Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nian Gao - Chinese

Today is the eve of the Chinese New Year. It is a tradition for Chinese to have a family reunion dinner. There are several traditional dishes for the ocassion. The dishes served are symbolic to usher in the new year. This could be based on the appearances, i.e. long stringy noodles signify longevity, chicken need to be served whole with the head and tail, signifying the wholeness or completeness of tasks ahead or relationship. It could also be based on how the name of the dishes sound in Chinese. For example, in Cantonese (a Chinese dialect) a dish of black moss with dried oyster called 'Fat choi ho si'. Fat choi means having good luck and Ho Si means good business. Oranges which are called 'Kum' which is a pun for Gold, is eaten or given as gifts.

A friend of mine, Pinky, she made these beautiful Chinese carps and piglet (auspicious symbols) with glutinous rice flour. This is her interpretation of the traditional new year sticky cake, 'Nian Gao'
Wishing you all a 'Happy Chinese New Year'.

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