January 28, 2017

Lunar New Year puddings: 2017 selection

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I'm back home in Taipei for the Lunar New Year celebrations, and as usual I carried a few Cantonese puddings that are customary for the season.  After testing out several outlets for each of the last few years, this year I've decided to be lazy and just stick to the tried-and-true.  Basically, I just went back to Fook Lam Moon (福臨門).

As is traditional for us, we get to have these puddings for lunch on New Year's Day.  Mom patiently stands over the stove while she pan-fries slices over low heat, while dad and I just wait for the plates to be served...

Fan Cook x Tak Lung Restaurant radish pudding with dried scallops (飯局 x 得龍大飯店 瑤柱蘿蔔糕) - my friend KC very kindly gave this to me as a gift.  This was made by the famous Tak Lung Restaurant according to Fan Cook's recipe.

Mom was pretty happy with this.  The Japanese daikon (大根) came in little chunks and were a little crunchy.  The texture was relatively firm.  These little bits of Chinese preserved sausage on top, of course, were ones which were custom made according to Fan Cook's recipe.

Fook Lam Moon premium new year radish cake (福臨門 臘味蘿蔔糕) - standard issue for us.  I pretty much get this every year.

This was a lot more soft and moist, so the pieces kinda fell apart when mom was pan-frying them.  The radish inside came in strips, and the pudding delivered a little more of the radish flavors.

Guo Fu Lou jujube cake (國福樓 紅棗糕) - I wanted mom to try some of this, since this only came to market 2 years ago.  Mom didn't care for the texture, as it was not as soft and chewy - and she was right about there being no glutinous rice powder being used.  The tapioca powder made the texture more springy and bouncy.  She also thought that the jujube flavors were too mild.

One of mom's friends gave her a homemade jujube pudding (紅棗糕), where it was easy to see both the large chunks of jujube on top as well as plenty of ground jujube inside the pudding.

This was the clear winner, thanks to both the chewy texture as well as the stronger flavors of the jujube.

Fook Lam Moon premium new year water chestnut cake (福臨門 桂林馬蹄糕) - this is de rigueur for us.  This is mom's favorite water chestnut pudding so I buy it for her every year.  This year, though, the recipe seemed to be slightly off.  While the flavors of the water chestnuts were still there, the cooks seem to have forgotten to add enough sugar.  While we all want to watch our health and not consume too much sugar, you need a certain minimum to make these sweet puddings tasty.  This certainly didn't make the grade.

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