Monday, 23 January 2012

Chinese Culture (Tiong Hua) : Ngouw Bie Theng

Talking about Chinese culture, it has no end absolutely. Today is Chinese new Year, for those who are celebrating, happy Chinese new year, everybody. Chinese New Year always reminds me with this food. I think this one should be dessert. Every first day of Lunar new year morning, my family and I dress ourselves with everything new (new clothes, shoes, bags, decoration of house and so on). After that, my parents give us "Ang Pao", a red letter that contains money ($_$). Our parents shake our hands and said good, wise words of advices. This is the best part.....
We eat a special dessert :Ngouw Bie Theng". Ngouw, means "five", Bie, means "rice", Theng, means "dressing or sauce". So actually it should be a kind of soup with 5 types of rice, so where is the sweetness?? Are you really there should be 5 types of rice? OMG~ Not really... This is a kind of dessert which is made by:
Ngouw Bie Theng
1. Iuw Bie, kind of rice, but not rice. Small grains with with pale color, my mother cook it in slow cook pot so it will be soft and tender.
2. Red dates or dried plum, a sweet dark brown fruit with a hard stone inside, usually eaten dried and very sweet. (It is western Asia and North Africa fruit).
3. Yellow bean (big one), I dunno the real name, but it is delicious while it is tender. 
4. Longan sim, longan fruit which is dried and become light brown color, sweet and dried.
5. Sea weed in gelatine form, it is crunchy and has got weird shape, tasteless, just like common sea weed transparent color.
All of this ingredients are cooked in a pot except dried dates, with sugar and water. Cook it until it is viscous (sticky and well-blended). Serve while it is warm.
So, we can conclude that this food does not contain 5 types of rice, but the ingredients should be five. I dunno about the reason why it should be in five. Well, what I know is it tastes sweet and nice. :D

My mom said it symbolizes prosperity and happiness, especially when you eat it in the first day of Lunar New Year. For me the best one is Longan sim, it tastes like common longan fruit, but it is delicious when you serve it in tender, soft, smooth and crunchy inside. Well, I should wait for next year again to eat it.



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