On the thirteenth day of New Year my mama said to me
13. Nian gao
Nian gao is sticky rice pudding that has been mixed with sugar, Chinese dates, chestnuts and wrapped in lotus or banana leaf (depending on which country one is in). The item is usually offered to the kitchen god (to those who practise such beliefs) in the hope that the stickiness would cause the mouth of the god to be sticky and limit its report to only the good and leave out the bad when it visits heaven.
The words also sound like ‘every year go up’ or being promoted every year. The pudding is eaten either steamed or sliced and fried with an egg batter. When I was young, I looked forward to eating the fried version as I liked the crunchiness of the egg batter outside and the sticky gooey taste on the inside. I do not seem to see this a lot in Singapore generally, e.g. in supermarkets and shops, except maybe in Chinatown. I used to eat this only once a year. This is eaten by the Chinese in several countries and is not unique to this region.
Malaysia Boleh, #03-28 Jurong Point 2, 63 Jurong West Central 3. The stall that sold the nian gao pieces was located near the entrance.