After the vacation, I have to admit it is hard to get back to the routine. Bryan and I still haven’t gone back to the gym. We should do that tomorrow. I am also catching up with my recipe testing. It should be almost there. At least, we finally got the Hong Kong trip pictures ready. Woo hoo!
This is my interpretation of my grandma’s (my mom’s side) recipe. It is a dish from a specific region in China called “Chaozhou/Chiuchow 潮州”. My grandma is from Chiuchow. The original name of this snack is “Lok Tang Ci 落湯糍”, but most people will know this as “Nuomici 糯米糍”. Why is this sweet snack being served on Chinese New Year? It is because the word “Ci 糍” sounds almost exactly like the word “Chin 錢 (money)” in Chiuchow dialect. The dumplings are the symbol of wealth.
The dumplings should be made on New Year eve. On the first day of New Year, everyone in the family will go to grandma’s house. We greet each other, give red packets, receive red packets, sit around, eat and chat. These dumplings are one of the things that everyone loves. When the steaming hot dumplings come out of the kitchen and arrive on a table, everyone would run over with a pair of chopsticks and munch on their dumplings. Great memory!
One really interesting thing: My mom and my aunt are never allowed to eat the dumplings. It is because they are married. In Chinese culture, when a daughter married someone, she is the member of the husband’s family. Any family traditions from the daughter’s side of the family will not pass down to the daughter. And the daughter is considered an outsider. Since the dumplings symbolize wealth, my mom never got to eat the dumplings after she got married. But this year, my grandma has suddenly changed the rule to allow my mom to eat under one condition. No take out. (No money is being taken away from the family). Mom said that she hasn’t eaten that for 30 years. Haha… Lucky mom!
But yes, these little dumplings are gooey. Dip as much sugar as you want when eating. Don’t start talking when eating. I don’t think anyone will understand you when you have that sticky dumpling in your mouth. It is fun and tasty, and it will bring you wealth! Have a great new year!
P.S. Special thanks to my fifth uncle for helping out with the background information and recipe tips! I can’t finish this post without his help.
Gong Hei Fat Choy! Happy Lunar New Year! In this Snake year, wish you all good health, good fortune and happiness!
I will be posting a Chinese New Year recipe later this week.
新年快樂! Happy Lunar New Year!
恭喜發財! Kung Hey Fat Choi! Wishing you prosperity!
步步高陞! Be promoted to a higher position!
身壯力健! Be healthy and vigorous all year!
At my New Year corner this year, I have a pot of orchids, a dragon piggy bank, some red pockets, a few mandarin oranges, a gold piggy bank, hui chun (red paper with greeting words), and a Chinese dragon hand work needle craft. It is very festive, and I love it. Right now, I need to get started on my turnip cake. Have a Happy New Year! New recipe will be up later this week.
Chinese New Year is next week starting on Monday. I haven’t had time to look into new Chinese New Year recipes this year. But I have some ideas for you from my previous posts. Enjoy!
Turnip Cake. This is a must for Chinese New Year! I am making this on Monday.
Sweet Ginger Light Syrup with Glutinous Rice Balls. This dessert is warm and delightful. Perfect ending for a great meal.
Turnip Cake is the one thing that can’t be missed during Chinese New Year! I love that so much that my mom used to make them specific for me while I was in Hong Kong for vacation, even though that was during Christmas! But it doesn’t matter, who doesn’t want turnip cake? Turnip cake is actually made with daikon or Chinese white turnip. Every family has their own recipes. Some use dried mushroom, some use dried ham, and some use salted radish. Everyone makes them differently. This turnip cake recipe is my mom’s recipe. I have been eating this dish for years. If I am in Hong Kong, there is no reason for me to learn how to make turnip cake. Since I am far away from home, I have asked my mom for the recipe. Finally, I made it! And, I am so glad that this is good! My sister said that my turnip cake tastes 90% like mom’s. Bryan asked whether I can make it during other time of the year.
Happy Chinese New Year! Wish you all to have a wonderful year of the rabbit!
恭喜發財! Kung Hey Fat Choi! Wishing you prosperity!
花開富貴! Fortune comes with blooming flowers! (The orchids)
新春大吉! Good fortune in the New Year! (The mandarin oranges)
招財進寶! May money and treasure be plentiful! (The piggy bank)
When it comes to holiday, it makes me think of my hometown, Hong Kong, a bit more. Chinese New Year is a holiday that everyone looks forward to, especially kids. Every year on new year day, my parents would give my sister and I red envelopes. Each envelope contains money that symbolizes to suppress the evil spirit. Then, we would head over to my grandma’s house and meet up all my uncles, aunties, and cousins from my mom’s side families. We all just get together to chat and eat all day long. We eat candies, dried fruit candies, melon seeds, turnip cake, and taro cake. Later in the afternoon, we go to my another grandma’s place and meet up my dad’s side extended families. It is always good to get to meet everyone. By the end of the day, my sister and I would get many many red envelopes.
Now, I am all grown up and married. Instead of receiving red envelopes, I have to give out to children and unmarried juniors. Since I am far away from home, I try to keep some tradition in the house. I set up a corner for all my new year decor. You can see from the picture above. Two days ago, I have also made some tasty turnip cakes. Turnip cakes symbolizes prosperity and growing fortunes. Finally, I didn’t forget Hui Chun. Hui Chun is a piece of red/gold paper with greeting wordings. I have printed out a couple Hui Chun and posted them on the door and walls. May all my wishes come true!
Tonight, I will pan-fried some turnip cake for dinner. Again, wish you all to have a year full of happiness!
If you want to print out and post some Hui Chun?
Hong Kong Tourism Board has a website with all the easy print out Hui Chun. Read
Chinese New Year is tomorrow. In Chinese tradition, at least from what I know, tonight is the dinner for the end of the year. All family members should get together and enjoy a meal. In this meal, we should always end with the perfect sweet treat, which is the glutinous rice ball. The round shape of the glutinous rice balls symbolize the family togetherness.
Glutinous rice balls are made with glutinous rice flour. They are boiled in a sweet light syrup which is usually made with water, rock sugar/brown sugar pieces, and a few ginger pieces. The syrup is sweet and warm. The hint of ginger flavor is infused into the light syrup. The glutinous rice balls are like dumplings. They are stuffed with filling and roll into a ball shape. The filling can be sesame paste, red bean paste, peanut paste and rock sugar. After the glutinous rice balls are cooked, the bouncy and chewy skin texture is amazing. And, the hot filling oozed out the skin and spoon. It is so delicious! My personal favorite is sesame paste. It is nutty and sweet.