new world nian gao

Turning a Chinese New Year classic into something that we can serve anytime of the year.

Sticky rice pudding, Nin-go (in Cantonese) or Nian Gao (in Mandarin) is a sweet glutinous rice pudding that we served over Chinese New Year. The pronunciation of Nin Go/Nian Gao literally translates as Year Cake, it represents prosperity, while Go or Gao symbolizes raise and grow. Although you might find them all year round on the dim sum selection in restaurants, these cakes are most popular during Lunar New Year. 

The traditional way to prepare this sticky rice cake is first steamed and once it is cooled, it is hardened and you would pre-sliced the whole cake into smaller rectangles and coat each with lightly whisked egg, then panfried until they return to it’s stickiness before serving. 

This I so called, New World Nin Go was inspired by mochi cake recipe. I modified a few ingredients my researches online and created this delicious and flavorful sticky rice cake that married the chewiness of mochi, sweetness from the classic recipe’s brown sugar and coconut milk.

Make one 20×20 brownie tin, approximately 15 pieces (2cm height)


  • 180g glutinous flour 
  • 120g rice flour 
  • 180ml full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp wheat starch
  • 180ml water
  • 180g slap brown sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 40g unsalted butter melted and cool slightly before mixing
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Recipe Preparation

Preheat oven to 165C, fan assisted.

Prepare a square 20cm and lined with aluminium foil. Lightly grease foil all over.

Put slap sugar and water in a small saucepan, heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

Mix all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. 

In another small mixing bowl, whisk together coconut milk, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter. Pour mixture into sugar water, mix to combine.

Pour coconut sugar mixture into dry ingredients, mix with a whisk until no dry bit remains. Prepare a fine sieve and a ladle, sieve the batter through to remove lumps, continue to sieve until no lumps remains.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, cover tightly with another foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove tin from the oven and uncover foil. The dome top will be formed when you removed the foil at first and it will deflate as shortly after the foil is removed.

Remove pudding from the tin and wait until it cool enough to handle with hands. Remove foil and trim off any dry bits. Cut pudding into squares and you can serve as is or slightly panfry pieces on a lightly oiled frying pan until all sides are crispy and brown. Keep uncooked slices in the fridge for up to 5 days or, lined pieces in single layer on plastic wrap, seal and freeze for up to one month. 

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