Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake (Nian Gao/年糕)

Hi hi everyone! Yes yes, I'm finally back...finally got my "heavy" bums off the couch and seat in front of the computer, lol! Actually, I haven't been lazing around. It's just that there was so much to do that I just brush off blogging to the last. :P So bad right, haha! My FB friends would know that I am still busy baking away, posting pictures and all, the easier "blogging", lol! Anyway, I am back to post up one last new year recipe in support of Sonia's CNY blog event before it ends this Thursday. :)) Unfortunately I do have 4 other CNY recipes that I didn't manage to post up...hopefully next CNY then. :P

I actually wanted to make my own nian gao(年糕) since last year, and this time I finally did it. Some would say why bother over things that cause you only a couple bucks? Well the satisfaction of making and eating homemade food is beyond description sometimes. :D Anyway, I was pretty inspired by Kelly whom posted earlier about her nian gao. She adapted the recipe from none other then our dear Sonia herself, haha! Since these ladies made it so easy, I had to try it myself too, so here it is:

I did make some adjustments by reducing the amount of sugar. Base on the ratio that Kelly stated, I came up with the following recipe. Feel free to adjust the ratio as needed. Mine made one 6" by 2.5" round and two 1-ounce ramkins. 

500g Glutinous Rice flour
500ml Water
400g Sugar (I used 200g caster sugar and 200g gula melaka)
4 tablespoons peanut oil 

Banana leaves (I used parchment paper instead)
3 Red Dates

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift in the glutinous rice flour. Then add in water and peanut oil and whisk till no lumps and well combined.
  • In another heat proof sauce pan, add in caster sugar and 3 tbsp of water and cook mixture till it starts to caramelize. Immediately remove from fire and add in the chopped gula melaka and stir well till everything has melted and smooth. Be extra careful not to burn your sugar or your end product will have a bitter after taste. :P
  • At this point, stir in the thick caramelized sugar into the rice mixture and stir well till all is combined.
  •  The mixture should have a creamy coffee color.
  • Pour the mixture to the prepared ramkins or baking pans lined with either banana leaves or parchment paper.
  • Steam at medium fire for about 1.5hrs. When it is done, stick a red date on the center top to give it a red coloring.
  • Let it cool completely before unmoulding it. And don't even think about slicing it yet as it will be pretty sticky. Let it seat covered for a day or two for it to harden slightly. 
See all those wrinkles on my nian gao? I covered it with plastic wrap when I chill it in the fridge which causes it to form when it hardens...sigh. :P

What is nian gao if you didn't fry it up with some batter or something creative to make it more tasty ? I presume most people eat their nian gao that way, lol! This year I decided to give Wendy's recipe a try, which is the Nian Gao Taro Rolls.
This is so yummy! Crispy crunchy exterior and creamy sweet interior...nian gao at it's best, seriously, lol! Thanks to Wendy's ingenious idea, it has become pretty popular in the blog sphere too! I made slight changes and omitted the grated coconut, so here is my recipe for easy reference:

Taro filling:
500g peeled taro
5 tbsp confectioner's sugar
pinch of salt
  • Slice the taro into chunks and steam at high heat till cooked and soft.
  • While it is still hot, mash it together with the confectioner's sugar till well combined. 
250g nian gao, cut into thick long sticks
Spring roll wrapper (190mm by 190mm -hubby bought wrong size, lol!)
1 egg white to seal the wrapper edges

  • Lay a wrapper on a clean work area. 
  • Spread about a tablespoon of taro filling at the center, spread it out a little.
  • Place a nian gao on top on the taro filling. Then fold in the corners of the wrapper.
  • Then seal the edges with the egg wash. (For more detail steps, head over to Wendy's)
  • Fry the rolls in medium fire till golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve up while still hot and crispy to enjoy it at it's best.
  • I kept some in the fridge and I reheated them the next day in the oven at 150C for 10 minutes and it crisp up.
I think I will try it with mashed sweet potato next time, yum! Do give this a try if you still haven't eaten up your nian gao. ;) Hope everyone has a great and prosperous snake year ahead, 一定要步步高升!

I am happy yo submit this post to Sonia's blog event :Chinese New Year Delights 2013 新春送礼.

There, I finally finish this post, lol! Okay, have a good one all! Cheers!


Baby Sumo said...

I saw your taro niao gao rolls on IG, looks very good!

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


ann low said...

Very creative to wrap the nian gao into rolls. sounds so very delicious! I'll KIV for next CNY!

ICook4Fun said...

I made some nian gao too this year. Going to fry them up like yours :)

ICook4Fun said...

I made some nian gao this year too. I will fry them up like yours later. Can't wait to try it out :)

Zoe said...

Hi Bee,

Welcome back! I must say blogging can be very tiring too and I often get scolding from my husband and son for blogging too much :p They said that you just want the food but need me to spend more time with them... what can I or you do??? *sign*

Ok... back to food blogging... ha ha ha... Your taro niao gao looks fantastic! You are very clever rolling them into spring rolls. We used to have ours sandwiched in slices of sweet potato and fried in batter.


Chef and Sommelier said...

Hi Bee! Good to read your post again! Welcome back!

Good recipe to clear the remaining Nian Gao at home after CNY.

My Little Space said...

You only steamed it for 1-1/2 hours! And already hardened. Most chef need at least 8 hours steaming time.lol. Maybe different ingredients are used.hehe.... I don't dare to try it when they told me about the steaming time. Maybe one day, I should try it out. I wonder if the electrical steamer is good on this one?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Haha, yeah Bany Sumo! We're "seeing" each other very often in IG lately! Thanks dear!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

哈哈!我也想你哦,你也失踪好一下呐。😄 对咯,只想做料理,就是懒得上文章,老毛病!谢谢你来"看"我,请你吃年糕!😋👍

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Ann! Yes this is a less mess way of cooking up the nian gao. Hope u will try it out too. :))

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Gert, you made nian gao too? High-5!! Yes try this, very yummy! Bet your hubby will like it too. (*^^*)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Exactly! Exactly what I'm going through Zoe!! *sigh* I guess it's hard to get others to understand our passion sometimes...but we try to do it more discreetly maybe, lol! Like while they are out or napping, hahaha! *sneaky*!!! Anyway thanks for dropping by my friend! Yes do try this, makes the super sweet nian gao much yummier. :))

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Chef! Indeed, else our nian gao will seat there and "huat"!!!lol

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Ahh really?? Gosh 8hrs is crazy long! Just last night my hubby was complaining our gas bill went up...I kept quiet of course, lol! Anyway, hope u try this too...and steam it in much lesser time of course. :)) have a great day Kristy!

Mich Piece of Cake said...

OH wow your taro nian gao looks mouth watering. Next year, I am gonna make this. I am already planning my CNY cooking list next year... starting with bak kwa and nian gao ha ha ha

Jessie-CookingMoments said...

The CNY Delights closes by 3pm tomorrow, still have time to upload another one(at least), haha! Thanks for the earlier visit to my blog. Nian Gao is a challenging gao & I remember that in my villages, there were a lot of things that we could not say while my neighbours were making them. My mum & myself never make nian gao b4 & these days, I get it from my MIL. Your nian gao looked very shiny & I love the nian gao taro rolls. This is the 1st time I saw nian gao was fried with the spring roll wrappers. We normally just sandwich nian gao with 2 taro or sweet potatoes.

lena said...

bee, finally you managed to get your bums up from the couch! LOL! i guess this is a better recipe for me to make nian gao as it doesnt require the very looong hours of steaming! my nian gao is sitting there, i think i will steam and just makan :D

Anonymous said...

Could you teach me how to cut nian gao like yours? It's so clean cut. I tried cutting mine (store bought in banana leave type) and its so sticky that I can even remove the slices off the knife blade properly..

Anonymous said...

Could you teach me how to cut nian gao like yours? It's so clean cut. I tried cutting mine (store bought in banana leave type) and its so sticky that I can even remove the slices off the knife blade properly..

Honey Bee Sweets said...

ST, refrigerate your nian gao until firm then cut it. That's how I did it too. Room temperature nian gao is too sticky to cut.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Nothing beat homemade nian gao! This year my mom gave me so I don't need to make , hehehe..

Ling's Lovely Things said...

I was munching on some fried 年糕 made by my family, decided to google to see if it's sold anywhere in sg, and came across your post. So glad that many of us share a common love for these yummy CNY cakes! I would forgo bak kwas for these, any day �� thanks for spreading the love!