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Nian Gao Sweet Potato Sandwich

Nian Gao Sweet Potato Sandwich Recipe

“Nian Gao” or Chinese New Year Cake is an auspicious festive food. The Chinese word “nian gao” 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.


  • 10 slices nian gao (tikoy/年糕) sliced to uniform thickness
  • 20 slices sweet potato (peeled before slicing) sliced to uniform thickness
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Batter (A)

  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2.5 tbsp plain flour sifted
  • 1 tsp cornflour (or baking soda) sifted
  • 1/2 tbsp ice water
  • small pinch of salt


  1. Sandwich each nian gao slice with two sweet potato slices (or 1 sweet potato slice and 1 yam slice).
  2. In a bowl, whisk (A) until the batter is of a semi-thick and smooth consistency.
  3. Heat a pan with oil. Dip nian gao “sandwich” in egg batter and pan-fry in batches (add more oil if needed), until lightly browned on both sides. Drain excess oil on tempura paper. Serve with Chinese tea.

Noob Cook Tip:

  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. Recipe variation: You can sandwich the nian gao with a slice of sweet potato and yam (taro) instead of two slices of sweet potato.
Pages: 1 2

22 comments on “Nian Gao Sweet Potato Sandwich”

  1. Simple and yummy snack!

  2. I tried it this morning with yam. Very tasty as it help to balance the sweetness of nian gao as I don’t have sweet tooth. It’s not too oily too.

  3. I came across your recipe as I was looking for different batters to make my nian gao more crispy – was wondering if you’ve ever tried to make it using the purple sweet potato? I tried it once and I think the purple contrasts quite nicely with the yellow batter (http://picksandpecks.blogspot.com/2011/03/homemade-fried-nian-gao.html). I’ve also tried eliminating egg from the batter to make it more crunchy – seems to work well!

  4. Do I need to cook the sweet potato n yam to soften it before frying it with nian gao ?

    • no need to, check out the detailed recipe on page two.

    • I fried the nian gao w thinly sliced sweet potato under low fire. The nian gao was melting n oozing out of the batter but the sweet potato is still crunchy n not well cooked. What should I do ?

    • I have not encountered this problem before but you can try 1) deep fry instead of shallow fry, OR 2) cut sweet potato super thin by using a vegetable peeler/mandoline.

  5. Can I use self-raising flour? 

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