Fa Gao

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Fa Gao is steamed sponge rice cake. It is a sweet pastry popular in some southern regions, typically eaten during the Lunar New Year. Fa’ means ‘become rich’ in Chinese, so this is a food that symbolised good fortune and prosperity. This recipe requires simple ingredients and yet is rich in consistency and flavour.Fa Gao in a bowl

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 6 people


  • 300 g (10½ oz) rice flour
  • 60 g (2 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 60 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 5 g (0.2 oz) sugar-tolerant yeast
  • 320 ml (11 fl oz) plant-based milk


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest until it doubles in size. This step might take 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the temperature.
  3. Stir the batter again for 1-2 minutes to get rid of any big bubbles. Pour the batter into six cupcake moulds until each is about 80 per cent full. Do not fill the moulds completely as the cake will expand during steaming.
  4. Fill a saucepan with hot water and place a steam rack in the pot (the water level should not be higher than the steam rack). Place the cupcake moulds on a plate on the steam rack, cover with a lid and let it steam over a high heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat. Leave the fa gao in the steaming pot for another 5 minutes before lifting the lid. Best enjoyed when eaten warm.

Recipe by Yang&Kathi from their cookbook Vegan Chinese Food. 

If you are interested in the plant-based diet and would like to explore more Asian vegan recipes, you can check out their channel @littlericenoodle on Instagram or visit their website: littlericenoodle.com


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