Deep Fried Nian Gao Radish Cake Sandwich

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

Nian gao 年糕 or steamed glutinous rice cake is a mainstay of Chinese New Year (CNY) cuisine. Even if you don’t really eat nian gao, you have to have it on display over the festive season. This deep-fried nian gao recipe is a random invention!

Aside from eating it as it is, one of the other ways to eat nian gao is to pan-fry it. In Singapore and Malaysia, we also sandwich a slice of nian gao between a slice of yam and a slice of sweet potato. This sandwich is then dipped in batter and deep-fried. This deep-fried nian gao is called 三合一 (san he yi) or three-in-one.

As we have been over-indulging, the idea of something carb-heavy and too sweet is a little of a turn-off. So, instead of the standard starchy tuber sandwich, I decided to try a radish cake sandwich! (This also helps me with my radish cake leftovers.) And instead of using a thick flour batter, I chose to use rice paper instead.

The rice paper wrapper is sticky enough to hold the slices together well. Some of the rice paper will dissolve during deep-frying but the nian gao will become sticky enough to hold the stack together by then. What is left is a light and thin crispy film that delicately coats the stack.

The radish cake is creamy and just savoury enough to have a nice contrast with the sticky sweet nian gao centre. For me, this is a perfect afternoon tea time snack!

Share / Save:


0/3 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/6 Instructions
  • Only three ingredients!
  • Slide your radish cake and nian gao into 0.8-1cm thick slices and sandwich the nian gao between two radish cake slices.
  • Gently wet each rice paper film until softened and wrap each sandwich stack individually, keeping them apart from each other.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Put a little bit of radish cake into the oil and if it starts to crackle then the oil is hot enough. Gently slide your wrapped parcels into the oil.
  • Important notes: Make sure the oil deep enough to cover half of the parcels' height. Give each parcel lots of room because they will stick to each other if they touch! Once you put the parcel into the oil, leave it alone. When the parcels can move without sticking, then it means the rice paper is fully crisped and you can turn the parcel over to the other side.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *