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18 May 2013

NIAN GAO – 年年高生

Recipe [烹飪法] • 18 MAY 2013
Nian Gao, the name of this cake symbolises 年年高生 – The word Nian “年” (year) and Gao “糕” (gao = cake) sounds like “高” (gao = tall/height); the pun is played to wish “May you achieve greater heights every year!”
Another play on the pun is the word Nian “年” (nian = year) sounds like another Chinese word “粘” (nian = sticky). Nian Gao is made from glutinous rice flour and sugar. It is a sticky chewy cake when fried. This sticky sweet cake is offered to the Kitchen God with the objective that his lips would be glued with the sticky snack thus he can’t badmouth the offerer’s family to the God of all Gods.
Traditionally, Nian Gao is served on the first day of Chinese New Year as breakfast with a brew of Longan Red Dates Tea.

1. Whisk all the batter ingredients in a small bowl. Chill in the fridge while you cut the Nian Gao.
2. Slice Nian Gao to the thickness of your desire. Thinner cooks faster. The idea is to warm the Nian Gao with enough heat so they become a chewy sticky sweet snack.
3. Over medium low heat, pan-fry the Nian Gao for about 30 seconds and turn over.
4. Cook till golden in colour and when pressed gently with the tongs, the centre is soft. This is the most common method of cooking this dish.
5. Cooked Nian Gao has a soft chewy centre and “eggy” crisp pancake coating.


300 grams Nian Gao (年糕).
2 Eggs, beaten (60g-70g size).
1 tablespoon Groundnut Oil, add more if needed during frying.
Slice the nian gao into thin squares.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, flour, water, sugar and salt until the batter is of a semi-thick and smooth consistency.
Heat non-stick pan with oil.
Dip nian gao slices in egg batter and pan-fry in batches (add more oil if needed), until lightly browned on both sides.
Serve them hot coz when they’re cold they get hard again. Warm them in toaster oven if prepared in advanced.


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