Nian Gao (New Year Cake)

About this recipe: Legend goes that nian gao is offered to the Kitchen God at Chinese New Year either as a bribe or so that his mouth would be so busy chewing the sticky cake that he won't be able to report unfavorably on your family to the Jade Emperor.

Pat Central Region, Singapore

Ingredients

Makes: 1 20cm cake

  • 5 slabs brown candy (pian tang)
  • vegetable oil
  • 850g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:1day resting  ›  Ready in:1day1hr15min 

  1. Chop each slab of brown candy into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour about 500ml boiling water over the candy to dissolve into a syrup.
  2. Grease a 20cm round cake tin liberally with vegetable oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour and cooled syrup. Knead until a dough is formed and add about 80ml cold water until dough is smooth and shiny.
  4. Place the dough in the cake tin and pat down evenly. Coat the surface with 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Steam the cake for about 35 to 40 minutes until it begins to pull away from the sides of the tin. Cool completely on a rack. Run a knife along the edge of the cake and unmold onto a platter. Loosely cover and it will be ready to eat the next day.
  6. When ready to eat, cut the cake into pieces 5 to 6 cm long and 1/2 cm wide. You can serve the cake as is, or reheat it in the microwave.
  7. You can also dip the slices in beaten egg then pan fry. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with a little oil and fry each piece until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Make ahead

If making more than a day ahead, wrap the cake tightly in wax paper or cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

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