We’ve all seen them: once Chinese New Year is about to roll around, restaurants and hotels across the city begin stocking up on boxes of the sticky puddings. You might’ve tasted one of the savory versions (蘿蔔糕 lau bat go, AKA turnip cake — but it’s really made from radish!) at a regular dim sum meal. During CNY, these puddings are stocked in every hotel worth its salt, and also numerous Chinese restaurants and specialty stores across the city.
Meanwhile, the sweet puddings made from glutinous rice are generally enjoyed only during Chinese New Year, because its name in Chinese —年 糕 neen go — is a homonym for “higher year”, implying that you can raise yourself “higher” in the coming year. A number of flavors can be added into the pudding, from osmanthus to red bean to abalone.