Noob Cook Recipes

Sauteed Kale Recipe Stir-fry Asparagus in XO Sauce Recipe Oyster Sauce Vegetables in Garlic Oil Recipe Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe Stir-fried Asaparagus with Scallop Recipe

Nian Gao “Onde-Onde”

Nian Gao Onde-Onde

Nian Gao in Grated Coconut Recipe

"Nian Gao" or Chinese New Year Cake is an auspicious festive food. The Chinese word “nian gao” 年糕 sounds like “higher year” so it signifies greater success in the coming year. The stickiness also represents family togetherness and closeness. Serve this snack with Chinese tea to aid digestion as nian gao is sticky and filling.

Serves: 2-4

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 6 mins


  • 150 grams refrigerated nian gao 年糕 (tikoy) cut to even-sized small cubes
  • 3 tbsp grated (desiccated) coconut or just enough to cover 1 cm of the plate
  • a small pinch of salt


  1. Combine grated coconut and salt in a plate. Roll nian gao cubes in the grated coconut and arrange one layer without overlapping each other.
  2. Steam at high heat for about 8 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to roll each nian gao piece in the remaining grated coconut until evenly coated. Serve with Chinese tea.

Noob Cook Tips:

  1. For ease of cutting the nian gao, refrigerate it overnight. The hardened nian gao will be much easier to cut than when it is soft and sticky.
  2. The amount of grated coconut in this recipe is indicative. You can basically eye-ball the quantity by making sure that it covers the entire plate by 1 cm.

Leave a Comment

9 Responses to “Nian Gao “Onde-Onde””

  1. B — March 6, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

    Cute and yummy treat!


  2. olduvai — March 6, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    Oh that’s an interesting experiment with nian gao! We have plenty leftover and while I love the fried eggy version, this sounds like a great alternative. Plus here in N California, it’s hard to find onde onde! So any form of substitute works too. Thanks for the great idea.


  3. Stephanie — March 7, 2013 @ 2:53 am

    yum!! Those look amazing.. so soft and sweet


  4. Jeannie — March 7, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    Hi! I like this although fresh coconut would taste better than the dry dessicated type. I used to eat nian gao this way when I was young!


  5. tigerfish — March 8, 2013 @ 5:40 am

    It also looks like those Nonya kueh – tapioca kueh in grated coconut! I like all those kuehs and you have a creative way to make some using nian gao!


  6. Little Corner of Mine — March 8, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    I loved this way of eating nian gao too. If we make our own nian gao, it is very soft on the first day so I can just slice it and coat it with ground peanuts + sesame seeds and eat it.


  7. Amy Tong — March 10, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    What a creative creation. :) Very good use to Nian gao and transform them to another treat. Yeah, I think you’re right. Freshly grated coconut sounds good and easier to roll here. :) Too bad I don’t have any Nian Gao left overs, otherwise I would definitely make these.


  8. lisaiscooking — March 11, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    This looks like a great sweet treat! Sounds lovely with freshly grated coconut too.


  9. mycookinghut — March 14, 2013 @ 4:06 am

    Oh my! This is absolutely delicious!