Nian Gao Chinese Lunar New Year Dishes
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Nian Gao Chinese New Year Dish

Nian-Gao Chinese Lunar New Year Dishes - Nian-Gao chinese lunar new year dishes was created for everybody who wish to know more about chinese customs and culture whole year round.
Chinese New Year - Chinese Customs and Culture - Chinese new year - chinese customs and culture was created for everybody who wish to know more about chinese customs and culture whole year round.

Nian Gao Chinese New Year Dish - Nian-Gao chinese lunar new year dishes was created for everybody who wish to know more about chinese customs and culture whole year round

Nian Gao or Sticky Cake Chinese New Year Dish

Find out the history of this traditional New Years dish, and try a recipe.

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.

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 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 Nian Gao or 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. Nian Gao or Sticky Cake is steamed (as are most Chinese cakes) and made with glutinous rice flour and dried fruit. The version below uses sugar, but you'll also find recipes using peen tong, a traditional Chinese brown candy.

Nian Gao or Sticky Cake Chinese New Year Dish

Ingredients
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs, with whites and yolks separated
? cup butter
? cup sugar
1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
1/3 cup milk
1 cup Chinese dried fruits, pitted if necessary and diced*
1 piece crystallized ginger, diced (optional)
? cup chopped walnuts

Directions
1. Grease a loaf pan that is approximately 4 x 8 inches and set aside.

2. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Add one-third (a little less than 1/2 cup) of the glutinous rice flour and mix. Add about half of the milk. Continue adding the rice flour and the milk alternately until the entire amount is mixed in.

3. Stir in whichever fruits you are using and then add the beaten egg whites, folding them into the cake batter.

4. Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan and steam, covered, for about one hour. Allow to cool and cut into thin slices.

*The author suggests preserved seedless plums, preserved pears, or dates.

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Nian-Gao Chinese Lunar New Year Dishes - Nian-Gao chinese lunar new year dishes was created for everybody who wish to know more about chinese customs and culture whole year round. Nian-Gao:  Nian-Gao Chinese Lunar New Year Dishes

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