Chinese New Year Sweet Rice Cake Recipe (Nian Gao)

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I wish everyone a very happy Chinese New Year! I’ve been making a series of must eat Chinese New Year dishes. Today let’s make Chinese New Year Sweet Rice Cake, and in Chinese we call it Nian Gao.

Chinese New Year Sweet Rice Cake Recipe

For 8×8 Cake Pan Size:
3 cups water, plus more for steaming
3 slabs cane sugar
4 cups glutinous rice flour, (1 pound), sifted
2 cups wheat starch, (10oz), sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons extra light olive oil, separated
1 red date, for garnish


  1. In a pot, over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Turn to low heat. Add the cane sugar. Cook until dissolved. Turn off the heat. Wait until cool, 15 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift glutinous rice flour in it. Also, sift in the wheat starch. Mix. Pour in some of the cooled syrup. Whisk. Then pour in more of the syrup and whisk again. Pour in the rest of the syrup and whisk until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of extra light olive oil. Mix well.
  3. I’m using an 8×8 cake pan today. Brush oil all over it. Place wax paper on the bottom.
  4. Pour the mixture over a strainer, and into the cake pan. If there are any air bubbles, use a toothpick to pick them out.
  5. Cover the cake pan with foil paper.
  6. In a large steaming, bring water to a boil, and place the cake pan inside. Steam over high heat for 1 hour.
  7. Take it out. Wait until completely cool down, 1 hour.
  8. Flip it down on a cutting board. Cut the rice cake into ½-inch slices.
  9. You can serve directly.
  10. Or, in a flat bottom pan, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil, and place the rice cake in the pan. Cook until lightly browned, 30 seconds on each side.

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