Tonight midnight, the Hokkien people those whom are taoists buddhists will pray to the Jade Emperor God (Thee Kong) as it is his birthday tomorrow (the 9th day of Chinese New Year). The prayers involved a very high altar table (the higher the better – hence closer to heaven) where an array of fruits, mee suah (vermicelli), fungus, huat kueh (fermented steamed rice cakes) and ang koo (red coloured glutinous rice cakes filled with sweet yellow bean paste, shaped in tortoise shells) are offered. And around the altar tables, rows of sugar canes are erected tied to the tables. Prayers are to thank Thee Kong for protection from evils and disasters, as well as for blessings and answering prayers.
Why the sugar cane? Because the hokkien people were hiding from their enemies in the large sugar cane fields, whilst praying to Thee Kong for protection. The danger passed and the hokkien people could return back to their villages safe. Feeling their prayers were answered and in gratitude since then, they offer sugar cane during their prayers on the eve of Thee Kong’s birthday for centuries until today.
Being new to Singapore, I did not know where to get nice Ang Koos – a highlight of this celebration ( I did not get the sugar cane as I do not have an altar or space to tie them anywhere , home too small-lah, but will send a quiet prayer of thanks to Thee Kong this midnight). And thanks to Facebook and helpful friends I managed to source some decent Ang Koo Kueh (Jia Xiang – at Everton Park, closest MRT Outram Park)
How to eat them? Fresh as they are or pan fried!
Pan Fried Ang Koo