Posted by: gargupie | January 21, 2012

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon

Raaaaa…

Or what kind of sounds does a dragon make? Dragon, a mystical creature is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck in the Chinese culture.  According to the lunar calendar, this coming Monday (January 23) marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon and because this creature is such a significant icon, there are already prediction that hospital beds are all booked up…no, not for patients, but for pregnant mothers because being a child of the Dragon is just awesome and a good omen to a bright future.

Lots of delicacies are eaten for Lunar New Year, both savouries and sweets. One of my favorite sweets is nian gao, a homonym for “higher year.” Nian gao made from glutinous rice flour, Chinese brown sugar and water.  Instead of baking the ‘cake’, you steam it, giving it a gelatinous consistency.  You could eat it in cold blocks or pan fry it to make it an even more ‘mochi mochi’ textural bite.  You eat this for breakfast on New Year’s day, but with so much leftover, I do not complain to continue my ‘year growth’ consumption. Best of all? Nian gao is vegan, so it totally suits my diet…well, except for the sugar rush. 🙂

Happy Lunar New Year!

Gong Hei Fat Choi!

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Responses

  1. “Raaaaaaaaaaaa …”

    I love that! I can totally imagine a dragon makes “raaaaaaaaaaa”! 🙂

    The cake looks special to me, but as a European, I’ve grown up with the thought of caked as being some kind of baked good. I like Japanese mochi which I think are steamed or cooked as well, but they still taste outlandish to me. So I think familiarity explains a lot in this. At least traditional Chinese sweets aren’t loaded with fat! 😉

    Have a wonderful start into the Lunar New Year! 🙂

  2. Thanks Kath! Do you have a Chinatown in your area? 🙂

    • No, I don’t, because there aren’t so many Chinese people in Germany. I’ve never seen a cake like that with my own eyes. 😦

      • If you could get your hands on the ingredients, you could bake one at home 🙂

  3. Happy Lunar New Year to you Kim! I love nian gao too. I didn’t get a chance to have some yet this past weekend – because frankly, I was just eating all the tang yuan from my recipe development / experimentations. I shall get some nian gao this coming week! =) Have a happy year of the Dragon!

    • Hi Sharon! I love tung yuan too. Enjoy mine with purple rice filling. What’s your favorite? 🙂

  4. Happy Dragon Year to you too! I think tradition morphed for our family with each generation. More important is the gathering of the clan. 🙂


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