Fried Nian Gao

This delicious yummy dessert and/or snack is usually served during Chinese New Year but that does not mean something as yummy as this can’t be served anytime of the year. Fried Nian Gao is a type of Malaysian snack made with Nian gao, taro and sweet potato slices that are made into sandwiches dipped in a batter, sprinkled with sesame seeds then deep fried to crispy perfection.

When I used to live in Malaysia, during my first Chinese New Year there I was searching for a rice cake called tikoy, initially I had a hard time searching for it but once I explained what it was to a Chinese colleague of mine, they thought what I was looking for was Nian Gao or what they call Kuih Bakul. I was not convinced becuase their description of it did not match what I was looking for but they decided to bring me to a shop that sells them so I can see it and try it for myself. When I first saw it, I was sceptical becuase the colours was different, they were also wrapped in a leaf which I did not expect but after giving it try that definitely was tikoy but in a different colour and different packaging, because tikoy usually is white in colour and is covered with plastic before selling it boxed.

Since I was missing this dearly, I grabbed some from the shop to take away. I asked them how they usually prepare them becuase in Philippines we don’t usually eat them in its raw form, in Malaysia they can eat this straight away. Like in the Philippines, the Malaysians fry them as well but in a different manner, back home it was just a simple coating for beaten eggs just to prevent them from sticking with each other. In Malaysia it is fried with sweet potatoes and sometimes yam before being coated with a rice flour batter. I had tried this Malaysian variety before but never made it at home, so our recipe for today is my first attempt in doing so.

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Fried Nian Gao

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: Malaysian


Fried Nian Gao is a type of Malaysian snack made with Nian gao, taro and sweet potato slices that are made into sandwiches dipped in a batter, sprinkled with sesame seeds then deep fried to crispy perfection.


Units Scale

Nian Gao

  • 12 pcs 1/3-inch-thick slices taro
  • 12 pcs 1/3-inch-thick slices sweet potato
  • 12 pcs 1/3-inch-thick slices nian gao / tikoy
  • sesame seeds
  • oil, for deep frying


  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water


  1. In a wok add enough oil for deep frying, heat it to 180C.
  2. In a bowl combine all batter ingredients together then mix it well. Set it aside.
  3. Create a sandwich by piling up taro, nian gao / tikoy and sweet potato, in that order. Dip each sandwich in the batter, sprinkle some sesame seeds then deep fry in oil for 6 to 7 minutes or until it turns golden brown and cooked. Deep fry in batches so oil temperature does not go down drastically.
  4. Remove fried nian gao from the oil, drain of excess oil then serve.


6 Responses

  1. One of my favourite snacks after Chinese New Year when we had lots of Nian Gao left 🙂 Love the idea of sandwiching them with sweet potato and taro. Would be fantastic with ube too!

  2. I have never had this – nor have I heard of it. Then again, I haven’t been at too many major Chinese New Year celebrations… I need to amend that. Sounds really fantastic.

  3. Another dish I’ve never had (And I can even barely imagine its taste). It looks and sounds intriguing, and I bet it’s tasty!

  4. New dish to me! And it’s an interesting one. You’re such a treasure trove of recipes! Thanks for this one.

  5. suituapui says:

    They sandwich a slice of yam and a slice of sweet potato between the nian gao and coat it with batter and deep fry . I tried once and it was so very very nice.

  6. I haven’t come across Nian Gao before, but this recipe sounds delicious…and it looks really cool, too! Thanks for sharing, Raymund!

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