After joining Facebook, I realized there are many ways of eating niangao but I am used to deep frying niangao or pan fried niangao with eggs. Some ate by using a spoon to scoop out the sticky soft niangao and I definitely have no chance of trying this as all the niangao at home was used for the ancestral praying before reunion dinner. By the time we eat the niangao, it will be hard as stone .
I saw some ate the niangao by steaming the niangao until soft and coat with shredded coconut. I have never tried that either probably because my late parents immigrated directly from China and shredded coconut is not a common item in their daily cuisines.
I do have a more trendy recipe of eating niangao by wrapping the niangao in a puff pastry and bake in the oven. if you are interested, you can refer to this post: Nian Gao Puff (酥脆烘年糕）
What I am sharing today is what my late mum used to prepare but with slight modification. At her time, all recipes are very simple, just eggs, water and plain flour. There is nothing like baking powder or self raising flour. As such, her niangao looked different from what I am sharing today which is more fluffy and crispier than her version though the taste is the same. I like this version as the aroma are very simple : some egg fragrance and the sweet niangao.
In view of the recent trends of eating niangao sandwiched between sweet potatoes and yam, in the illustration, I have used yam and sweet potatoes too. But it seems that my family members prefer the one without yam and sweet potatoes possibly there do not like yam. I only eaten this version when I studied in Kuala Lumpur. I found that this version is common in Singapore also.
Well, if you sandwich with yam and sweet potatoes, one thing I have to advise readers is that nowadays, some niangao recipe is not as sweet as the traditional niangao I have eaten when I was young, therefore deep frying the niangao with yam may make it rather tasteless and not as nice as it should be. The sweetness have been diluted to the yam and hence overall taste is compromised. Another thing worth highlighting is that the sweet potatoes and yam should not be overly thick because it is difficult to cook and you have to adjust the heat accordingly.
I have two sets of picture in this illustration. One is just coating with flour and eggs and I am using the traditional niangao that I prepared a month ago. After a month, it had harden and I can successfully to slice it thinly and uniformly. Another one is with sesame seeds with yam and sweet potatoes and I am using the red bean niangao that i have prepared as in this post; Red Bean Niangao (红豆年糕）
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 3-4 adult servings
- 150 grams of self raising flour
- 150 grams of rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black or white sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon of Eno fruit salt or 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia bicarbonate
- 300 grams or ml of plain water
- 6-8 pieces of niangao of the size of 6cm x 6cm x 1cm
- 6-8 pieces of yam of the size of 6cm x 6cm x 0.5cm
- 6-8 pieces of sweet potatoes of the size of 6cm x 6 cm x 0.5cm
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Put rice flour, self raising flour , salt and sesame seeds in a bowl, stir until well combined and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg and use a tablespoon to mix the egg with the flour . Add water gradually and continue mixing until it forms a smooth batter.
- Sandwich the nian gao with sweet potatoes and yam. If it is difficult to sandwich, smear some batter on the sides of the niangao and let the yam or sweet potatoes stick to it.
- Heat up a pot of oil under high heat.
- Put the Eno or ammonia bicarbonate into the batter, quickly stir until well combined. Put a piece of niangao (plus yam and sweet potatoes). Coat it evenly, and transfer to the hot oil. Reduce the heat to medium heat, and deep fried until the sides are golden brown. Before dishing out for draining, increase the heat to high and let it deep fried for at least 15 seconds such that the niangao will not be oily after dishing out.
This is a simple recipe and most granny will know how to prepare. What is different from their recipe is there is no Eno or self raising flour being used. Therefore, it will not be fluffy as it is seen in this post. Another way of serving niangao has been lined up and I will share soon. If you are looking for traditional way of serving niangao, you can try this recipe.
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