Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Traditional Hainanese snack: Da Kak Lao 海南三角馏
This year is a Chinese leap year. There is a second lunar month 4. A leap month is added to the Chinese calendar about once every 3 years. The last one was in 2017.
It is a Hainanese tradition to eat Da Kak Lao (triangular glutinous rice cakes with coconut filling) and Larp (Rice Dumplings with meat filling) whenever there is a leap month. It brings the family good luck for the year.
As it is the beginning of the new year. we handmade these Da Kak Lao for our ancestral worship. The filling consists of shredded coconut, coconut sugar (gula melaka), peanuts, ginger and sesame seeds. The three corners of the triangular cake symbolise Happiness, Wealth and Longevity.
We will be making the Larp and Da Kak Lao on the 4th month of the lunar year. The traditional snacks will be offered to our ancestors and then sent to relatives.
Traditional Hainanese Da Kak Lao
Follow the Hainanese Yi Buah recipe for the ingredients and methods until Step 4 "flattening the dough into a round shape".
Shaping the Da Kak Lao
5) Cut the banana leaves into triangles, brush some peanut oil on them.
6) Place the round dough on your palm and spoon two tablespoons of coconut filling onto it.
7) Wrap the filling by folding two sides of the round disc together and pinch to seal. Next bring the remaining side together and seal the three sides to form a triangular Da Kak Lao. Tidy the pinched edges and remove excess for a better look.
8) Place a piece of triangular banana leaf under the Da Kak Lao. and place on a steaming rack.
9) Steam Da Kak Lao over boiling water for about 10 minutes (depends on how big is the size of your Da Kak Lao).
10) Remove from heat, brush Da Kak Lao with peanut oil while it’s still hot.
11) Dot the peak of the Da Kak Lao with some permitted red food colouring after they have cooled down.