As I get older, I tend to gravitate towards the traditional. Age does strange things to people apparently - I don bright colors for visitations now, as compared to monochrome colors when I was younger.
Now, I am a bona fide middle aged tradition auntie when the most natural thing to cook on the first day of CNY is a radish cake. 菜头糕 for 好彩头? How can a household not be in good fortune when there are always food in it ?
Below is the recipe for a very big radish cake. Have a very happy Chinese New Year !
Radish cake for ten :
4 cups rice flour
5 cups water
1 1/2 Chinese sausage, thinly sliced
1/2 medium radish, shredded
1/2 cup fried shallots
1 handful dried shrimps
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mixed rice flour and water in a deep dish pot. Set aside.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry mushrooms, shallots, shrimps and sausage in this order, leaving 1 minute intervals between ingredients. Turn off heat.
Cook rice flour water over medium heat, stirring continuously.
When liquid is about to get pasty, add the pot of fried ingredients, salt and pepper into the rice flour mix. Stir over medium heat until the liquid turns thick and pasty but not yet cooked.
Transfer batter to an well oiled deep dish ( metal ) and steam for 60 minutes, covered.
Check that the radish cake is done by sticking a chopstick into the center. If it comes out rather clean, the cake is cooked. Otherwise, steam for intervals of 15 minutes.
Leave to cool thoroughly before cutting up. Serve with chilli or cut up to cubes and fry in hot oil for a crispy snack.