Zenggao – a glutinous sweet

zenggao in xi'an

Zenggao (甑糕) is a traditional snack in Xi’an, China, made from glutinous rice and brown sugar. It has a soft, chewy texture and a sweet flavor that is loved by locals and visitors alike. Here’s an introduction to zenggao in Xi’an:

History

Zenggao has a long history in Xi’an and is believed to have originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It was originally a special treat for the wealthy and was made with high-quality ingredients. Over time, zenggao became a popular snack among the general population and is now a staple in Xi’an’s culinary culture.

Ingredients

Zenggao is made with glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, and water. The glutinous rice flour is mixed with water to create a smooth batter, and the brown sugar is melted and mixed with the batter. The mixture is then steamed in a special round-shaped container until it sets into a soft and chewy cake.

Preparation

Preparing zenggao requires a careful and time-consuming process. The glutinous rice flour is first mixed with water to create a smooth batter. The brown sugar is then melted and mixed with the batter until it is fully incorporated. The mixture is then poured into a special round-shaped container and steamed for several hours until it sets into a soft and chewy cake. Once it is fully cooked, the zenggao is removed from the container and cut into small pieces.

Serving

Zenggao is usually served as a snack or dessert and is often sold by street vendors or at local markets. The cake is cut into small pieces and served on a plate or in a bowl. It has a soft and chewy texture and a sweet flavor that is complemented by the subtle taste of brown sugar. Zenggao is often eaten with a cup of hot tea, which helps to balance out the sweetness of the cake.

Conclusion

Zenggao is a beloved snack in Xi’an and is known for its soft and chewy texture and sweet flavor. The careful preparation and use of high-quality ingredients make zenggao a delicious and satisfying treat that is perfect for any time of day.

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