Lunar New Year is a time of celebration and feasting, and what better way to end a delicious meal than with some traditional and mouthwatering desserts? In this article, I’ll be sharing some delectable lunar New Year dessert recipes that are sure to impress your family and friends. From sweet rice cakes to tangy citrus treats, these recipes will add a touch of sweetness to your lunar New Year festivities. So grab your apron and get ready to indulge in these delightful Lunar New Year desserts!
Lunar New Year Dessert Recipes
One of the traditional Lunar New Year dessert recipes is Tangyuan. Tangyuan are sweet glutinous rice balls that are usually filled with various fillings like sesame paste, red bean paste, or peanuts. These sticky and chewy balls are often served in a warm syrup or broth. They are not only delicious but also hold symbolic meaning during the Lunar New Year. The round shape of the tangyuan represents completeness and togetherness, making it a popular dessert for family gatherings during the festive season.
To make tangyuan, start by preparing the glutinous rice flour dough. Mix the flour with water until you get a smooth and elastic texture. Then, take small portions of the dough and roll them into small balls. Make a small hollow in the center and fill it with your preferred filling. Carefully seal the dough and roll it into a smooth ball again. Lastly, boil the tangyuan in water until they float to the surface, indicating that they are cooked and ready to be served.
Nian Gao, also known as sticky rice cake, is another popular dessert enjoyed during Lunar New Year celebrations. Made from glutinous rice flour and often layered with brown sugar, this sweet and chewy cake is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. It is typically steamed or pan-fried to achieve a soft and slightly crispy texture.
In Chinese culture, the word “nian gao” sounds similar to the phrase “year high.” Eating nian gao is believed to symbolize growth, progress, and reaching new heights in the coming year. The cake’s stickiness also represents family unity and harmony, making it a must-have dessert for Lunar New Year gatherings.
To make nian gao, start by mixing glutinous rice flour with water to form a smooth batter. Steam the batter in a greased dish for about an hour, until it becomes firm. Once cooled, the nian gao can be cut into slices and either steamed or pan-fried. Pan-frying gives the cake a crispy exterior while keeping the inside soft and gooey.
Modern Lunar New Year Desserts
Matcha Red Bean Mochi
If you’re looking to add a contemporary twist to your Lunar New Year dessert spread, look no further than Matcha Red Bean Mochi. This fusion dessert combines the rich and earthy flavors of matcha with the sweetness of red bean paste, resulting in a delightful treat that perfectly captures the spirit of the holiday.
To make Matcha Red Bean Mochi, start by preparing the mochi dough. Combine glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water in a microwave-safe bowl and mix until smooth. Microwave the mixture in short bursts, stirring in between, until it reaches a sticky, elastic consistency. Then, dust a clean surface with cornstarch and transfer the mochi dough onto it. Roll it out thinly and cut it into small squares.
Next, it’s time to make the filling. Red bean paste, or anko, can be easily found in most Asian grocery stores. Take a spoonful of red bean paste and place it in the center of each mochi square. Fold the edges of the mochi over the filling, pinching them together to seal.
To add a vibrant touch, sprinkle some matcha powder on top of the mochi. The vivid green color will not only enhance the visual appeal but also enhance the flavor of the dessert. Serve the Matcha Red Bean Mochi on a platter and watch as your family and friends savor these delightful treats.
By incorporating these modern Lunar New Year desserts into your festive spread, you’ll be able to honor tradition while enjoying new and exciting flavors. Whether you opt for the vibrant Matcha Red Bean Mochi or the irresistible Pineapple Tarts, these treats are sure to delight your family and friends as you usher in a prosperous Lunar New Year.
Bob Duncan is the lead writer and partner on ConversationsWithBianca.com. A passionate parent, he’s always excited to dive into the conversation about anything from parenting, food & drink, travel, to gifts & more!