I made Nian Gao/Traditional Chinese New Year Cake the way my grandmother has done years back during Chinese New Year this year. It took me a good 15 hours to make the Nian Gao the traditional way. It was tedious and hard work, but it paid off eventually.
Nian Gao made the traditional way will not become moulded fast and could be stored in cold dry place for years. It also tasted so much better and the texture much Chewier.
We normally eat Nian Gao deep frying with coated batter, I am trying a new way today using a spring roll wrapper, I have to say that I actually like this one better!
I have always thought Kuih Lapis a local Malaysian snack, it was known to me as 9-layered kuih (九层糕 in Chinese）for a long time. I later learnt that not only the Malaysian, the Singaporean, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese all have similar versions of this cake, the difference are mostly on the ratio of rice flour and starches. I have also learned that 9-layered cake is a specialty made in Hainan and Canton province in China during festive seasons. Its name implies "longevity and growing upwards" It is also something that is made only for prayers and serves only to family members. It is not to be shared with outsiders as luck and prosperity should be preserved within the family. As its name suggested, there should be nine layers in this kuih, hence I designed my recipe based on that. It is normally made with food coloring (red being the most common choice) in my country. I made mine with pumpkin for its sweetness and bright color, I am really pleased with the color! For those who has been following my blog, you would have noticed that I had been experimenting with ground rice instead of rice flour in recipes lately. My Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice rolls)project got me obsessed to ground rice, the texture and taste a freshly ground rice provides is simply out of the world. It is truly worth the while and it is hard to go back to the ordinary rice flour now. 我一直以为九层糕是马来西亚专有的娘惹糕点, 出国后才发现其实很多国家都有类似的糕点，用的材料也都近似，不外是米粉和淀粉以不同的比例蒸制而成。 【佛山、南海一带民间喜庆节日，尤其春节，家家必做九层糕，取其“长长久久，步步高升”之意。九层糕是
层匀美观，软滑可口，乳香甜润。】资料来源：http://baike.baidu.com/view/121245.htm 我自从做了纯米肠粉之后，对自磨米浆有了新的认知和喜好, 自磨米浆做的糕点带有清新的米香，口感更柔滑，放置至第二天还是软软QQ的，简直让人欲罢不能。 今天做的这款九层糕用了南瓜泥，南瓜的甜香和漂亮的颜色让成品看起来更吸引人，是很好的天然健康色素呢！
Lou Shu Fun/老鼠粉 (“rat noodles”) also known as Ngan zham fun/银针粉(“silver needle noodles”) is a kind of noodle made of rice flour and some starches, it is short, springy and somewhat translucent in color. One popular way to serve this noodle in Malaysia to make it a clay pot dish, clay pot retains heat well and makes the dish more appealing. 老鼠粉是一种米和淀粉制作的粉食，其形状为两端尖，形似老鼠，因此称为老鼠粉。后来传到香港，港人觉得老鼠粉名字不雅，就给它取了个银针粉的名字。台湾也有类似的粉条，他们称它作“米台目”。 瓦煲老鼠粉是马来西亚一个很受欢迎的粉类，肉末和老鼠粉用大火炒香之后放到加热的瓦煲里继续煮滚，上桌前磕入一只生鸡蛋，让瓦煲的余热焖至半熟，和老鼠粉拌匀后吃，味道浓厚鲜香，非常好吃。
Years back in my hometown, there was this lady riding a motorcycle with a big metal box selling her homemade Chee Cheong Fun every morning. Her Chee Cheong Fun was soft, smooth and full of rice fragrance (米香）with a slight touch of sourness. Her sauce was a good balance of sweet and salty, together with fried shallots and roasted sesame, her chee cheong fun performances an orchestra of flavors in the mouth, it was very addictive. My parents normally purchased her Chee Cheong Fun only over the weekends. I get real excited waking in the morning to see packets of Chee Cheong Fun sitting in the cupboard ready for breakfast. Unfortunately, she stopped selling Chee Cheong Fun due to her health condition. I can no longer enjoy a packet of her Chee Cheong Fun now when I visit my hometown. I did, though, encountered good Chee Cheong Funs at different places over the years. But none, came close to what this lady has made. There is something about her Chee Cheong Fun that I can't forget. A sense of pureness and simplicity that machine made Cheong Fun can't replicate. It comes only through years of day-to-day hard work, melding with patience and care, an art and heritage. With that in mine, I wanted to recreate the kind of Chee Cheong Fun I missed. I tried many recipes online and was disappointed most of the times. But I learnt something new every time. I did, finally came to a formula that my palate agrees. It is made with only rice, water, oil and salt. No cornstarch, wheat starch and tapioca flour added. I present you : A simple tale of steamed rice rolls. Just like how it should be, long long time ago. 小时候家乡有个阿姨每天早上都会驾着一辆载着铁皮箱的摩托车到处叫卖她制作的猪肠粉。她家的肠粉很简单，只有葱酥、芝麻粒、甜酱和辣酱，偶尔还兼卖她做的芋头糕。 她会把肠粉两条一包的剪好包装，买的时候再加酱料。那么简单的食材做出来的小吃，却让我这么多年来念念不忘，阿姨做的肠粉很滑，有着浓浓的米香，还带有微微的酸味，加上葱油和酱料，让人一口一口停不下来。 后来回乡听说阿姨因为身体不好，已经不再做/卖猪肠粉了。这个消息让我非常惆怅，小时候喜欢的味道，再也吃不到啦！ 这么多年来我在许多地方也都吃过好吃的猪肠粉。但却没有一个让我那么难以忘怀。阿姨做的猪肠粉有着让人迷恋的味道，一种简单的，坚持的，古早的味道。也是我一直寻找的，味道。 为了还原我思念的这个味道，我把能够接触的资料都看了一遍，网上一些比较有名的食谱我也试过了，那些加淀粉，澄粉，薯粉的食谱做出来都不是我想念的口感和味道。 多次的失败尝试之后，我有了很多的体会。肠粉最重要的是米要好，越陈越干爽的米做出来的肠粉越香，水和粉的比例对了，就能蒸出米香浓郁，顺滑好吃的肠粉。 几次调整之后，我整理出这个自己比较满意的比例，今天写个帖子记录这个食谱。
I had Spaghetti Naporitan the first time as an exchange student in Japan 20 years ago. I thought what I had was Italian food for the longest time, not until I went to Europe that I realized that it was actually a Japanese food in disguise!
Spaghetti Naporitan is pan-fried spaghetti seasoned with ketchup, which makes it a very easy and quick dish to make since there is no preparation of meat sauce needed.
My son A is a big fan of ketchup and often asked for fries/nuggets for dinner so that he could have them with ketchup.
I made this spaghetti for him one day with the Teton Waters Ranch cooked uncured beef polish sausage that I bought from costco. (It’s made with 100% grass-fed beef (no hormones, no antibiotics, no feedlot) , there’s NO added nitrates and is less saltier than other sausages in the market.)
It was an instant hit, A had it two nights in a roll and was loving it!
Semolinais the coarse wheat middlings of durum wheat -- a kind of hard wheat, it is normally used to make pasta in the west. It is also used a lot in India to make different kind of Indian snacks such as this Rava Idli, Rava dosa, Kesari (A kind of dessert.). Rava Idli is easy to make, very healthy and tasty! Semolina 是把麦磨成面粉的过程中产生的一种类似胚芽的颗粒，一般用来做意大利面，蛋糕，和很多其他的糕点。 今天做的这个硬麦蒸糕是一个营养丰富，味道很好的小点心，可以当早餐，或下午茶。也是素食者可以考虑的一个食谱喔！
Zha Jiang Mian literally means "Fried Sauce Noodles", a northern Chinese dish consist of thick wheat noodle and topped with ground pork stir-fried with fermented soy Sauce and Sweet Sauce (甜面酱), it is normally served with plenty of seasonal vegetables, which makes it a lot more nutritious and healthier. I now make this noodle once in a while and learnt to enjoy it with a clove of garlic, just like the locals do in Beijing. 老北京炸酱面是出国之后才有机会尝试的。我很喜欢那浓浓的酱香味，加上爽口弹牙的面条和清爽菜码，很满足的一顿饭！