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Nian Gao Sweet Potato Sandwich

Now that Chinese New Year is officially over, do you have nian gao (年糕/Chinese New Year Cake/tikoy) lying around at home? I know of people who deliberately keep their nian gao until it becomes mouldy as it symbolises “fa” (huat), i.e. striking it rich. But not for me, as I love to eat nian gao and I hate food wastage, so no way am I letting it reach that inedible state.

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Besides the usual pan-fried nian gao in egg, this year I tried something new by sandwiching nian gao with sweet potato slices before dipping in an egg batter. The result is definitely delicious and more interesting than the common version. You can do a variant with 1 slice of sweet potato and 1 slice of yam (taro), instead of 2 slices of sweet potato. From my photo, you may have noticed that my sweet potato was sliced very thinly, while the nian gao was sliced thickly. This is the way my family likes it and the thickness is entirely up to you – if you like sweeter sandwich, slice the sweet potato thinly; if you like it to be less sweet-tasting, slice the sweet potato more thickly.

Step-by-Step Photos

sweet potato
Remove sweet potato skin and slice thinly.

nian gao sandwich (before cooking)
Sandwich each nian gao slice with two sweet potato slices. Tip: 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.

batter
Whisk batter ingredients in a bowl until it reaches a semi-thick and smooth consistency. Dip nian gao sandwich in the egg batter.

pan fry
Heat a pan with oil. Pan-fry in batches (add more oil if needed), until lightly browned on both sides.

drain
Drain excess oil on tempura paper before serving.

20 comments on “Nian Gao Sweet Potato Sandwich”

  1. Nice one! What a coincidence! I was going to make some of these later in the afternoon : ) Will use your recipe~

  2. Ilove ngian GAO sandwich with yam but have not cooked it myself will try your recipe tomorrow when I can find nian GAO n yam in market !

  3. I had one nian gao that I have kept for 5 years and it still haven’t turned moldy. That nian gao is just for decorating purposes and not for eating, I won’t dare to eat it too. Love your traditional way of eating nian gao, but I fell in love with the springroll way 2 years ago.

    • 5 years?! what a feat that it hasn’t turn moldy. I don’t that that is possible in hot and humid Singapore, will turn mouldy if put outside for 2 weeks! I will try your spring roll nian gao recipe next year :)

  4. Mmmm… look very yummy with the sweet potatoe and yam. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I did not even know some will leave their nian gao to turn mouldy!!?!?!? REALLY? My family usually just do a egg batter, that’s it. The sweet potato combo sounds good.

  6. Thumb up for your idea, adding an interesting and healthy element to the treat.

  7. Lovely photos! Nothing I’d thought of trying before, so thank you!

  8. These look crispy and delicious! I love how the batter clings to the sweet potaot, and it’s a great way to use leftover nian gao.

  9. very good the best nian gao

  10. Looks super yummy..

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