When I was growing up, the ten joyful days during the Luna new year was in the midst of winter and the air was cold. There were sparkles in our eyes with the excitement of fire crackers, flower stalls, new clothes, good meals and the red envelopes with precious money in them.
The ‘gok-zai’ (角仔, in Cantonese) or the ‘YouJiao’ (油角, in Mandarine), is translated as ‘the little fried triangles’. The families diligently handmade the pastries and presented them to other families as gifts together with fresh fruits. Some pastries were re-gifted, and families could end up with a collection of them with different shapes and sizes. My grandmother stored these little goodies in a brown urn under the stairs. These little treats were much appreciated by the little ones.
Here is my quick and easy ‘gok-zai’. Traditionally they are deep-fried but I also bake them for a healthier version. I wish you a happy new year 新年快樂. Hope the new year will bring you and your family health, peace and happiness.
- 1/3 cup peanuts, lightly toasted, crushed
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 1/3 cup caster sugar or raw sugar
- 2/3 cup desiccated coconut, lighted toasted
- shop-bought short crust pastry
- 1 egg for egg wash (for baking method only)
- Combine peanuts, sesame seeds, sugar and coconut, mix well
Method 1 – baking
- Cut the short crust pastry into small round discs – for baking, I used a cookie cutter that is 7.5cm in diameter.
- Make the dumplings as demonstrated in the video below.
- Brush the dumplings with egg wash
- Baked in a pre-heated oven at 180c for about 30 minutes, turn over a few times.
Method 2 – deep frying
- Cut the short crust pastry in small round discs. I use a cookie cutter that is 6.5cm in diameter. The size is smaller than the baked version as the pasty will ‘puffed-up’ more during deep frying.
- Make the dumplings as demonstrated in the video above.
- Pre-heat oil to 170c; deep fry the pastries till golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes.
[…] and deep fried in hot oil. Dan San is often made just before a Luna New Year, together with ‘YouJiao‘ (油角), a deep fried pastry with a filling of peanut, coconut and white sugar. My memory […]
[…] Nearly 30 years had passed since I left China, but I still remember vividly the wonderful days around the Chinese New Years. Extended families gathered at the large dinner tables, briefly forgot about their quarrels throughout the year. The wok chinked with an aroma of delicacies that we couldn’t afford as daily meals. The rolling pins were out for the wickedly delicious sweet peanut pastry. […]