Tag Archives: Chinese New Year Dish

紅豆年糕 New Year Red Bean Cake

紅豆年糕 New Year Red Bean Cake

年糕, or “nian gao”, is a type of food made with glutinous rice. It is commonly prepared and eaten during Chinese New Year. There are 2 main types of nian gao, the Shanghainese style, which is prepared as a savory dish, and the Cantonese style, which is typically a sweet food that is pan fried for a crispy exterior and sticky interior. The preparation for the Cantonese style is presented here.

Some people like to just have it plain, but personally I like it with a filling. The cake it self is only lightly sweetened so that the sweetness is not overwhelming. With the sweeter red bean filling, the level of sweetness is just right.

After the nian gao is prepared and put into the fridge, the pan frying process is also very important when you’re ready to eat it. The key is the slice it in thin slices, about 0.5 centimeter thick, dip it in some whipped eggs, and pan fry under a small amount of oil under low heat. The key is to heat it all the way through so that you have soft interior and crispy, but not burnt, exterior.


  • 1 pack of red beans
  • 1 lb of Rice Flour 糯米粉
  • 2.5 oz of Dried Wheat Starch 澄麵 (about 1/6 of the package)
  • 3.5 pieces/sticks of sugar cane


  1. Soak red beans overnight in a pot of water.  Bring it to boil and simmer for an hour.  Turn off the heat and cover for 2 hours.  Repeat the process for two times until the beans are soft.   At the last simmer, add about 1 cup of brown sugar or 2 pieces of sugar canes.  Drain and reserve the liquid.
  2. Melt 3 sugar canes with the liquid from red bean (about 2 cups).  Remove from heat and let the ”sugar water” cool down.
  3. Place the rice flour and dried wheat starch in a large bowl.  Slowly stir in the “sugar water”.  Add more water if the mixture is too thick, but only add enough water that allows you to stir.
  4. Slowly stir in red beans, be careful not to break them apart.
  5. Lightly grease the pan with oil and pour the mixture in there.  Steam for 1.5 hour (for a  9″ Round Cake Pan) or until the edges of the cake pull away from the pan. *This recipe makes two 9” round cake pans of red bean cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the heat and cool.  Then cut them into square slices.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Dip the slices in egg wash and pan fry each side over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the slices is soft inside.


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臘味蘿蔔糕 Chinese Radish Cake

Law Bak Go – The Chinese Radish Cake may be one of the most popular dish that you can get in dim sum places.  For breakfast and snacks, turnip cake is usually sliced into square pieces and pan-fried to golden color on both sides.  As a meal, they can be sliced into smaller cubes and stir fried with egg and scallions.  My favorite is to eat it when it’s freshly coming out from the steamer.  It is the softest at that time and melts in your mouth.  Serve with oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and/or chili sauce, or even just plain to taste the sweet turnips.


  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 lb rice flour 粘米粉
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch 生粉
  • 2.5 Chinese sausages 臘腸
  • 1/2 cup dried shrimp 蝦米
  • 1/2 lb pork belly, diced
  • 6.5 lb radish
  • 5 cups of waters
  • 8 dried scallops 瑤柱
  • dash of salt


  1. Shred radish using a grater
  2. Rinse dried scallops and dried shrimp under tap water, then soak in a cup of water separately for 30 minutes or until soft. Reserve the soaking water. Separate the dried scallop and chop the dried shrimp finely.
  3. Marinate the minced pork belly with soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
  4. Chop the sausage finely
  5. Heat oil in a pan over high heat.  Pan fry pork belly, Chinese sausage and dried shrimp.
  6. In a large pot, add shredded radish and 3 slices of ginger with 3 cups of water, 1 cup of dried scallop water and 1 cup of dried shrimp water.
  7. Bring the pot of radish to boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Let the radish cool down for about 25 minutes.  Then slowly stir in the rice flour, corn starch and 2/3 of the ingredients (sausage, pork belly, scallop, and shrimps)
  9. Pour the mixture into foil cake pan.  Sprinkle the reminding 1/3 ingredients on top of the cake.  Steam for 1 to 2 hours depending on the size of the pan.  For a 9″ Round Cake Pan, it takes about 2 hour.
  10. If you like to eat it pan fried, cover and refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours. Then cut them into square slices.  Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Cook radish cake on each side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately with oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and/or chili sauce.

Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Chinese


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