Friday, 18 July 2008

Nian Gao

Today's lunch I had a plate of Shanghai fried nian gao in People's Park Hawker Center. It was cooked by a lady from China. Nian Gao are rice cakes, and cut into thin slices and stirred fried with cabbage and pork. Normally I liked this dish, but this one couldn't make it, the nian gao was too soft that it lost the chewy feel. It tasted like it was "melting". And in a hot stuffy place, each plate costs $6, was a little too expensive, I felt. I rather pay slightly more for the nice one served in Imperial Treasures Chinese Restaurant. Yummy.

I have a thing for gluttonous rice, and that's why I like these rice cakes. The Korean version of Nian Gao would be the Dduk Bokki which looked fiery red and kimchi spicy. I saw these selling in the streets of Seoul and people buy and eat on the spot. Yummy.

Our own version in Singapore is a totally different Nian Gao. Here the Nian Gao is sweet, and normally taken as a snack. During the Chinese New Year, we would buy this as they believe Nian Gao is supposed to bring good luck and progress when eaten during the new year. My mom would normally slice the Nian Gao into squarish pieces and fried it together with egg. The result is a sweet sticky snack which is a little crispy on the outside and very soft and sweet inside. Yummy.... I suddenly have the craving for this now.....

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