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Recipe: Chinese New Year Cake (Neen Gow)

Neen Gow Chinese New Year cake is nothing like western cakes. The use of glutinous rice flour results in a sweet, sticky cake which symbolises family cohesiveness. The cake is steamed, cooled and then sliced. The egg-dipped, pan-fried slices have a mellow sweetness and are slightly chewy.


20 red Chinese dates
500g glutinous rice flour
5 slabs brown sugar (peen tong)
400ml water
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Cooking Method

Serves 6

Place dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water, allow to soak for 10 minutes and when dates are soft chop or blitz in a food processor.

Bring half the water to a boil and add the slab sugar, reduce heat and bubble gently to melt sugar.

Allow sugar syrup to cool and add cold water to make up to 400ml.

Place glutinous rice flour and chopped dates into a bowl, add sugar syrup and mix well.

Pour into an oiled cake tin and cook in a steamer for 1 hour, allow cake to cool completely and refrigerate overnight.

Slice cake into 1cm slices, dip into beaten egg and fry in a non stick frying pan until slices turn brown.