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Nian Gao


Gluten free nian gao on a Chinese plate surrounded by red envelopes

Quick and easy recipe to make Nian Gao

Traditionally eaten on Chinese New Year but it can be ate anytime of the year too

Makes for 4 people


Brown sugar 100g (I used a block of Chinese brown sugar) 
Glutinous flour 110g (sieved)
Water 105g
Oil 15ml

Prepare the sugar

  1. Pour water into a saucepan
  2. Add the sugar
  3. Turn on the hob on low heat to melt the sugar
  4. Once the sugar has all melted, set it aside and let it cool down

Prepare the batter

  1. Add flour into a bowl
  2. Make a hole in the middle of the flour
  3. Pour about one third of the sugar mixture in and mix
  4. Pour another third of the sugar liquid in and mix again
  5. Our the remaining sugar liquid into the flour and mix 
  6. Pour the oil in
  7. Mix until the batter is completely smooth and there are no lumps of flour


  1. Spray some oil into a take away container
  2. Pour the batter into the container
  3. Burst any bubbles you see with a fork
  4. Steam for 30 minutes


  1. You can put a chopstick in the middle of the nian gao and twist it 360 degrees
  2. Lift the chopstick out and if its cooked thoroughly, you should see the nian gao jelly texture stuck to the chopstick


  1. Add 2 tablespoons of oil onto a saucepan
  2. Heat the oil on low heat
  3. Place small slices of nian gao (I cut mine into 4cm x 1cm x 1cm) 
  4. Fry until one side gets crispy
  5. Then fry the other side until its crispy
  6. Serve and enjoy your Chinese dessert. Naturally gluten free and vegan friendly too so more people can enjoy it with you too