Pan Fried Nian Gao is a tasty snack and dessert. All you need is 2 ingredients: nian gao (sticky rice cake) and eggs. The nian gao is sliced, dipped in egg, and pan fried. It's soft and chewy, lightly sweet. Always served warm! Pan Fried Nian Gao is especially popular during Chinese New Year, but delicious all year round.
Why This Recipe Works
What do you do with leftover nian gao? Make pan fried nian gao!
I meant to put this post up during Chinese New Year...but better late than never 😉
We often end up with extra nian gao during the holiday. We buy nian gao for ourselves because it is both tasty and considered lucky to have in the home during Chinese New Year. We gift nian gao to friends and family. And we are also gifted nian gao from friends and family. Basically, there is a lot of nian gao!
We eat most of the nian gao fresh, but there is inevitably a lot of leftover. That's where pan fried nian gao comes in. This snack (or dessert, depending on who you ask) is so good that sometimes we purposely set aside nian gao to make this treat.
Pan fried nian gao is soft and oh so gooey chewy. Best part? It's easy to make! Just slice leftover nian gao and dip it in a bowl of beaten egg. Then pan fry and eat it hot! Literally within minutes of removing it from the pan.
This snack is a huge crowd pleaser. The egg batter is crisp and delicate, it forms a sort of thin shell to hold the molten nian gao. So so delicious!
The main ingredient for pan fried nian gao is the nian gao itself. Nian gao is a sticky rice cake made of glutinous rice flour, water, and sugar. It's steamed and served at room temperature.
Nian gao is easy to make (I'll work on this post next year haha), but easier to buy!
Pictured above is a whole fresh nian gao my mom purchased in Chinatown. There are many vendors that sell nian gao during Chinese New Year. They sell them in many different sizes ranging from individual rounds to big family sizes.
I like the nian gao in Hawaii more than the versions I've tasted on the mainland. Nian gao in Hawaii tends to be softer and more chewy, akin to all the great mochi in Hawaii. The nian gao on the mainland is more firm and solid. Either version works well for this dish because the nian gao will get all gooey and soft once we slice and pan fry it.
This recipe only needs 2 ingredients:
- Slices of nian gao - We like our slices about 1 x 2 inches which is considered on the small side. You can cut any size you prefer (just make sure the thickness is no more than ¼ inch). We cut small slices is because we like to enjoy this as a bite-sized snack. There's no right or wrong size, just do what works for you. The size you can cut also depends on how big the nian gao itself is.
And that's all you need!
Step by Step Directions
Let's get cooking ^_^
Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs and set aside. This is the "batter" which we will dip the sliced nian gao into.
Add oil to a non-stick pan. Place on the stove and turn the stove to medium heat. You can use any type of oil. We usually use vegetable oil.
Dip one nian gao slice into the beaten egg and then place it on the pan. Repeat this step, leaving a little space between each piece of nian gao.
Pro Tip: Make sure the nian gao pieces don't touch or else they will stick together.
Pan fry until golden brown. Then gently flip the nian gao and pan fry the other side till golden brown. This takes about 5 minutes per side.
Pro Tip: I find it easiest to use chopsticks to flip the nian gao. A spatula also works.
Eat and enjoy!
Remove and place on a plate to cool for a few minutes. Make sure to eat it when it's still warm. Enjoy!
FAQs and Tips
Just place them in a covered contain and store in the refrigerator. Store for up to 2-3 days.
If you made a big batch, you can also freeze it! Place the pan fried nian gao pieces on a plate or baking sheet (make sure they don't touch each other) and freeze for 30 minutes. Then remove from the plate and put it all in a Ziploc bag and freeze it.
Reheat refrigerated leftovers in the toaster or air fryer. Reheat them at 375F for 5-8 minutes.
You can also reheat the frozen leftovers the same way (no need to defrost), just add about 5 minutes of reheating/cooking time.
A hot cup of tea or coffee is the perfect accompaniment 🙂
Pan Fried Nian Gao Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- 20 slices of nian gao (about 1 x 2 inches, about ¼ inch thick)
- 2 eggs
- Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs and set aside.
- Add oil to a non-stick pan and turn the stove to medium heat.
- Dip a nian gao slice into the egg and then place it on the pan. Repeat this step, leaving a little space between each piece of nian gao (make sure they don't touch).
- Pan fry until golden brown. Then gently flip the nian gao and pan fry the other side till golden brown. This takes about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove and place the pan fried nian gao on a plate to cool for a few minutes. Make sure to eat it when it's still warm. Enjoy!