Asian Rice Cakes

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao)

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao)

Chewy rice cakes bring delightful texture to this spicy vegetarian stir-fry.Ingalls Photography

I'm addicted to Asian rice cakes—soft cylinders, disks, or rectangles of pounded rice. I add coin-shaped rounds of the Chinese version, called nian gao, to stir-fries, where they're draped in soy sauce and infused with the flavors of ginger and garlic, their pleasantly chewy texture enhanced by crunchy Napa cabbage and snappy bamboo shoots. It's a combination I'll always crave.

Melissa Buote is a writer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.