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Nian Gao As Made By Zhe

Ring in the new year with this delicious Chinese rice cake in two delectable flavors. Nian gao, traditionally made during Lunar New Year, uses glutinous rice flour to create a chewy texture. Keep it classic with original palm sugar-sweetened nian gao, or mix it up with the matcha flavor. Chill any leftover nian gao, then slice and pan-fry for a crispy, chewy treat.

Tasty Team
Nian Gao As Made By Zhe
Total Time

1 hr 10 min

1 hr 10 min

Prep Time

5 minutes

5 min

Cook Time

55 minutes

55 min

Total Time

1 hr 10 min

1 hr 10 min

Prep Time

5 minutes

5 min

Cook Time

55 minutes

55 min

Ingredients

for 12 servings

Original Nian Gao

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar (125 g)
  • 1 ½ cups water (360 mL)
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour (250 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 dried dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

Matcha Nian Gao

  • 1 ⅓ cups coconut milk (320 mL)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot green tea
  • 1 ½ cups glutinous rice flour (190 g)
  • ½ cup cooked sweetened adzuki beans (60 g)

Fried Nian Gao

  • 1 large egg, beaten

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 240
  • Fat 6g
  • Carbs 41g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Sugar 12g
  • Protein 3g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

Preparation

  1. Make the original nian gao: In a small pan over low heat, stir together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rice flour to a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the sugar syrup and vegetable oil and stir until well combined.
  3. Lightly grease 6 2½–3-ounce heat-proof bowls or molds with vegetable oil. Pour the nian gao batter into the bowls and garnish each with a whole date and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. (Alternatively, grease a 7 x 11-inch baking dish with vegetable oil, pour in the nian gao batter, and garnish with chopped dates and sesame seeds.)
  4. Make the matcha nian gao: In a small pan over low heat, whisk together the coconut milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves, 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the matcha powder and green tea until no lumps remain.
  6. Add the flour to a large bowl. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and matcha mixture until well combined.
  7. Lightly grease 6 2½–3-ounce heat-proof bowls or molds with vegetable oil. Pour the nian gao batter into the bowls and garnish each with a spoonful of adzuki beans. (Alternatively, grease a 7 x 11-inch baking dish with vegetable oil, pour in the nian gao batter, and garnish with the adzuki beans.)
  8. Fill a large pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place a 2-tier steamer basket on top. Set the nian gao in the basket. Cover and steam for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the nian gao from the steamer and serve warm or let cool to room temperature before serving.
  10. To fry the nian gao, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 1–2 hours or refrigerate overnight, until firm.
  11. Cut the nian gao into pieces.
  12. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the nian gao in the beaten egg, then add to the skillet and fry until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside and warm and chewy on the inside, 1–2 minutes per side.
  13. Enjoy!

Ingredients

for 12 servings

Original Nian Gao

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar (125 g)
  • 1 ½ cups water (360 mL)
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour (250 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 dried dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

Matcha Nian Gao

  • 1 ⅓ cups coconut milk (320 mL)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot green tea
  • 1 ½ cups glutinous rice flour (190 g)
  • ½ cup cooked sweetened adzuki beans (60 g)

Fried Nian Gao

  • 1 large egg, beaten

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 240
  • Fat 6g
  • Carbs 41g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Sugar 12g
  • Protein 3g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

Preparation

  1. Make the original nian gao: In a small pan over low heat, stir together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rice flour to a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the sugar syrup and vegetable oil and stir until well combined.
  3. Lightly grease 6 2½–3-ounce heat-proof bowls or molds with vegetable oil. Pour the nian gao batter into the bowls and garnish each with a whole date and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. (Alternatively, grease a 7 x 11-inch baking dish with vegetable oil, pour in the nian gao batter, and garnish with chopped dates and sesame seeds.)
  4. Make the matcha nian gao: In a small pan over low heat, whisk together the coconut milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves, 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the matcha powder and green tea until no lumps remain.
  6. Add the flour to a large bowl. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and matcha mixture until well combined.
  7. Lightly grease 6 2½–3-ounce heat-proof bowls or molds with vegetable oil. Pour the nian gao batter into the bowls and garnish each with a spoonful of adzuki beans. (Alternatively, grease a 7 x 11-inch baking dish with vegetable oil, pour in the nian gao batter, and garnish with the adzuki beans.)
  8. Fill a large pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place a 2-tier steamer basket on top. Set the nian gao in the basket. Cover and steam for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the nian gao from the steamer and serve warm or let cool to room temperature before serving.
  10. To fry the nian gao, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 1–2 hours or refrigerate overnight, until firm.
  11. Cut the nian gao into pieces.
  12. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the nian gao in the beaten egg, then add to the skillet and fry until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside and warm and chewy on the inside, 1–2 minutes per side.
  13. Enjoy!

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