Candied Lotus Seeds (糖蓮子)
Chinese New Year is coming, actually it is on next sunday – 10th Feb, 2013, the year of snake!
Given the importance of food in Chinese culture, it is not surprising that food plays a major role in Chinese New Year celebrations. “Lucky” foods are served through the two week Chinese New Year celebration, also called the Spring festival. The food that served during new year, have their own special name, and they all have to represent good fortune, good luck, good wealth……etc
Like spring roll, it symbolize wealth because their shape is similar to gold bars.The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune (生財), so it is very common to serve a lettuce roll filled with other lucky food. Tangerines and oranges are passed out freely during Chinese New Year as the words for tangerine and orange sound like luck and wealth, respectively. And the pomelos, this large ancestor of the grapefruit signifies abundance, as the Chinese word for pomelo sounds like the word for “to have.”Their sweetness symbolizes a rich, sweet life, while the layers symbolize rising abundance for the coming year.And, the round shape signifies family reunion.
And fish, “Yu,” sounds like the words both for wish and abundance. As a result, on New Year’s Eve it is customary to serve a fish at the end of the evening meal, symbolizing a wish for abundance in the coming year (年年有餘). For added symbolism, the fish is served whole, with head and tail attached, symbolizing a good beginning and ending for the coming year.
And the sweet or savoury steam cake, also play an important role in Chinese new year. Their sweetness symbolizes a rich, sweet life, while the layers symbolize rising abundance for the coming year. No matter the sweet or the savoury cake, they all symbolizes getting upgrade the job/post and have a further studies (步步高升).
Lots of blogger are so busy to posting so many new years food, but I still haven’t done anything yet, because I need to take one whole day to buy all the ingredients, cause I lived far away from the Asian supermarket.
But I have given pressure by myself, because it only have one week to new year, can I prepare all the food in time? But I will try my best! Do I need to make that much food for family and friends, YES, because my kids will come home for new year. The past few years, they all need to study and couldn’t have time to come home. They loved the Chinese New Year special food, because I won’t make them except the new year!
And today, I will make one first, because I found one of the ingredient from the fridge, and I can make it advance and this is special for someone who have the sweet tooth. Normally people will buy the ready made one, but I don’t think they’re good as you made it by yourself, without any preservatives nor any artifical colouring in it and it is not too difficult to make. That is the candied lotus seeds, it also has a funny meaning, a married woman has this sweet, they will easy to have a baby later (連生貴子), but that is an old legend! >=<
Candied Lotus Seeds (糖蓮子)
- 100g White Lotus seeds, whole one without the bitter root in the middle
- 110g to 130g brown sugar
- 300ml water
- Wash the dried lotus seeds twice, then put into a saucepan with enough water to just cover the seeds, bring to the boil, turn down the heat to medium and simmer for about five minutes, off heat but keep the seeds in the saucepan for 15 minutes.
- Rinse the lotus seeds, then check the seeds middle by using a toothpick to poke the bottom to see if any bitter root inside. Rinse with clean water again.
- Now, cook the brown sugar with water in a saucepan until boiled, add the lotus seeds and tiny pinch of salt, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, off heat, then cover with lid on for overnight.
- Turn the heat on and bring to the boil again, make sure it has enough water inside before you turn on the heat. Wait to the boil then turn the heat down to low, simmer for about 15 minutes again, off heat.
- Scoop the cooked lotus seeds on a large plate lined with one sheet of kitchen towel, let it cool down. Then prepare a bowl with icing sugar, roll the lotus seeds on the icing sugar and coat evenly, and lay on another plate lined with clean kitchen towel, and it dry.
- Repeat this step: (coat the icing sugar and let it dry), few times, it depends on how sweet you want, I only repeat once, that’s is enough for me.
- Make sure the lotus seeds are completely dry with the coated sugar, can store in an airtight container for about a month.