February 11, 2014

Fried Nian Gao Balls

Adapted from Annielicious
Make about 40 bite size nian gao balls

About 200 gm Nian Gao, cubed into 1.5cm
400 gm sweet potatoes (weigh after removing skin)
200 gm glutinous rice flour
100 gm sugar
2 tbsp corn oil
1 big heap tbsp of cornflour
Half tsp salt

  1. Steam your sweet potatoes until very soft.
  2. Using a stand mixer with K hook, blend sweet potatoes, sugar, salt and oil together until sweet potatoes are mashed.
  3. Add glutinous rice flour and corn flour.
  4. Knead until a firm dough is formed.
  5. Using bite size amount of dough, wrap around the nian gao cube.
  6. Roll into a smooth ball with no nian gao exposed on the outside. Try not to use too much dough to wrap the nian gao.
  7. Using a non-stick pot and slow fire, drop them into the oil placing them apart to prevent sticking to each other. Take some time to deep fried until golden brown.
  8. Drained oil on paper towel.
  9. Serve warm and consume immediately.

After wrapping the nian gao, squeeze the dough in your hand to wrap the nian gao firmly before rolling into balls.

  • I am using Japanese sweet potatoes, the ones with purple skin and yellow insides.
  • Chill your nian gao for several days so that they are hardened and can be cut easily.
  • Please ensure the nian gao are not exposed during wrapping and frying, else the nian gao may cause some oil splatters.

Watch video

Other attempt

You can roll them into balls & store in an airtight container in the chiller. Bring them to room temperature before frying. I would recommend making one day in advance as they tend to crack when the dough dries up. Simply bring them to room temperature and seal the nian gao again by squeezing the dough.

When the oil is too hot, the nian gao balls browned easily and the insides will be thick (see above photo). Please use slow fire and the nian gao balls will have a light crust.

This recipe used no sugar and 25% glutinous rice flour against the weight of sweet potatoes. It has a light crust and texture is like the Malay potatoes patty aka Bergadil, wrapped around the nian gao. The natural sweetness and taste of the sweet potatoes is very distinct.

200 gm Nian Gao, cubes
400 gm Japanese sweet potatoes, weigh after removing skin
100 gm glutinous rice flour
Small amount of hot water added last to form a pliable dough (if necessary)