Steamed Coconut Glutinous Rice Koi Cake (Chinese New Year Cake)

Chinese New Year is coming this Saturday.  There are some symbolic dishes served during this festival. Eating rice cakes is a Chinese tradition which means increasing prosperity year after year.  It also celebrates the beginning of the rice harvest in the spring. These cakes come in both savory and sweet variations. 


I am very happy to use the mold that I bought in Hong Kong last month to make the coconut glutinous rice cake.  I like this mold very much because its shape is like a fish “koi”. In Chinese language, the character () means “surplus” which shares the same pronunciation with () “fish”.  That is why making fish a must-have dish on a Chinese dining table during Chinese New Year. An old saying that goes with the Chinese New Year fish dish is “nian nian you yu” (年年有餘) which means “may every year ends with ample surplus”. 

 steamed coconut rice cake 9.jpg

I use some artificial coloring powder in this recipe.  If you don’t like to use this powder, you can use minced carrot.  Wish all of you good fortune in the Year of the Rooster!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serve: 6 (for 1 small 6-koi mold)


  • 100g glutinous flour
  • 5g white rice flour
  • 20g non-glutinous flour/wheat starch
  • 70g coconut milk
  • 75g rock sugar
  • 100g water  steamed-coconut-rice-cake-1
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of orange red water soluble coloring powder
  • 1 piece of 6-koi mold


1. Place rock sugar in a small saucepan, add water and boil over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let it cool down.
2. Add glutinous flour, non-glutinous flour, rice flour and salt in a big mixing bowl, and then mix them well.
3. Pour in the sugar syrup and coconut milk in the flour mixture.  Stir and mix them well.
4. Place 1 tbsp flour mixture in a small bowl, add a pinch of orange red coloring powder into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
5. Pre-heat a steamer for 10 minutes.
6. Brush oil in each mold; add the colour flour mixture on the back, fin and tail of each koi.  Steam for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

7. Pour in the coconut flour mixture in each of the small molds until it is full. 
8. Steam for a further 20 minutes and remove from heat.  Let it cool down.
9. Put the mold in the fridge for 3 hours. Remove each koi cake from the mold carefully. 
10. Stick black sesame seeds as eyes on the koi cakes. Ready to serve.

steamed coconut rice cake 10.jpg


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