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Chinese Stir Fried Sticky Rice Cakes (Nian Gao)


Servings: 6      Prep Time: 15 minutes      Cook Time: 15 minutes (with up to overnight soaking of noodles)

Notes on the sticky rice cakes:
They rice cakes should be gluten-free, but please check the packaging.
If dried - soak in water at room temperature overnight or up to 2 days
If frozen - defrost then soak in water at room temperature for 2 hours up to overnight
If fresh (in refrigerated section) - soak 2 hours in water at room temperature up to overnight

Notes on mushrooms
Mom likes to use dried Chinese black mushrooms, as they have much more flavor than the fresh shiitake mushrooms you'll find in the refrigerated section. But feel free to use either.


One 24-ounce package rice cake nian goh noodles (see notes above)
4 dried Chinese black mushrooms (or 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces pork, cut into very thin strips
2 tablespoons cooking oil
6 ounces Chinese Napa Cabbage, shredded
One 6-ounce can julienne cut bamboo shoots, drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth


1. In a large bowl, soak the rice cakes according to the instructions in the headnotes. If you are using dried Chinese black mushrooms, in a small bowl, soak the dried Chinese mushrooms for 2 hours or up to overnight until softened. If you are using fresh shiitake mushrooms, skip this step.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the 2 tsp soy sauce, black pepper, sugar, rice wine, cornstarch together. Mix in the pork and marinate for 20 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

3. When you are ready to cook, have all of your ingredients ready. Drain the rice cakes. Drain the mushrooms and slice into very thin slices.

4. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in the cooking oil. Add the pork and cook until browned and almost cooked through.

5. Add in the mushrooms and the bamboo shoots, stir fry for 1 minute. Add in the cabbage and stir fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the soy sauce.

6. Add in the rice cakes and toss very well. Pour in the broth, cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the rice cakes have browned a little and are softened. The sticky rice cakes will be just slightly chewy (but not hard to chew) similar to pasta cooked al-dente. Taste and add in additional soy sauce if needed. Serve immediately.