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Nian Gao Taro Rolls - CNY Week #3

Saturday, February 12, 2011


My father’s 2nd younger sister, my “Sai Ku Cheh 小姑姐” told me last year about how her friend fried her nian gaos. She found it to be very delicious because nian gaos are sweet and when contrasted with a slightly salted coconutty taro filling, it tasted fabulous.

This year, with a nian gao given by my neighbor, I tried out the method she recommended. It was a refreshing change from the usual methods of eating. I gave some to neighbours from both sides and brought them to Mike’s shop. No one knew what I was serving them until they bit into the roll : ). It was fun making people guess. They all thought I was serving them spring roll.

**Charissa, please tell your mom we all loved this version.

Nian Gao Taro Rolls
Recipe source: Wendyywy inspired by Grace Ho
Taro Filling
500gm taro (芋头, keladi )(cleaned weight)
100gm fresh grated coconut
2 Tbsp sugar
1/3- ½ tsp salt (use 1/3 tsp first, taste and add more if needed)
1. Slice taro and steam until cooked(soft).
2. Mash taro while it’s still hot and put in coconut, salt and sugar. Mix until well combined

300gm nian gao, cut into 2 inch long strips (mine were anywhere from 8-12gm each)
Spring roll wrappers (125mmX125mm)
Egg white to brush on edges

1. Place wrapper onto a flat surface, eg: a plate.
2. Place 1 tbsp of taro filling onto wrapper (I used 20gm filling since I had about 32 pieces of nian gao), lightly spread it out.
3. Place 1 pc of nian gao onto taro and wrap (see pictures)
4. Brush edge with egg white before rolling up.
5. Fry the prepared rolls in medium- medium low heat until golden.

Frying was a breeze, no splattering and even the wrapping is hot hard to do, because the taro filling is not soggy wet but easy to handle cos it won’t fall apart.
I made about 29 rolls from this recipe.

The sunlight today was bad, my pictures had high noise problems. Somehow I'm beginning to hate taking pictures. It's getting boring, LOL.

51 lovely notes:

Honey Bee Sweets February 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM  

Oh my, I'm sold! I'll make this once I get some yam! Looks yummilcious!

Jes's Deli Corner February 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM  

Wendy, I love it especially with the popiah skin..i bought the sweet potato thought of fry with nian gao..i have been looking for the batter for the nian gao also..now im going to buy popiah skin and yam :o)

HomeKreation February 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

Hi Wendy. I can tell that this is really sedap! What a combination & making me drooling!

hana February 12, 2011 at 11:08 AM  

wow! sedap nih ader keladi..... nian gao tuh apa eh?? gula melaka ker? ker dodol? LOL...... sori ar wa talak tau itu macam.. hihi

Jean February 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

they love absolutely lovely with the warm gooey taro oozing out from the crust :)

Deliah's Deli February 12, 2011 at 11:35 AM  

kuih bakul? love kuih bakul fried with yam..yummy :p~ hv not eaten this for years :)))

The Sweetylicious February 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM  

this is so YUMMY!! im so going to try it!! (: (:

Beachlover's Kitchen February 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM  

oh!! I must try this idea!! so cool!! thanks for sharing!

Rose world February 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM  

Wow! That the first taro nian gao I ever see. Unique combination. Must try it out, since I have one nian gao at home. Thanks for sharing

E. February 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM  

Yum! What a nice nian gao idea. :) I never saw this before. Taro with sweet nian gao, and a spring roll wrapper. *drools*

cina.fong February 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM  

This is your best one yet.

cikmanggis February 12, 2011 at 6:07 PM  

ohhhh nampak sungguh sedap tapi mana nak dapat kan kuih bakul?

Cosy Bake February 12, 2011 at 6:46 PM  

This is an awesome idea to make the delicious nian gao! I will try this out! Thanks for sharing!

pigpigscorner February 12, 2011 at 8:45 PM  

I love how the nian gao oozes out..yum! My grandmother use to fry nian gao+yam in batter. This reminds me of that!

Jenn@ChasingFoodDreams,  February 12, 2011 at 9:31 PM  

oo.. this is such a great idea! Gonna try this out these few days.. tks Wendy.

Shirley @ Kokken69 February 12, 2011 at 9:34 PM  

What a great idea! I wonder if baking it in a phyllo sheet would work....

ICook4Fun February 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM  

I am so making this one. I still have the nian gao I brought back from Malaysia from two years ago and I just bought a big hunker of taro ha ha..I am so scare to fried it on its own because of the oil spatter. Thanks for sharing the idea.

lena February 12, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

this is wonderful and i'll love this! what a great new idea of eating nian gao! sure you had a great evening today and am sure everyone have enjoyed your laksa so much. have a great weekend!

Little Inbox February 12, 2011 at 10:52 PM  

This is a creative way to consume nian gao. This is really yummy!

Pete February 12, 2011 at 11:47 PM  

Wah, new way to cook nian gao...Thks!

busygran February 13, 2011 at 12:17 AM  

Haha Wendy! I had the same thought of doing the nian gao the same way as I dislike the batter sort! After looking at yours, I better get down to doing it! I like the melty look of the nian gao!

Unknown February 13, 2011 at 8:56 PM  

A special way to eat nian gao. Yummy!

DG February 14, 2011 at 12:07 AM  

Beautiful combination & presentation! Love everything ... from skin to the filling .... Yummy!

WendyinKK February 14, 2011 at 12:44 AM  

Oh great! I hope to see you post abt it soon!

No need to get yam. Why don't u just use the sweet potato in place of the yam?

Hehe, It is sedap :p

Nian gao tu, dodol cina ler, kuih bakul! kekekeke.

Oh yes, it must be eaten warm..then it'll be oozing

Yup, it's kuih bakul, pandainye!!

I hope you love this

Don't forget to let me know the outcome :)

Thanks to my aunt for the inspiration :)

Taro and nian gao is a usual combination here, but usually they are sandwiched with another piece of sweet potato and fried coated with batter. It's just this method of preparing the taro differently, and instead of batter but with spring roll wrapper that makes it very special

WendyinKK February 14, 2011 at 12:55 AM  

thanks :p

supermarket ade :)

I hope you love this

This is more tedious in prep work, but easier to fry that the traditional method.

Please let me know the outcome, thanks

I dunno, but you can try

Yawoh, when the niangao melts and burst out of the batter, it splatters!!! I hate it when that happens

I didn't make laksa woh, I made Yoke Gon :)
Too bad you didn't come, we can't finish the food, hahah!

Little Inbox,
I owe the idea to my aunt

trying out this method?

I hate the batter too.


Thanks! I hope you try this if you love nian gao.

Jihyeon February 14, 2011 at 8:49 AM  

it does look pretty easy to be done!
Happy Valentine's Day~

Alice February 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM  

oh this looks so yum!!!
u hv such a great blog!
Happy Valentine's Day! :)

SugarliciousGoodies February 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

Thanks for sharing. I had tried your recipes, it's very good! Thanks again.

HomeKreation February 19, 2011 at 7:14 PM  

Hi Wendy,
I've just tried it today. Indeed so delicious... I was tempted to finish 10 rolls all by myself but gotta control otherwise I will have to run 10 rounds this week...haha. Thanks to you for sharing this great recipe.

Fern @ To Food With Love February 22, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

That's a fantastic idea and it looks so yummy! Can't wait to try it out... Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous,  December 28, 2011 at 10:52 PM  

Hi Wendy,
I would love to try this recipe.
If I use sweet potato, do I need to mash it and add coconut, salt & sugar? Thanks!

WendyinKK December 29, 2011 at 12:17 AM  

Yes. It's the coconut, salt and sugar that adds a different dimension to the sweet sticky nian gao

Anonymous,  December 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM  

Hi Wendy! Thks for the fantastic receipe. My family loves the 'nian gao'. Its a perfect combination and I am going to make it again for my guests during this coming Chinese New Year!

WendyinKK December 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM  

I hope they love this ;)

Anonymous,  January 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM  

Hi, Can i replace the grated coconut to coconut milk for the Nian Gao Taro Roll??


WendyinKK January 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM  

No. Coconut milk will make it watery, plus, there's no mouthfeel.

Anonymous,  January 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM  


Can I replace the fresh grated coconut with dessicated coconut? If yes, is it with the same amount?

WendyinKK January 25, 2012 at 12:49 AM  

No. 100gm of dessicated coconut is a crazy huge amount in volume.
Personally, I feel, 1/4 cup of dessicated coconut should suffice, because it will absorb the moisture from the steamed taro and expand. But dessicated coconut won't have the same flavour and fragrance as freshly grated coconut.
If you think you cannot finish the grated coconut in one go, freeze the balance and it taste like fresh when you thaw it, no problem.

Anonymous,  January 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM  

Omigosh! This looks great! Too bad I didn't see this post earlier :( Would have definitely gave it a shot for CNY! ;)

esther,  February 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM  

I tried the recipe, my family like it very much. but my nian gao melt out when frying and hot oil splash out. Any wrong with my wrapping method? I didn't put grated coconut, only yam nian gao with wrappers. Thks..

WendyinKK February 15, 2012 at 3:38 PM  

You used too big niangao piece. The taro paste should be enough to wrap around the nian gao. If the wrapper is wrapped tight enough, it shouldn't leak. Compare yours to my picture, when I rolled my niangao, actually few layers of wrapper was coiled around it, it is very tightly wrapped. Just don't be too greedy with the fillings

WendyinKK February 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM  


HI Wendy
i made the nian gao with taro rolls but the spring rolls were soft after about 30 mins in the open. may i know how you kept yours crispy, assuming yours were crispy for a long period of time bf consumption? any tips to share?

Did you steam or boil ur taro? The taro was quite dry after being mashed. Was it a cloudy day? A rainy day? Or a hot sunny day? It does have some effect due to humidity in the air.
I have no idea how long mine stayed crispy, but at least one hour because they were all finished up by then.

Anonymous,  February 23, 2012 at 1:33 PM  

apologies, next time will post my queries under the original post... i steamed the taro ...couldn't remember what was the weather like that day... btw, i noticed that your final pdt all looked so pretty and neat..mine was horrendous though edible. mine had bits of black substance stuck on the skin (i think it is the nian gao that flowed out)..it is my first time deep frying sth ...

WendyinKK February 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM  

It's ok. I do know some other bloggers do not respond to comments on old postings, so you might be worried that I won't see it. I do try my best to reply.

I hope you didn't make it too big. You can compare the size in the picture. If there wasn't enough "skin" to roll the up the filling (and to keep them in), then you will have them leaking out. And you should roll it tight, not loosely.
If it's being made too big, there won't be multiple layers of "skin", hence the moisture will easily seep out and make the whole thing limp. My rolls are actually quite small, about 2.5 inch only.

Anonymous,  February 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM  

HI Wendy
u r spot on! i did make it big, cause i thought too many layers of skin will not be as nice..but i didn't know it will affect the crispiness. u r indeed v knowledgeable about cooking! thks for all the tips..will bear in mind if i make this again..still thinking whether i should after the not so successful attempt...
regards octopusmum

dropsofcontentment January 28, 2013 at 8:39 AM  

Thanks for the recipe and the detailed step by step assembly Wendy! I decided to attempt this for my family dinner last night as I was craving some nian gao and it was a huge hit! I may add more coconut next time because I could really taste much of it.. But regardless, a recipe for keeps! :D

Another Wendy

Unknown February 4, 2013 at 10:14 PM  

Hi Wendy

Your rolls looks really good! I am thinking of making them myself but I was wondering if I could replace taro with something else. In fact, all I want is nian gao in spring roll skin. Is a filler (such as a taro) necessary in terms of taste wise?

Thank you for your time :)

WendyinKK February 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM  

Drops of Contentment,
Thanks for trying it out and sure, add more coconut :)

Up to you if you like it only with popiah skin.
The taro provides textural and taste contrast of which is well loved by my family :)

Unknown February 17, 2013 at 3:18 PM  

Hi Wendy

Am gg to try this out today but facing difficulties in cutting the nian gao nicely.

How did u do that with the sticky niangao?

WendyinKK February 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM  

Fresh niangao is soft.
Mine is few weeks old

Peng February 12, 2016 at 4:55 PM  

Thanks for sharing this recipe, is really yummy! http://pengskitchen.blogspot.sg/2016/02/fried-nian-gao.html

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