Nian gao (sweet rice cake) is an auspicious food like many other foods eaten during Lunar New Year. Nian means year. While gao means cake in Cantonese, it’s also a homonym for tall or high; thus, nian gao symbolises a good, prosperous year ahead.
Without fail, my mother would serve us pan-fried nian gao for breakfast every morning on the first day of Lunar New Year. I never gave our traditions much thought or appreciated this simple QQ and not-too-sweet cake until I moved away from New York City and stopped having nian gao during Lunar New Year for a few years. These days, I make sure we have plenty of nian gao and other foods that symbolise good luck and fortune to go around every Lunar New Year.Read More