It seems that the Chinese Lunar New Year festive mood is also catching up with our local newspapers. Recently I have spotted a few articles related to the preparation of festive food stuff and products that are closely related to the Chinese culture and customs of celebrating the coming Chinese Lunar New Year. Much credit must be given to The Star for keeping the culture alive in Malaysia. Some of the article and write-up have stirred up some of my child hood memories of the festive goodies that we enjoyed as kids back when things are still made traditional to preserve the culture, tradition, customs and most of all the taste that have survive the years of evolution. But these days, many things has changed due to commercialization and the greed for more profits, which has threaten to erase the culture and customs of our society. It is a pity that the generation to come would not be able to taste we have tasted and experience what we have experienced!

Below is a summery of the article that was publish on The Star’s website on the 14th January 2009, is would like to read the full article please click on this link The Star’s :

Ah Geng’s ‘kuih bakul’ still a hit


GEORGE TOWN: She is only three years short of celebrating her 80th birthday but Ah Geng, as she is popularly known, is still passionate about making nian gao (kuih bakul) for Chinese New Year.

Together with her daughter Lim Bee Choo, 45, Ah Geng, whose full name is S.H. Yew, is one of the few and oldest families in Penang who still make the sweet and sticky “cake” the traditional way.

Nian gao is traditionally offered to the Kitchen God at dawn on the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, which is said to be the day the deity returns to heaven to present his report on each household to the Jade Emperor.The sticky cake is meant to seal the deity’s lips to keep him from reporting bad deeds.

Labour-intensive job: Bee Choo (left) helping Ah Geng take the ‘nian gao’ out of the steamer at their home in Perak Road.

Nothing much has changed, she is still using the ingredients and method to prepare the delicacy as in the olden days, except that we use a machine now to prepare the glutinous rice flour, white sugar mix and a gas stove instead of firewood to steam the cake. The correct way cook or prepare the nian gao is to use white sugar and steam it until the colour changes naturally. Now a days, many people preferred to use brown sugar to give the cake a nice reddish-brown hue, which in end will make the nian gao taste be slightly sourish.The cooking of nian gao is be steaming, and it must steamed for at least 12 hours, otherwise it won’t cook properly. The thorough steaming allows the nian gao to stay fresh for years.


  1. Ah Hoong // January 18, 2009 at 8:06 PM  

    Happy Chinese New Year! I love CNY.

    Here’s a nice greeeting card for you, just click link below and then click picture to see the red cow greeting :)