'Nian Gao' in Mandarin or 'Nin Ko' in Cantonese is a must-have item during CNY. This sticky glutinous rice cake is symbolic as it carries a homonym that sounds like 'year~high/tall'. For business people eating this will link them to prosperity and wealth and working people will look forward to career advancement, promotion.
Slice them up when they're still soft, keep them in containers and they can be stored in the fridge for months.
I normally steam and dip them in freshly grated young coconut mixed with some salt or just fry with beaten egg. But this time around, I've decided to be a bit more 'challenging' and try out Elin's recipe. Thanks, Elin of Elinluv's Tidbits Corner for sharing!
Nin Ko, yam and sweet potato all sliced up. Sandwhich a piece of nin ko with a piece of yam and a piece of sweet potato.
Dip it into the batter and fry in the oil, with the piece of yam at the bottom, as it takes a longer time to cook.
Flip it over from time to time.
Crunchy crust and sweet, soft nin ko inside ................. mmmmm
Nin Ko piled up .... 'Po, po, ko sing'..... or 'rising step by step each year'! Incidentally, today is the last day of the lunar New Year and the first 15th day of the first month which is also referred to as "Chap Goh Mei'!
Recipe for Fried 'Nin Ko ~ Sticky rice cake
- 1 big nin ko, cut to 1/4 inch slices
- 1 yam/taro, cut to 1/4 inch slices
- 2 sweet potatoes (choose those that are fairly round), cut to 1/4 inch slices
- Oil for deep frying
- 4 oz rice flour
- 2 oz plain flour
- 2 oz cornflour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 200 ml water (I've omitted the egg)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Remove the banana leaves from the nin ko, cut into 1/4 inch slices, set aside.
- Peel, wash the yam and sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices, set aside.
- Mix thoroughly the various flours together with the baking powder and salt, add in water gradually to form a smooth batter, thick enough to coat the yam and sweet potato.
- Let the batter rest for 1/2 an hour.
- Meanwhile, in a wok heat up enough oil to deep-fry the nin ko.
- Sandwhich a piece of nin ko with a piece of yam and a piece of sweet potato. Dip this into the batter and with a pair of long chopsticks, lower it into the oil to deep fry, with the piece of yam at the bottom as it takes a longer time to cook. Flip it over from time to time, fry under slow medium heat, till golden brown.
- Once done, take out and place on kitchen paper towels to absorb the oil.
- Serve warm.