Like most Chinese Canadians and Americans, I've referred to the day as "Chinese New Year". In recent years, we've reworded references to "Lunar New Year" to include other cultures that also celebrate. "Lunar" is an inclusive reference, but it should be noted that customs are vary vastly across regions within the same country, let alone different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Both terms are valid, yet not indicative of any particular practices.
An air fryer edition was attempted, but not by yours truly. At this point, I will declare my passive role in the construction of all featured New Year sustenance.
Classic Nian Gao (or Leen Go/年糕) is an indispensable element of the New Year. Our household favourite features nutty, caramel-like tones of cane sugar in perfect harmony, aromatic coconut milk, and sublime chewiness. The formula was perfected after several years of trial and error, witnessing drastic development since the initial attempt in 2017.
Now, it is my absolute favourite part of welcoming another year, to such an extent that it regularly reenters the post-CNY scene as my choice of birthday cake.
Attempting to eradicate the heaviness with a bite of bean curd, I was, once again, dismayed to find the plastic wrap-encased specimen unyielding and bland. What's worse, the centre of the roll was cold, as if inadequately defrosted for quick sale.
I had been informed that 20 g of glutinous rice flour had been swapped out for matcha, but that all other quantities and procedures remained unaltered. It appeared that the matcha had absorbed the oil in the batter, for the final product emerged with a barely discernible surface sheen, keeping grease fumes at bay and leaving fingertips free of tackiness.