I don't often post a dessert recipe and I am glad to get this one up.
There are all sorts of traditions, folklore and beliefs about nián gāo (粘 糕) or sticky glutinous rice cake and I will leave you to google or wikipedia it.
All I know is that as a child, this sticky dessert was always around during CNY. Living in a row of terrace houses at Jalan 22/23 (Petaling Jaya), just a few doors away, there was a house which makes it. I could see stacks and stacks of it in their living room. And the glorious smell coming out of that house.... I can still remember that.
The thing about nián gāo is that on is own, it does not make for great eating. However it tastes great when fried with slices of yam and/or sweet potato.
Get a good quality nián gāo, which is less sweet. As for yam, get the powdery type if you can. Those who make yam cake often will recognize the different types of yam. Generally, those from Thailand are good. Ask your veg seller for advice.
Slice into squares (or whatever shape you like). Slice the yam or sweet potato and steam it for 4 minute. Sandwich the nián gāo in between two slices of yam.
Set up a pan with some oil. When the oil is hot enough, dip the yam/nián gāo sandwich into the batter and pan fry till the batter is golden in color. About 1-2 minutes will suffice.
It is best eaten while it is warm. Now, you can choose to omit the yam. Just dip nián gāo in the batter and pan fry.
If you have bits and pieces of add shape nián gāo, you can also eat them coated with fresh diced coconut meat. Just microwave the nián gāo for 20-30 secs on medium heat. It will melt and become pliable. When cool, shape it roughly into smaller pieces and coat with the fresh coconut. This is a simple and quick snack.
|Another way of eating it: Coating with fresh coconut|
As for the batter, you can of course use the recipe for goreng pisang (fried banana fritters) as well. I like the batter as it is crisp and light.
Do have some sticky fun doing something with your nián gāo.
|Ingredients for the batter|
|Batter - this is a smoother variation|
|The Leaning Tower of nian gao|