So CNY is over and you've given away RM2000 in ang paos (but your kids have gotten back more than that amount), spent thousands on CNY food, flowers, decorations, fireworks and firecrackers, new clothes, new brooms, pots and pans, new TV even because you can't loose to your friend's new 60" (or whatever, I have no idea what's out there now) flat screen. You've forked out another thousand ringgit on the unicorn troupe to come eat lettuce and mandarin oranges from your garage roof to ensure another good year for the family (so you really think happiness and prosperity can be bought). You've met old friends you meet once a year and you've been updated on where they travelled to last year and how well their kids are doing. You've eaten that obligatory dinner with relatives you can't stand (thank God it's once a year) and taken family photos that you'll never get to see. You've also gained 5 kgs on top of the 2 kgs you gained at Christmas. And of course you have leftover nian gao, sticky rice cake.
Tell you what. Instead of frying your nian gao in egg, try Chef Tay of Hyatt Kinabalu's simple way of coating the nian gao with toasted sesame seeds and steaming it for a minute, just enough to soften the nian gao. It's yum with Chinese tea.
Nian gao can keep for a couple of days without refrigeration but they start to go bad (they go moldy and can taste sour even if not moldy) about 5 days after they are steamed so keep any uneaten nian gao in the fridge. Better still, eat the nian gao asap.
1. Cut into thin slices.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan. It's faster and browning is more even.
3. If the nian gao is still soft and sticky, the sesame seeds will stick easily.
If the nian gao has gone hard, steam it for under 1 minute just to soften and wet the surface for sticking. Steam too long and the nian gao will be hard to handle.
4. Steam the sesame-coated nian gao for a couple of minutes, depending on how hard it is and how soft you want it.