Monday, February 16, 2009

Chao Nian Gao (Stir fried rice cakes)

I love the chewy texture of rice cakes (sometimes called rice ovalettes). It's almost like a tough and savory gum that you're allowed to swallow. Haha, that just sounds super appetizing doesn't it? Hmm, let's see if I can describe it better. Oh, I can also add that it's pretty much flavorless, but you typically add it into savory dishes. I know that doesn't help, but trust me, this is good stuff!

There are many ways to make rice cakes. Some of my favorite include sticking it in a soup with dumplings for Korean duk mandu gook, or stir frying them. Even within stir frying, there are 2 typical ways: Shanghai style with dark soy, veggies, and thin strips of pork or a lighter version with mustard greens and bamboo and thin strips of pork. While I love both versions, I decided to make my own version and use it to help me get rid of some leftover turkey I had in the fridge. Just like fried rice and chow mein or any other stir fry, rice cakes are great for clearing out the fridge.

Here's the recipe for the Shanghai version, plus what I used as substitute ingredients because I needed to clean out my fridge.

- Pork (sliced into thin strips) -
I used shredded leftover turkey. Any other meat such as chicken or beef could be used as well.
- Napa cabbage (sliced into thin strips) -
I also added some brocolli. You can add other veggies such as shredded carrots, regular cabbage, spinach etc if you'd like.
- Shitake mushrooms (sliced into thin strips) - I skipped this ingredient.
- Rice cakes/ovalettes

- Dark soy sauce - I used regular soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Corn starch - I skipped this since I was using already cooked turkey

- Rinse the rice ovalettes in water to separate them. Some packages also require you to soak them, so read the directions on the back.
- Marinate the pork in a little bit of soy sauce and corn starch.
- Heat up your pan or wok and a bit of oil.
- Put the pork in the meat and stir it around until mostly cooked.

- Add the napa cabbage and cook until slightly wilted.

- Add the mushrooms.
- Add the rice cakes.

- Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce to taste.

- Stir everything until the rice cakes are soft. If it gets too dry and looks like things might burn before the rice cakes are done, add a bit of water or chicken stock.


feeling entropy said...

omg i love these! i never know how to order them besides "shanghai style rice cake".

some waitresses look at me like a deer in headlights. and some of them will nod knowing exactly what i want with no hesitation. it's a gamble

regardless, i love this dish!

That Girl said...

I love rice cakes! And you're right, it's completely a textural love!

MaryBeth said...

This looks very interesting, something I have never seen before.

Sophie said...

MMMMM.....This looks indeed very appetizing!!

foodhoe said...

oh yes, those ovalettes are addictive! I have some in the fridge with no recipes, so thanks for posting this!

Kalirren said...

We made this, using a little bit of ham for the meat, plus bok choy and carrots -- it was excellent! The oyster sauce was the key.

Great to have a change of pace from ddeokbokki or ddeokguk, which is what we usually do with ddeok.

dining room table said...

Lovely rice cakes! These are so adorable and so nice! I can't wait to try it!