February 21st, 2014 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version
Many Chinese buy some Nian Gao (年糕) during Chinese New Year Spring Festival. It symbolises 步步高升, (things are improving in steps in the coming year). Housewife who worship kitchen god may also belief that the kitchen god, being in kitchen the whole year, heard the housewife gossips and complains in the kitchen. They will offer the nian gao to the god at the end of the year. The believe was that the kitchen god will return to heaven and report to the heavenly king what he has heard, but if his mouth is filled with sticky rice cake, he will not be able to talk.
Note that I refer to those round cakes made of glutinous rice flour steamed in a banana leaf lined mould. I am not referring to the white rice flour sticks, which are referred as Shanghai nian gao (上海年糕).
Nian gao should be kept dry by airing and sunned. They could be kept for months without refrigeration when dry. For frying, the cake should be aired until it hardens (it is very sticky and soft when it was made), usually takes more than a week. This also made slicing it easier than being soft and sticky.
- 1 Nian gao年糕
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoon general purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cooking oil
- Remove the covering (usually banana leaf) of the nian gao, and rinse.
- Slice into squares of ¼ cm thick. (thin slice are easier to cook)
- In a bowl, crack in the eggs and beat.
- Add in the flour and salt and stir into a batter. Add in 1 tablespoon cooking oil and continue to stir until the oil is mixed thoroughly into the batter.
- Heat up a frying pan and oil the surface. Dip the nian gao slice by slice into the batter and then pan fry both sides until golden brown. The nian gao is ready when it is soft again. Use low heat so that the batter will not be burnt before the nian gao soften. It is also important to have thin slice, otherwise it takes a long time before it soften. Those who know how to use a pair of chopstick, it is easier to use a pair of chopsticks to do the flipping.
For variations of this recipe, you can pre-steam thin slices of yam or sweet potato or both, and sandwich the nian gao and the yam and sweet potato together, then dip into batter and fry.
January 28th, 2014 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version
This is an alternative to the earlier post on “Apple or Pear with Chinese Almond (南北杏) and Chuan Bei (川贝)Drink“. However, Chuan Bei is not used here, but replace with luohan fruit and fig, hence suitable for whole family as a throat soothing dessert, and helpful to relief long lasting cough. Picture of dried figs and luohan is attached for reference.
Hope this comes timely with too much Lunar New Year goodies which are heaty.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
- 2 apples
- 2 chinese pears
- 1 dried luohan fruit (罗汉果)
- 4-6 dried figs (无花果) depending on size
- 1 tablespoon north apricot kernel (北杏)
- 1 tablespoon south apricot kernel (南杏)
- 750ml water
- Rock sugar (as the “rock” size vary, approximate to about 3 tablespoon of sugar combined)
- Peel apples and pears and cut into chucks (about 8 pieces per fruit).
- Wash figs and luohan. Break open the luohan.
- Rinse the apricot kernel and rock sugar.
- Put all ingredient in a pot, add in water, sufficient to cover all content.
- Bring to boil and then lower fire to very small just sufficient to keep the water boiling. Simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove and discard the luohan. All other ingredients can be served.
- Serve warm. The kernels can be chewed on, and take time to chew it to a fine paste to enjoy the fragrance of the almonds before swallowing. It is also very good for the throat.
May 18th, 2010 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version
This is quite like the usual snow fungus dessert, but adding dried apricot gives it a fruity sour taste from the usual red date taste. Kids will like it chilled.
- 10 dried appricots
- 10 red dates
- 20 grams dried snow fungus or roughly the size of a clenched fist
- 1 tablespoon north almonds (北杏)
- 1 tablespoon south almonds (南杏)
- 10-15 tablespoon sugar (depending on your taste)
- 2 litres water
- Soak the snow fungus in water for 3 hours or until fully expanded.
- Rinse the snow fungus and cut into small pieces and put into a pot with 2l water.
- Wash red dates and the almonds and put into the pot.
- Bring to boil and lower flame to simmer for 1 hour.
- Add in the dry apricots and simmer for another 1-2 hours. Adding the apricots earlier together, from the start of cooking in step 3 is ok, except it will be much softer. (if total cooking time is 2 hours, the snow fungus should be slightly crunchy, 3 hours will be softer).
- Add sugar to taste.
- Cool it and chill in fridge for a refreshing desserts.
- Can be served warm too.
September 3rd, 2009 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version
This recipe is given by my TCM doctor, to help soothe my children’s cough. He said that it can be drank even you do not have cough, it generally nourishes the lungs. You can use red apple or Chinese pear (not the European pear, see here for photos). The chuan bei mu (川贝母), North and South Almonds (南杏, 北杏) can be purchased from any Chinese medicine shop, such as 福华，正中平，shops at Hong Lim, (Singapore) and any neighborhood medicine shops.
Ingredients (serve 2 cups)
- 1 Apple or pear (梨)
- 1 Chinese tablespoon chuan pei mu (Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae, 川贝母) (about 1/3 liang, or 13 grams)
- 1 ½ Chinese tablespoon north almonds (北杏)
- 1 ½ Chinese tablespoon south almonds (南杏)
- 1 Chinese tablespoon rock sugar
- 3 bowls water
- Remove the skin of apple or pear, cut into quarters and remove the core.
- Wash the almonds.
- Wash the Chuan Pei, and lightly crush it with stone pestle or anything hard (like the handle of your cleaver).
- Put all ingredients in pot with water, and bring to boil.
- Once boiled, lower to small fire and simmer for 1 hour (very low heat to prevent drying up of contents).
- Sieve and drink the water. (about 1 ½ bowls left)
Here is a picture of how chuan bei mu (川贝母) looks like
March 30th, 2009 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version
This is a cooling and nourishing for the lungs (in TCM terms - traditional Chinese Medicine) dessert and good to take when you have cough or having green phlegm. Otherwise, it can also be taken as a dessert for cooling the system anytime.
- 1 round winter melon ,(not those huge Chinese winter melon, but use those round ones about a size of a volley ball)
- Rock Sugar (as the “rock” size vary, approximate to about 5 tablespoon of sugar combined)
- Wash the outside of melon.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the top end (the end with the stalk) with a nice clean cut, and the piece that was cut out is about 5 cm at the thickest point (center), and it looks like a “cover” of about 10-15 cm diameter. We need this to cover the melon during steaming.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds of the melon from the cut end and hence leaving a hollow center in the melon.
- Put in the rock sugar, and water to fill up the hollow.
- Cover with the “cover” that was cut out in step 2 so that it is back to a round melon. Secure with tooth picks.
- Using a metal bowl as a base to hold the melon upright without spilling its content.
- Steam the whole melon in medium heat for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- When done, open up the “cover” and scoop out the water and using spoon scoop out the flesh (should be very soft now) and serve in a bowl.