We have just crossed 2019 and before you know it, we are coming to Chinese New Year in a few weeks time! Are you ready to go on a hunt at Chinese New Year fairs to find the best Chinese New Year goodies Singapore to take home? If you are new to Singapore, here are some of the Must-have Chinese New Goodies in Singapore.
1. Pineapple Tarts
Pineapple tarts are possibly the most popular Chinese New Year snack. The best pineapple tarts are buttery and crumbly; accompanied by a generous portion of pineapple jam that’s fresh and not too sweet.
2. Salted Egg Fish Skin
One of the new kids on the list – fish skins have earned a spot on many Chinese New Year snack tables and for good reason. You’ll fall in love with these crispy, savoury snacks and you’ll probably have trouble putting the bottle down.
3. Kueh Bangkit
Kueh Bangkit is a smooth-textured cookie made out of coconut cream and pandan leaves mixed with tapioca or arrowroot flour. They’re also known as “coconut cookies” or “tapioca cookies” in English.
4. Bak Kwa
Also known as Chinese pork jerky in English, Bak Kwa looks exactly like Western jerky, but with thinner slices. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and salty on dried meat, beef or mutton, and it’s prepared with spices, sugar, salt and soy sauce.
In China, meat was actually considered a luxury for many, so it’s reserved for special events like the Lunar New Year. Bak Kwa is also said to be introduced to Singapore by Chinese immigrants, and when Singaporeans got a hold of the dish, suffice to say, they turned it into their own – spicier and grilled to mouthwatering perfection.
5. Peanut Cookies
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself munching nonstop on cookies – they really are just that good. You’ll recognize them if you see round-shaped, bite-sized cookies made by combining flour, ground peanuts, and sugar. Some of them are sweet like peanut butter, but some are made with a pinch of salt to bring out the peanut flavour even more.
Peanuts are lucky in Chinese culture because “peanut” in Chinese is “fah sung,” which also means long life, prosperity, and culture – so might be a good thing after all if you keep munching.
6. Kueh Bahulu
Also known as “mini egg sponge cakes,” Kueh Bahulu’s origins are not known by many, but it is said that it came from the time when the Portuguese occupied Southeast Asia. The word “bahulu,” after all, resembles the Portuguese word “bolo,” which means cake.
This delicacy is traditionally baked in a copper mould over a charcoal fire, but now it’s only baked in the oven. It comes in various shapes and sizes and is characterized by its sweet and airy taste coupled with a spongy and dry texture. Take with coffee or tea for best results.
7. Prawn Roll
These highly-addictive snacks are filled with tasty shrimp paste or hae bee hiam, wrapped up in a popiah (spring roll) skin, and then deep fried.
Simple as it may be – bottles of these fly off the shelves in record speed everytime Chinese New Year swings around the corner. The most common varieties come in original or spicy, with most people going for the original version.
8. Love Letters
It’s difficult not to fall in love with “love letters”. Lovers used to send sweet nothings to each other by etching symbols onto the wafer. After reading its contents, the recipient would eat it for two reasons: first, to make sure that no traces are left of their letters, and second, to symbolize that the recipient took their lover’s words to heart.
9. Nian Gao
Nian Gao is a sticky rice cake made from glutinous rice flour and sugar typically consumed during Chinese New Year as a symbol of good luck. Nian Gao is sliced and then either steamed or deep fried. Interesting flavours like durian Nian Gao have sprung up in recent years but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea!
10. Sugee Cookies – Bengawan Solo
Sugee cookies are typically made of either cashew or macadamia and are so crumbly they literally melt in your mouth. The closest pastry cousin to the sugee cookie would be shortbread – both have that dense, buttery flavour that will keep you coming back for more.
It’s time to celebrate Chinese New Year!
The festive atmosphere in Singapore is simply hard to get away from, and you probably wouldn’t want to get away from it anyway. You hit two birds with one stone too: with these snacks, you’d get your fill of delectable eats and get your fill of good fortune and prosperity enough to last you for another year.