late night indulgence.

2 Feb 2012 § 2 Comments

Let me start off by introducing the main ingredient of my extremely indulgent late night snack tonight by using Wiki (lest I get it all wrong!):

Nián gāo, Year cake or Chinese New Year’s cake is a food prepared from glutinous rice and consumed in Chinese cuisine. While it can be eaten all year round, traditionally it is most popular during Chinese New Year. 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”. As such, eating nian gao has the symbolism of raising oneself higher in each coming year (年年高升 niánnián gāoshēng). This sticky sweet snack was believed to be an offering to the Kitchen God, with the aim that his mouth will be stuck with the sticky cake, so that he can’t badmouth the human’s family to the God of all Gods (Yu Huang Da Di).

I can’t remember the first time I tasted fried nian gao, but what I do remember was thinking that it was one of the best fried snacks that I’ve ever tried, next to pisang goreng (deep fried bananas). Imagine biting through crunchy batter, only to sink your teeth into a sweet, sticky, gooey paste…oh my! The only problem was that most of the roadside stalls that do sell fried nian gao (and there aren’t many), usually fry it together with yam and sweet potato (the nian gao sandwiched between the former and latter).

And I. Do. Not. Like. Yam. And. Sweet Potato.

Tearing away those two components resulted in being left with a piece of nian gao without the batter, which is somewhat akin to eating KFC without the chicken skin, heh.

Seeing as I haven’t had this snack in yonks, and my dear dad took the trouble to hunt down some nian kao for me at the market this morning (it was surprisingly sold out at 2 major grocery stores last night, and the one that I managed to find at the 3rd store was too soft and gooey to be fried), I decided to fry up a batch tonight.

While some people fry these by itself, I prefer to dip it in light egg batter.

What I used:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoon of sifted flour (you can also use cornflour, just adjust the amount accordingly so that the batter is not too thick, nor too watery till it can’t coat the nian gao properly)
  • some water
  • pinch of salt
  • sliced nian gao

What I did

  1. Sift flour and whisk eggs separately
  2. Pour egg mixture into flour and mix till there are no lumps
  3. Add abit of water and salt
  4. Dip the sliced nian gao into the batter and fry away!

Best enjoyed with your favourite beverage (chilled roasted milk tea with grass jelly and tapioca pearls in my case) while indulging in a rerun of a good movie (at this moment, it’s Underworld)!

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§ 2 Responses to late night indulgence.

  • scrivener says:

    I live in Hawaii, which has a huge Chinese population. This means that I’m very familiar with what we simply call gao; very often my students bring me gao as a gift for Chinese New Year. However, I have to say that I have never heard of it being sliced, battered, and fried! What a great idea. I’m going to have to try this…next year.

    Or perhaps try to hunt some down in Chinatown, ‘though I’m sure I’ve never seen it there!

  • sy says:

    It’s an awesome snack, do try frying it up…=)

    Hope you manage to find some in Chinatown!

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