I have always wanted to try doing my own nian gao for Chinese New Year. However, hubby is so against it, saying that the hours of steaming the nian gao over the stove is unaaceptable (><) Hence, all these years, we always bought the nian gao instead and since hubby and in laws are very into fengshui, we would need not one but three nian gao for display.
However I chanced upon this recipe one day just before CNY, and was looking through it. No, it’s not those type that requires hours of steaming (^-^) Yeah! And the flavor seems nice and what’s more, I want to make better use of the aluminium carp mould that hubby has bought quite some time back. I have so far used it only to make osmanthus jelly.
I made 2 of these koi nian gao, one for in laws and one for my parents, to wish them 年年有余 . I was so elated when my SIL and MIL actually messaged and called me to tell me that they have tried the nian gao and it was super nice! Hubby strongly encouraged me to sell this nian gao next year (#^^#)
Largely adapted from one of my favourite Chinese blogs 肥丁手工坊
*Below is my modified version as I was trying to find the best proportiosn of the ingredients that work for me ^^ The dough was not easy to handle for me as I could not get the ingredients to come together, hence I added more water and coconut milk to the original recipe. The amount of carrot juice in the recipe was also too much for me to make one carp , so I saved the remaining for the second carp that I did. I was able to make only one carp nian gao per recipe.
glutinous rice flour 200g
wheat starch 30g
rice flour 20g
rock sugar 120g (you may adjust to your preferred sweetness)
salt 1/8 teaspoon
water 225ml (original recipe 200ml)
coconut milk 150g (original recipe 130g. I used Heng Guan packet coconut milk.)
carrot juice 80ml (to use 140g carrot and 80g water. You may use pumpkin to replace carrot) *This amount is enough for 2 nian gaos for me. Hence you might want to half the amount here.
1. Mix rock sugar, salt and water in a pot. Boil till dissolve. Leave aside to cool.
2. Mix together and stir well the glutinous rice flour, wheat starch and rice flour. Slowly add in the cooled sugar water into the flour mixture. Knead into a dough. Cover with cling wrap and best to leave overnight.
*I could not get the flour to stick together and it was still very crumbly, hence I increased the amount of water to 225ml in my second attempt. For the first attempt, I just simply added another 25ml of water when I was trying to knead the dough.
*I later read under the comments in the original post that you could just leave the covered dough in room temperature. I missed out the part and left the dough in the fridge. However I let it thawed before proceeding the next step. The dough became very hard when removed from the fridge.
3. Steam the carrots till cooked and soft. Add in the water and blend together with the carrots to make into puree. Strain the pureed carrot to obtain the juice.
4. Add in coconut milk to “break open” the dough and loosen it to liquid form. Strain the liquid 2 to 3 times to ensure no flour lumps.
*I skipped the straining part and I used my mixer to help with the mixing. The mixture was smooth and no visible lumps. I increased the coconut milk from 130g to 150g.
5. Grease the mould with cooking oil. You may want to grease with more oil so that it will be easier to unmould the nian gao. Scoop some of the carrot juice and pour over the gales and the fins parts of the koi mould. Steam for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the remaining. Steam under high heat for 20 minutes.
6. Cool completely the cooked nian gao. You may want to chill the nian gao in the fridge to set it further before unmoulding as the nian gao is very soft when just steamed.
Till now, I still wonder how the nian gao tastes like, though in laws were singing high praises about it (^^) Maybe I should do one more for myself to try, else I am not doing my readers justice by blogging about this recipe, am I? (#^^#)