February 14 is a very happening day this day. Besides Valentine’s Day, it is also the first day of Chinese New Year. This year I find myself getting more in the Chinese New Year mood since I just got back from SE Asia where the Chinese New Year atmosphere is so much more apparent. Chinese New Year decorations were everywhere and all the CNY cookies and other munchies were being sold everywhere. Just looking at all those munchies really put me in the mood of making my own CNY goodies. So together with a friend, we made our first 2010 CNY goodies today – the Chinese New Year Cake or better known as the Sticky Cake or Nian Gao. My last attempt was in 2008, so it was time to try it again.
Nian Gao is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar and water, and then steamed in a bowl lined with banana leaf. It can also be steamed without the banana leaf but I think that the banana leaf does add an additional fragrant aroma to the sticky cake. Nian gao can be eaten many different ways. Some people like it soft and sticky and coated with dessicated coconut. I like to pan fry mine with eggs and sometimes with yam or taro. Whichever way it is, it is one of my favorite New Year food.