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Nian Gao or Sticky Rice Cake

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a sweet and sticky treat - Nian Gao. This traditional Chinese dessert, made with glutinous rice flour and brown sugar, is easy to make at home and perfect for sharing with family and friends.
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The Story

Nian Gao, also known as Chinese New Year cake, is a sweet and sticky rice cake that is a popular dessert during Chinese New Year celebrations. It is made with glutinous rice flour and brown sugar, and can be steamed or pan-fried.


1 pound glutinous rice flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
10-12 banana leaves, cut into 8-inch squares
Kitchen twine
8 Servings

Prep Time:

0 Hrs 20 Mins

Cook Time:

0 Hrs 30 Mins

Total TIme:

0 Hrs 0 Mins



In a mixing bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour and salt. Gradually add in water while mixing until the dough is smooth and well-combined.


In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thick and syrupy.


Add the syrup to the mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add in the vegetable oil and mix well.


Cut the banana leaves into 8-inch squares and dip each leaf into boiling water for a few seconds to soften them.


Place about 2 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the center of a banana leaf square. Fold the sides of the leaf up and over the filling to create a rectangular package.


Tie the package with kitchen twine to secure it closed.


Repeat with the remaining rice mixture and banana leaves.


Place the packages in a steamer basket and steam for 20-25 minutes.


Once cooked, remove the packages from the steamer and allow them to cool before serving.

Tips for this recipe

To make the rice cake extra sticky, you can add some tapioca starch to the glutinous rice flour.

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