Nian Gao
Nian Gao
Made of glutinous rice flour, water, and sugar, this traditional Chinese New Year snack is always a hit!
  • Difficulty Level Easy
  • Technique Steaming
  • Preparation Time 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time 45 minutes
  • Yield 4 to 6 servings
  • 400 g glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup chinese dates, softened in water for at least 30 minutes, and pitted (Substitute with ½ cup other dried fruit or ¼ dates and ¼ cup nuts)
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
  • Water
  1. Make the water mixture:
  2. In a bowl, mix 200 ml of boiling water and ⅔ cup of sugar. Stir constantly to dissolve. Set aside to cool.
  1. Chop the dates:
  2. Chop ½ cup of chinese dates and set aside
  1. Make the dough:
  2. Place 400 g of glutinous rice flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add in the sugar and water mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and begin shaping the dough.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the dough at a time, until you have a smooth dough with a satiny texture. Mix in ¾ of the ½ cup of the chinese dates as you are adding water and working with the dough.
  1. Decorate and steam the cake:
  2. Grease a 7 inch square cake pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Place the dough in the cake pan and spread it out to the edges. Decorate with the remaining dates, lightly pushing them into the dough. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds on top
  4. Steam the cake over medium-high to high heat for 45 minutes or until the edges of the cake pull away from the pan.
  1. Remove cake from pan and refrigerate:
  2. Remove the cake from the heat and cool.
  3. Use a knife to loosen the edges, then remove the cake.
  4. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate overnight.
  1. Chef's Tips:
  2. It is considered good luck to consume Nian Gao during Chinese New year
  3. This sticky sweet snack has the symbolism of raising oneself taller in each coming year

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