Thursday, July 21, 2005

Grandma's 80th Birthday Celebration - Traditional Longevity Goodies

Granny's 80th Birthday - Longevity Peach Bun
♥ Longevity Peach Bun
Isn't this peach such a cutie? Sou tao (literally longevity peach) is a special Chinese steamed bun eaten during birthdays. Not just any birthday but birthday of elderly folks. In Chinese culture, peach is long associated with longevity. It is believed that peach of the Heaven (pan tao) can grant one an extra 500 years of life once eaten. Thus, it is of utmost importance that we have these longevity buns on Granny's 80th Birthday.

So, I woke up on Sunday morning to find our house overflown with these longevity buns which have proven to be most popular amongst the many guests. There was none left after the morning ceremonies.

♥ tabeshimashita @ Pinkcocoa's Brunei Home on 17 July 2005
Granny's 80th Birthday - Longevity Peach Bun Cross-section
♥ Peach bun with red bean filling
Longevity buns are basically a normal chinese steamed bun shaped to resemble the auspicious peach. This particularly bun we had here has a red bean paste filling, one of the most common filling used. You can also find buns filled with lotus paste, another favourite of Chinese.

Granny's 80th Birthday - Ang Koo Kueh
Ang Koo Kueh
Ang Koo Kueh is actually the pronunciation in Chinese dialect of Hokkien. Literally translated, it means red(ang) turtle(koo) cake(kueh). I haven't yet heard anyone called these cute little red cake-lets in Mandarin term. It would have sounded rather strange to call it hong gui gao!

Granny's 80th Birthday - Ang Koo Kueh Cross-section
Ang Koo Kueh with mung bean filling
Ang koo kueh are seen in most Chinese festivals as it bears auspicious meaning. There are, once again, many different types of fillings used in making ang koo kueh. My faviourite is peanut. The one shown here has a mung bean filling. You can also find red bean paste filling. The skin is made of glutinous rice flour so it's very soft, sticky and chewy.

Granny's 80th Birthday - Peach Shaped Kueh
♥ Peach Shaped Kueh
I am not sure what to call this peach shaped kueh. It is shaped to resemble a peach. We had thought it was a sweet kueh but it had turned out to be a savoury one. We had also thought it had the same skin as ang koo keuh but apparently it was not!

Granny's 80th Birthday - Peach Shaped Kueh Cross-section
♥ Peach Shaped Kueh with savoury peanut filling
The skin is not quite as soft and bears a slight texture of jelly. The skin was like a cross between a glutinous rice flour skin and a jelly! The peanut filling was not sweet. It was slightly savoury and together with the light jello skin made a rather light snack.

Granny's 80th Birthday - Kuching Wife Pastry
♥ Kuching Wife Pastry
This Lo Po Beng (Cantonese meaning wife pastry) was air flown all the way from Kuching! I was told this particular lo po beng is very famous and highly popular as a souviner for people going abroad.

Granny's 80th Birthday - Kuching Wife Pastry Cross-section
♥ Flaky pastry with a sweet centre
The pastry is light and the skin very flaky with a sweet centre that is chewy and not overly sweet. No wonder people could eat one after another of these pastry!

My favourite among these local chinese delicacies would have to be ang koo kueh but it has gotta have a sweet peanut filling. I just love the soft chewy skin with a sweet crunchy and nutty filling!