Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Chewy rice cakes bring delightful texture to this spicy vegetarian stir-fry. This recipe first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2014 SAVEUR 100 issue with the article Asian Rice Cakes.


  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (2") piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 oz. fresh or frozen rice cakes, thawed if frozen and sliced 1/6" thick at an angle
  • 1 cup canned thinly sliced bamboo shoots
  • 12 small head Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 14 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. douban jiang (chile bean sauce)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 5 oz. spinach
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil


Step 1

Heat oil in a 14" wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice cakes, bamboo, and cabbage; cook, until cabbage is wilted, 4–5 minutes. Stir in soy sauces, chile bean sauce, and sugar; cook until slightly thick, 2–3 minutes. Stir in spinach, bean sprouts, and sesame oil; cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more.

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