Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays for Chinese-Indonesian people. Chinese New Year Celebration is one of the moments to gather with family and prepare meals together. The dishes served also have certain meanings or symbols that are believed to provide blessings throughout the year. What are the typical Chinese New Year foods in Indonesia? Check this out.
Nian Gao (年糕) is a food made from sticky rice and sticky rice flour. This food has a chewy and sticky texture. In Indonesian language, Nian Gao is called Kue Keranjang. This cake is one of the typical foods that are usually served when celebrating Chinese New Year.
Kue Keranjang is commonly used as part of offerings at ancestral prayer ceremonies that performed on seven days before Chinese New Year and on the eve of Chinese New Year. Because this cake is part of the offerings, it is usually not eaten until the 15th night after Chinese New Year or commonly called Cap Go Meh.
In Chinese, the word “Nian” means “year” and the word “Gao” means cake. Nian Gao is often arranged high up and up, the size of the cake gets smaller. This means an increase in fortune. In the past, the number or height of this basket of cakes was used as a marker of the prosperity of the homeowner.
Tangyuan (湯圓) is one of Chinese dessert made from boiled sticky rice balls and served with sweet sauce. This name “tangyuan” is a metaphor for a family reunion (團圓). This dish is served when in a family event where all family members gather and eat together.
In Indonesian language, tangyuan is also called
Lapis legit or in Dutch, called spekkoek, is a traditional Indonesian cake that first developed during the Dutch colonial era. This sweet cake is made from various spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, mace, cloves, and aniseed. This spicy aroma made lapis legit was very favored by Europeans in old times.
In Indonesia, this cake is synonymous with taste days like Eid, Christmas and Chinese New Year. Chinese people in Indonesia believe that this dish is a symbol of sustenance that is constantly coming in and layered so it is appropriate to be served when Chinese New Year.
Turnip cake or kue lobak is one of the Chinese dishes that are not very popular in Indonesia but are very popular with Chinese people in the world. This cake is made from shredded turnip then made into a mixture of water and rice flour. This food is usually served at restaurant dim sum and has soft textured. Kue lobak is usually served when Chinese New Year because it is believed to symbolize good luck.
Serving fish at the Chinese New Year celebration is a symbol of unity and luck. Usually, the fish served is cooked with ginger and soy sauce on a steamer.
Celebrating Chinese New Year is not just about glamorous celebration but also a moment where you can gather with your family. Hopefully this year you can all be happier and get more blessings. Selamat Tahun Baru Imlek, 恭喜 发财!