Nian Gao (Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake)

It is a must to have this in the house every Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year. It is a really sticky rice cake, that is supposedly supposed to make the mouths of the Gods/Deities stick together so they cannot bad mouth you in the near year.

I tried it once, using banana leaves. It genuinely tasted so good, but I have to work on laying the banana leaves. Until then, this will suffice.

Recipe adapted from guaishushu.


2 cups of glutinous rice flour
2 cups of water
1.5 cups of castor sugar
0.5 cups of black or brown sugar


1. Put a cellophane plastic sheet on a 6 inches bamboo basket or a small metal bowl

2. Put the white sugar and brown sugar in a sauce pan, heat under medium heat until all the sugar have melted and slightly caramelised.

3. Add in the water carefully. (as I was using cellophane paper this time instead of banana leaves, I added some panda leaves to the water and boiled it till it was fragrant and added this water instead) Be careful as the water can splash out when added to the hot syrup.

4. Let the sugar syrup cool at room temperature.

5. Combine the glutinous rice flour with the sugar syrup and stir until as well combined as possible.

6. Sift the flour mixture into the cellophane/banana leaf bowl. 

7. Steam in the steamer for 2 hours.

8. The rice cake can be sticky when hot or even at room temperature. It will only harden in the room temperature for as long as in 1 week time. So don’t worry that it is not cooked. When hardened, cut into small pieces and fried in the same way of French Toast.

Bon appetit!

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