Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nian Gao Puff Recipe (年糕酥)

A different take on a Chinese classic

"Nian Gao" (年糕) aka "Chinese Sticky Rice Cake" is a very traditional Chinese food that's eaten at many auspicious occasions throughout a Chinese person's life, especially during Chinese New Year. The significance of this is interpreted quite differently by many people but as for my family, the stickiness of the cake symbolises the cohesiveness or unity of a family's bond. This is what I was taught growing up and also what I will tell my kids and their kids in the future.

Bought this "Nian Gao" at my local Asian grocery for $5

Typically, "Nian Gao" is simply sliced up thinly before coating and frying it in egg (as shown below). But then, my cousin told me of this awesome new way that she made "Nian Gao" the other day during our recent Chinese New Year dinner.

Photo taken from my 2012 Chinese New Year post

She said that she got the idea from Nasi Lemak Lover (a blog that I personally absolutely ADORE) to wrapping them in puff pastry before baking it in the oven until they're golden brown and slightly oozy in the middle. OMG. 

I couldn't get it out of my mind and I knew I had to make it right away... So here you go. Chinese New Year isn't over yet so get some "Nian Gao" from your nearest Asian Grocery right away so you can make these for your friends and family! Although, the only thing I will say it that you should probably spread a little butter on the pastry instead of egg wash just to give the pastry more flavour. Otherwise, it's quite yum!

It's a great twist and surprise to a classic that will surely get everyone excited. Super quick and easy. Gong Xi Fa Chai again to you all!


Nian Gao Puff Recipe (年糕酥)
(adapted slightly from this recipe by Nasi Lemak Lover)


"Nian Gao" aka Chinese Sticky Rice Cake (cut to strips)
3 to 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry (thawed)
cashew/peanuts (chopped roughly)
1 egg yolk (lightly beaten) *
sesame seeds (black and/or white)

* Alternatively, use melted butter for more flavour


1. Preheat oven to 180degC. Roll out the puff pastry until thin (otherwise it will puff up too much!)

2. Lay and space out the strips of "Nian Gao" on the pastry sheet before cutting it up into rectangles

Tip: Wet your fingers slightly if the "Nian Gao" becomes a bit too sticky and difficult to handle

3. Place nuts on top of the strip of "Nian Gao"

4. Fold the sides and roll the pastry with the filling enclosed into a little parcel

I had to add extra sheet on top because I cut my rectangle too small and couldn't roll properly. Don't make the same mistake as me!

5. Brush egg wash or melted butter on surface and sprinkle sesame seeds on top

6. Bake in oven for 18 minutes or until golden brown. ENJOY! =)

The finished product. Great to share at a potluck or dinner party =)

Hope you're all having a great start to the weekend!

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