Sticky Rice Cakes with Tea Jam

Sticky Rice cakes, also known as Nian Gao, have a delicious gummy texture that is chewy, sticky and addictive. Nian Gao, also known as Sticky Rice cakes, are traditionally eaten around Chinese New Year to signify prosperity.

You can find many different versions of sticky rice cakes in Asia, from the savoury Tteok (Korean) to the more popular Mochi (Japan). Each province in China has its own sweet and salty versions of sticky rice cakes. I prefer the Guangdong version, which is simple, sweetened, and steamed. Although it has a nostalgic appeal, it is bland with simple sweetness. We love the texture and flavour of Glutinous Rice, so we created our tea-inspired recipe.


These delicious treats will increase the complexity and depth of traditional sticky rice cakes. These cakes are filled with a tea jam, simply dried fruits mixed with strong tea. You can experiment with many combinations of teas and fruits, such as Sultanas and Eastern Beauty and Apricots Dan Cong and Prune and Souchong Liquor. The Tea Jam can be used to make toppings and fillings for yoghurt and cakes.

This recipe combines Iron Monk Oolong and soft, dried figs. It’s quite extravagant, but you could substitute any dark-roasted Oolong (preferably one that is a rock).

Here we are:

INGREDIENTS (7 Nian Gao is suitable for 2-3 persons)

  • 115g Purple Sweet Potato
  • 60g Glutinous Rice Flour
  • 50g Figs
  • Sea Salt
  • 7.5g Iron Monk, or any Dark Roasted Oolong


1. Cut your potato into 2-2.5 cm pieces.

2. Put the bowl in a bowl and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Then, steam it with the lid on.

3. For 5 minutes, boil 120ml water in a pot. Strain the tea.

4. Blend the figs and 30ml of the strong tee. Then, blend into a jam.

5. Blend the potato with 5 small tea in a blender.

6. Combine the Glutinous Rice flour, the sweet potato puree, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.

7. Use your hands to combine the ingredients. If it feels dry, add a little tea.

8. Take 30g of the dough and divide it into equal-sized balls (about 7)

9. Flatten the balls using your palms and make a tea circle with your fingers.

10. To create a semicircle, add a teaspoon of Oolong Fig Jam in the middle of the circle. Fold the dough over to form a seal.

11. To seal the jam, pinch and pull the dough together to form a wonton shape.

12. To make Nian Gao, gently flatten the ‘wontons’ on a plate using your palm. (Do not let too much jam drip out as this can cause it to burn when frying).

13. For 3 minutes, fry the Nian Gao in neutral oil on low-medium heat. Make sure the dough is fully cooked.

14. Use kitchen paper to absorb oil.

15. The fried Nian Gao can be reheated by placing it in a hot oven for 5 min


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