CNY ~ Coconut Koi Fish Pudding (椰汁錦鋰年糕)

 CNY ~ Coconut Koi Fish Pudding ( 椰汁錦鋰年糕 )

Attach a recipe for the natural colouring from vegetables.

Coconut Koi Fish Pudding

You must be asking me why do I have fish in my diet because I’m a vegetarian?  Hang on, wait for a minute, just have a look at the picture first!

What have you seen in the picture, are they so beautiful? Yes, they’re fish, they called Koi or Carp fish, the word ‘koi’ comes from Japanese. But in this picture ~ they’re not real fish, you can see, they just one of the steam pudding,  specially make it for Chinese New Year. Fish in Chinese means you will have more money left for next year, it means money has never run out!

Coconut Koi Fish Pudding

We are going to prepare for our CNY now. Because it is only has a few days left for  the Chinese New Year  (year of the horse) !

The first picture is my third time to score with this recipe, tell you why. It is because I don’t like the artificial colouring, so I  need to try to make some natural colouring, It makes my kitchen like a bombshell, all sorts of fruits and vegs scatter everywhere, it’s just like my private laboratory! 🙂

fish mould for pudding

The first time, I made an error, I brushed a bit too much oil in the mould, and steamed the coloured batter for 1 minute more than the actual time, it hit the batter too solid and couldn’t stick to the bottom of the mould, so when I poured the plain batter into the mould, the colour batter floated on top, so it came the fail! And the second time, I made the colour batter problem, and I’ll not really like the colour, then I need to try again. So, this time I decided to make my own natural food colouring. You will see the recipe below.

Being with all the testing, failing, it came the third time testing: Success !

Part of the recipe adapted from here.

Steam Coconut Koi Fish Pudding for CNY


  • 60g Sweet glutinous rice flour 糯米粉
  • 48g Wheat flour starch 澄麵粉
  • 50g Sugar
  • 135ml Hot Water
  • 30ml Coconut milk
  • 6ml Vegetable oil
  • Yellow and Orange food colouring
  • Few pieces of dark chocolate for eyes


  1. Mix the sugar and hot water in a small bowl, whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add coconut milk and set aside.
  2. Sieve the two different flours together,
  3. Add the coconut milk mixture into the dry flour, whisk until all well incorporate. Sieve through a fine mesh to make sure the batter smooth.
  4. Reserve two tablespoons of the batter in two little bowls, one tablespoon in each bowl, dip a small amount of  red food colouring in one of the batter, and the other bowl with yellow food colouring, mix well.
  5. Spoon little bits of the orange and yellow batter into the well oiled fish mould, steam over high heat for about one or one and a half minutes (e cautioned: not to steam more than the list time), cool down and let it set.
  6. Pour the remaining batter into the fish moulds, steam over medium-high heat for another 15 minutes to cook (insert a  toothpick into the pudding, if it comes out clean, that’s cook; if not, cook for another one to two minutes to make sure cook).
  7. Remove from the steamer, use the toothpick to make a little hole on both sides of the fish head, insert the prepared chocolate for the fish eyes. Let it cool down completely and remove from the mould.

For the natural colouring: 

  • 470g Carrot for the yellow colour      ( it can make 30g powder for orange colour )
  • 450g Butternut squash for orange colour        ( it can make 45g powder for yellow colour )
  • 100g Red yeast rice  (紅麴米) for red colour

Boiled carrot

Mash the butternut squash


  1. Peel the carrot and slice it; cut half of the whole butternut squash, leave it unpeel; steam both vegetables in a steamer over high heat for 20 minutes until soft, test it by inserting a fork into the squash.
  2. Mash the carrot on his own baking parchment, and mash the butternut squash on another piece of baking parchment, lay another piece of baking parchment over the mash, use rolling pin to roll out a thin layer, remove the top one, and preheat your oven to the lowest temperature, mine is 60°C, bake the mashed veggies in the oven for about 2 to 3 hours until all dry enough to grind into powder.
  3. Scrap each of the dry vegetable into the grinder and grind until fine powder, then you will get yellow colouring and orange colouring from this method.
  4. The red colour is more easy, I bought this red yeast rice from the Asian grocery store, I just take 100g and grind into fine powder and store in an airtight glass jar.

Mash Carrot into thin layer

Mash butternut squash into thin layer

Roasted butternut squash mash

Orange and yellow food colouring

Natural orange colouring from carrot

Natural food colouring


  • Before you remove the fish mould, make sure the pudding is cool down completely.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, add a bit more of sugar from my recipe above.
  • You can keep the natural vegetable colouring in an airtight glass jar and label it, you can use it whenever you need it, so you can make a bit more quantity if you will use it quite often.

6 thoughts on “CNY ~ Coconut Koi Fish Pudding (椰汁錦鋰年糕)

    • I prefer to make my own colouring rather than the artificial one, because you don’t know what’s inside. Later I will try to make the purple colour as well, but I still need to do more testing, will let you know. But if you have any idea, teach me some tips please! 🙂

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