February 3, 2022

Lunar New Year puddings: 2022

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Another year of not going home to Taipei for lunar new year means I didn't spend too much effort in buying seasonal puddings for mom.  Sankala had requested that we get a couple of savory puddings from a restaurant with 3 Michelin stars, while we contemplated getting our usual favorite sweet ones from a neighborhood shop.  What ended up happening was that we were given quite a few of them from friends and hotel/restaurant PRs...

Let's start with the savory ones:

Turnip pudding with ibérico ham and preserved meat (西班牙火腿蘿蔔糕), from Forum Restaurant (富臨飯店) - this was purchased on January 21st, with a "best before" date of February 3rd. Well, it had spoiled by the time we removed it from the fridge and opened the vacuum seal on February 1st, the first day of the lunar new year.

Taro pudding with preserved meat (臘味芋頭糕), from Forum Restaurant (富臨飯店) - same thing as the turnip pudding. Both of these had spoiled. I suppose the silver lining is that they didn't use preservatives, but seriously... these didn't even last until the new year! I want my money back...

Turnip pudding with conpoy and preserved meat (瑤柱臘味蘿蔔糕), from S - thankfully a friend had given us these puddings that she made herself. These were on the soft and wet side, with lots of shredded turnip along with conpoy, preserved pork belly (臘肉), and preserved sausages (臘腸). Pretty nice with a little white pepper.

Taro pudding with preserved meat (臘味芋頭糕), from S - lots of nice chunks of taro, and the five spice powder was pretty prominent.

These were the sweet ones, all of which were given to me by friends or PRs:

Almond milk rice pudding (杏汁年糕), from Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel (當文歷餅店) - this was pretty nice, with nice and fragrant flavors from the apricot kernels (杏仁) - which are not "almonds"...

New year pudding with ginger and Okinawan black sugar (薑汁沖繩黑糖年糕), from 明廚年糕 by Fancook - definitely tasted the ginger, but this was more mild and elegant.

New year pudding (阿嫲年糕), from Woo Cheong Tea House (和昌飯店) - the flavors were pretty "standard" and straightforward, but I loved the texture. The sugar caramelized at the edges which led to lots of "bubbles" and a crispy surface, while the middle was very soft.

Black sugar ginger cake (黑糖薑汁年糕), from The Chairman Kitchen (大班樓廚房) - this was the only one I've had before, as I bought it 9 years ago. The ginger flavor was very strong just as I remembered, which then masked the flavors from muscovado. The edges also became nice and crispy.

I really wish I could deliver some pudding to mom next year.

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