年糕 Sticky Cake

Sticky Cake /Nián gāo, Year cake or Chinese New Year’s cake  is a food prepared from glutinous rice and  traditionally it is most popular during chinese new year.

How you normally prepare / cook your sticky rice?  pan fried it? stir fried it? deep fried it with sweet potato & yam? steamed it?

In Shanghai style, In Korean / Japan style, the most common is stir-fry method.  In Malaysia , normally we deep fried the sticky rice with one layer of sweet potato & yam with a flour batter. Besides that, you may stuffed the sticky cake (2 pieces layer) with red bean paste / lotus seed paste filling and deep fried it. I even found some people just fried it with egg, simply delicious!

Here I would like to share this steamed sticky cake coated with grinded coconut.

IMG_1547

  • Slice the sticky cake into long thin shape (1.5 cm)
  • Arrange nicely on the place
  • Prepare the wok with water with a stand for steaming
  • Steam the sticky cake for 8 minute
  • Mixed 1 tea spoon fine salt with grinded coconut
  • Coat the sticky cake with ginded coconut (roll it and ensure all fully coated), ready to serve.

 

I would like to share the history of sticky cake.

There are many traditions associated with the Chinese New Years season or Spring Festival. However, one important tradition takes place before the old year has come to a close. According to legend, one week before the Spring Festival begins, the Kitchen God returns to heaven to report on a family’s behavior during the previous year. A negative report by the Kitchen God means a family will suffer from bad luck during the year to come.

In The Kitchen’s God Wife, Amy Tan describes the legend of how the Kitchen God came to exist. Basically, a beggar named Zhang leaped into a fireplace to escape being seen by his former wife. His embarrassment came not from his reduced circumstances, but from the way he had mistreated her. His wife tried vainly to put out the fire, but was ultimately forced to watch her former husband’s ashes fly up the chimney. Upon hearing the story, the Jade Emperor decided to reward the man for admitting to his wrongdoings by making him Kitchen God, charged with watching over everyone’s behavior.

Not surprisingly given his important task, images of the Kitchen God portray him as a rather imposing figure. The narrator in The Kitchen God’s Wife describes one given to her by her mother: “The man is rather large and is seated in regal splendor, holding a quill in one hand, a tablet in the other. He has two long whiskers, shaped like smooth, tapered black whips.

In order to ensure a favorable report from the Kitchen God, the custom evolved of feeding him Sticky Cake. According to different accounts this was either a bribe, or simply a means of ensuring the Kitchen God’s mouth was too full of cake to pass on an unfavorable report. Sticky Cake is steamed (as are most Chinese cakes) and made with glutinous rice flour and dried fruit. Traditionally, Sticky Cake is made with peen tong a traditional Chinese brown candy that is available at Asian markets (the glutinous rice flour can also be found at Asian markets). Sticky cake can be made with either peen tong or brown sugar.

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