Korean Style Fried Year Cake 炒年糕 Perfect for Chinese New Year

Easy and delicious fried year cake! To celebrate Chinese New Years, eating year cake is a must. Made from glutanous rice, year cake is a type of rice cake. Pronounced nian gao in Chinese, it’s name sounds the same as “year high”, which means getting better year after year!

There are many different types of year cakes, each region has their own unique take on this traditional food. Here is a recipe for Korean year cake – something that has gotten very popular in China lately.

Year cakes are available at Asian grocery stores. This recipe uses Korean year cake sticks. The best year cakes to use are the frozen kind in the freezers. They tend to have better mouth feel (be more sticky and chewy) than the packages on the shelf.

frozen year cake
One brand of frozen year cake
cheese stuffed year cake
You can also use cheese filled year cake. They can be ordered from Taobao.


  • Year cake: 1 bag.
  • Cabbage: 1/2 to a whole head of cabbage depending on size.
  • Carrots: 2
  • Onion: 1
  • Gochu Jang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste): 2 tablespoones
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Kimchi: according to taste

Optional ingredients

  • Korean Miso paste: 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • Sesame: a pinch
  • Scallions: 1 stalk
  • Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon
  • Egg: 1

How to make Korean Fried Year Cake

1. Slice onions and carrots, cut up cabbage (the pieces doesn’t have to be too small).


2. Saute onions.


3. Add carrots and stir fry for a minute.


4. Add cabbage and stir fry. (Option: add a little soy sauce here for extra flavor).


5. In a separate pot, defrost frozen year cake in boiling water. Cook just long enough to soften them.


6. Add kimchi into the pan and stir fry.


7. Pour the whole pot of year cake into the frying pan with the other ingredients.


8. Add in 2 tablespoons of Gochu Jang (Korean hot pepper paste).


9. Optional: Add around 1 tablespoon of Korean miso paste according to taste.


10. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. If you like things sweeter, add more sugar to taste. Sugar is necessary to increase the umaminess of the dish.

11. Heat on medium with the lid on for a few minutes. Stir in the middle to avoid ingredients from sticking to the pan.


12. Remove lid and turn the  heat on to high. Point here is to reduce the liquid in the pan. Depend on your preference, some people like more soupy year cakes and some dryer ones. You can even add a package of ramen at this point: it’s pretty delicious that way too!

13. Plate the dish. Sprinkle some scallions. (Bonus points if you add an egg on top: soft boiled and cut in half).

Enjoy on Chinese New Years Eve or when ever you want!

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