Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cantonese-Style Nian Gao

A pair of nian gao fish my mother made this year.
Nian gao is also known as Year cake or Chinese New Year Cake since it is traditionally eaten during this time of year. It is made with glutinous rice and pien tong (Chinese brown sugar bars) which are readily available in Asian supermarkets. It's believed that consuming this sweet sticky treat would bring good luck and fortune for the upcoming year. Growing up in the middle of Newfoundland, I remember my mother going out of her way to make this dessert for me as a child and the fond memories our family created together during the years. I want to share this recipe with everyone and pass along wishes for wealth and happiness! 

Nian Gao

400 G (1 bag, green label) glutinous rice flour, sieved
100 G (1/4 bag, red label) rice flour sieved
4 bars of brown sugar (pien tong)
1 1/2 cup of water

1) In a saucepan, dissolve the 4 bars of brown sugar in the 1 1/2 cups of water over medium heat
once dissolved, let cool

2) In a mixing bowl, sieve the two kinds of rice flour.  Add the cooled sugar water and mix with the flour until a thick batter consistency (thinner than dough, but thicker than cake batter).  If the batter is too thick, add some water to thin it out a bit.

3) In a large pot, add water about half way to avoid boiling dry (and check it every 15 mins or so to make sure it's not dry), and put on high heat

4) pour batter into greased dishes or molds and place in your steamer.  Steam for about an hour-2 until nian gao has taken on a firmer texture.

5) allow to cool and enjoy

Some people like to fry their nian gao, to do so, you cut the cooled nian gao into pieces and dip in beaten egg and fry on medium heat until the egg turns a golden brown.

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