking marathon, here comes the red bean year cake (Nian Gao) 年糕. This is another traditional popular Chinese New Year dessert.

It is mainly made of glutinous rice so it is actually gluten free. There are many different kinds of flavors of year cake. It can be sweet or savory. I always use my family's recipe to make this sweet brown sugar red bean flavor year cake.

Nian GaoIt is considered good luck to eat year cake during Chinese new year. The word 糕 (Gao) means "cake" is identical in sound to the word, 高 which means "high". Therefore, it is going to raise oneself higher in each coming year by eating year cake. The cake batter is mixed and put it in a big steamer to steam until it is done. Then, the cake will stay in the refrigerator for several days until it is a little bit dry and hard for cutting. We usually either eat it just the way it is (my Mom would definitely disgree about this way!) or dip it in flour/egg batter and deep fry it. It is good either way.

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