Top 5 Chinese New Year Food To Eat In 2021

Chinese New Year is expected to fall on Friday, 12th of February this year. However, preparations for the festival have started for most people. Our neighbours for instance have started their annual spring cleaning activities. Shopping malls on the other hand have soaked up the atmosphere with their Chinese New Year decorations, festive songs, and storewide sales.

Big Question: Do we celebrate Chinese New Year?

Although K is Chinese, he doesn’t celebrate Chinese New Year and the reason is simply because his family doesn’t celebrate it too. Having said that, we do have family and friends celebrating it and they would always give us delicious food and thoughtful gifts during the festive season.

Not familiar with the food? We’ve got some good news for you. Here’s our list of 5 Chinese New Year food you ought to try in 2021. Most of these food can be found in most supermarkets and even online stores in Malaysia. A quick Google should do the trick. Let’s begin our list!

1. The New Year Cake 年糕 Kuih Bakul

Made of glutinous rice flour, this traditional rice cake can be taken sweet or savoury. These can be found easily in most supermarkets, but if you’re game enough to make your own, you can try these recipes from the Asian Food Network – Nian Gao and What To Cook Today – Easy Nian Gao Recipe (Tikoy / Fa Gao / Kue Bakul).

2. Dumplings 饺子

Dumplings are pieces of dough filled with all sorts of delicious fillings. Traditionally, the people at K’s hometown in the Northwestern part of China prefer to have it boiled and they eat it by dipping the dumplings in chili oil and black vinegar. Laotai Arui did a video on it and you can view it here – Dumplings Halal Recipe | Muslim Chinese Food | Best Chinese Halal Food |饺子

3. Tangyuan 汤圆

These addictive sticky rice balls are made with glutinous rice flour. Often served in a sweet soup, the fillings vary from peanut to red bean. These are chewy in texture and you can easily make these at home using store-bought tangyuan. To make your own from scratch, follow this Tang Yuan Chinese Glutinous Rice Balls 汤圆 recipe shared by the Red House Spice.

4. Yee Sang 魚生

Essentially a salad, most restaurants would offer this during the Chinese New Year period. But with movement restrictions, you could purchase ready-made yee sang from restaurants and supermarkets. All you have to do is assemble the ingredients, pour the sauce, and dig in!

5. Tangerines & Oranges

You can’t really end the list without mentioning the fruits that are synonymous to the festival. It’s fair to say that Chinese New Year is the only festival where you’ll see people buying, eating and gifting boxes of these fruits. In fact, we can’t think of any time of the year where we can find ourselves eating and receiving this many tangerines and oranges.

There are definitely more good food that people usually eat during Chinese New Year and we’d be sharing those in future posts, insha’Allah. In the meantime, you can refer to last years’ post – Top 3 Snacks You Should Try For Chinese New Year.

Are you celebrating Chinese New Year this year? Let us know in the comments section!

Top 5 Mooncake Flavours According To Our Tummy

Do you know how many mooncake flavours are there in the market? If your answer is yes, we take our hats off you!

We’re not sure about other countries but here in Malaysia, new mooncake flavours are introduced to the market on a yearly basis.

And that makes a lot of sense because mooncakes are highly versatile. They can be filled with all sorts of filling – sweet or savoury!

So how do you choose which filling to buy? In our case, we like to stick to the classics. Go with traditional flavours, something you’re familiar with. Once you’ve gotten a hang of it, move on to non-traditional flavours.

Let’s cut to the chase and see the top 5 flavours according to our tummy.

1. Mixed Nuts Mooncake 五仁月饼

This mooncake flavour is commonly found in K’s home town. It’s a pretty healthy mooncake since it has five kinds of nuts or kernels such as walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, melon seeds, red beans and etc. Naturally, the mooncake has a nutty and sweet flavour because of the fillings. We love this particular mooncake flavour to bits mainly because it reminds us of his home town.

2. Red Bean Mooncake 豆沙月饼

The classic sweet red bean mooncake flavour never goes wrong. The smooth and rich taste of sweet bean paste always brings back our childhood memories of eating bread and pastries filled with sweet bean paste. There’s just something comforting about biting into a piece of your childhood.

3. White Lotus Mooncake 莲蓉月饼

Ooohh, and here’s another one of our favourites! The lotus mooncake is filled with silky smooth white lotus paste. We love this flavour very much and always try to find the less sweeter option for family and friends.

4. Salted Egg Yolk Mooncake 蛋黄月饼

Let’s get this straight, to all the salted egg yolk lovers out there, the entire mooncake is not filled with salted egg yolk. Rather, the mooncake is filled with white lotus or any other flavours and at the very centre of the mooncake, you’ll find 1 or 2 salted egg yokes. Sounds crazy to put something salty with something sweet but it works! And this odd combination is what makes this mooncake so popular. Just try it!

5. Green Tea Mooncake 茶叶月饼

Okay, so we’re making a huge boo boo. Green tea flavoured mooncakes are not one of our top favourites. But considering the fact that they’re pretty healthy and not as sweet compared to other mooncake fillings, we thought, hey, let’s just put it in the list. Don’t get us wrong, we love green tea. But green tea mooncakes? Hey, if we love green tea, surely we can learn to love green tea mooncakes too. For health!

And there you have it, our top 5 mooncake flavours! The best thing about these flavours are you can find them easily. The only difference would be the textures, sweetness and smoothness levels.

Let us know if you love any of these flavours too!

Selamat Hari Merdeka Ke-63!

It’s a pretty quiet and simple Merdeka this year, but there’s still a lot of meaning behind it.

Always be thankful for our independence.

Remember to be grateful for our freedom.

Appreciate all that we’ve achieved thus far.

Come what may, make it a mission to strive and move forward.

And pray, pray to Allah SWT to bless Malaysia with everything that is good, ameen.

Enjoy the holiday everyone!

10 Popular Mooncake Types You Should Try

Yummy!

The Mooncake festival, Lantern festival or Mid-Autumn festival, whichever you choose to call it, the festival is almost here!

We’re super blessed because halal mooncakes are common in Malaysia. You can get it in supermarkets, bakeries, hotel restaurants, even homemade ones! The choices are limitless!

If you’re new to mooncakes, then you’ve come to the right place to learn more about these delightful bite-sized delicacies synonymous with the Mid-Autumn.

Do take note that we are writing about the popular mooncake types, including non-halal types. At any rate, we encourage you to inquire from the sellers and confirm with them about the halal status of their mooncakes.

The Mooncake Types

Cantonese: Originally from Southern China, the classic Cantonese mooncake comes encased in a thin brown-coloured skin, usually filled with lotus paste with either one or two salted duck egg yokes. It comes with other fillings too, like red bean, nuts, even preserved meats. This is by far the most commonly found mooncake in Malaysia and Singapore, and yes, it happens to be our favourite mooncake type too.

Halal versions available. Popular brands include Tai Thong, Oversea and Baker’s Cottage.

Shanghai: Shanghai mooncakes are baked using short crust pastry, so you will have that buttery, crumbly texture. The filling is a rich lotus paste and a salted duck egg yolk. These mooncakes look like large scones and you can sometimes find sesame seeds being sprinkled on top.

Halal versions available. We found it on Shoppee!

Suzhou: Also known as Su-style mooncakes, the skins of these mooncakes are soft, sweet, and flaky. Suzhou mooncakes are savoury and usually stuffed with minced pork meat. The mooncakes are also stamped with edible red ink.

Teochew: Teochew mooncakes are usually filled with yam paste and a salted duck egg yolk. But it also comes in other flavours, such as red bean paste or mung bean paste. The spiral-like flaky crust wraps around the sweet filling, giving you that mesmerizing exterior.

Beijing: Beijing mooncakes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It uses a lot of sesame oil.

Hokkien: Hokkien mooncakes were once known as scholar cakes as they were given to those sitting for the Imperial Examination. These white-coloured mooncakes are often filled with melon seeds, tangerine peel and winter melon. Also available are savoury options stuffed with minced meat.

Snow Skin: Originating from Hong Kong, snow skin mooncakes are not baked. The skin is made from glutinous rice flour and the texture is similar to mochi – elastic, chewy and soft. Fillings come in various kinds such as red bean paste or lotus paste. Best taken cold.

Halal versions available. Popular brands include Tai Thong, Oversea and Baker’s Cottage.

Ice Cream: Ice cream mooncakes are the modern twist to the traditional mooncake types. Ice cream mooncakes like how the name describes it are literally made of ice-cream!

Halal versions available.

Jelly: Yes! An entire mooncake made out of jelly! Or in our part of the world, agar-agar! They come in all sorts of flavours and colours, and get this, they even come with a jelly version of the salted duck egg yolk!

Halal versions available.

Chocolate: Chocolate mooncakes is another modern twist. The crust is made from chocolate and the filling can nutella, chocolate chip, oats, berries, peanut butter, the works!

Halal versions available.

Bonus!

So you think we’ve concluded our mooncake types post? Think again! But rather than make an elaborate post on them, we’ll just list them down. Be on the lookout for coffee, tiramisu and caramel macchiato type mooncakes. Great for all those coffee lovers!

Salam Maal Hijrah 2020

Happy Hijri New Year!

May the new year bring you lots of happiness, ease and comfort from Allah SWT, ameen!

While we’re at it, what’s your plan for the holidays?

We’re busy prepping our frozen dumplings, bottling our chili oil, and coming up with new posts!

Plus our heads are buzzing with ideas, so stay tuned!