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Shanghainese Fried Rice Cakes

In Food, Home Creation on February 10, 2014 at 11:23

Doof In

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My Shanghainese grandma made fried rice cakes often when she was still around.

It was one of my favorite Shanghainese dishes.

I was fortunate to learn the cooking know-how on this before she passed.

Contrary to Cantonese style rice cakes which were staples around Chinese New Year, Shanghainese rice cakes were to be eaten all year round.

In my grandma’s recipe, there were only 4 simple ingredients – clean and delicious.

Personally, nothing beat making this dish at home — particularly, we put less oil and large amount of vegetables in it.

When we eat out, the preparation was often only with sprinkles of vegetables and relatively greasy.

It would require some trail and error in the beginning to attempt this dish, specially in learning the strength of the cooktop; nonetheless, the reward is priceless!
INGREDIENTS

for 4 big servings

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3 pieces of chicken thighs, shredded (pork can also be used)

2 long napa cabbage (the short fatter one can be the substitute as well, but the long ones are sweeter), sliced across leaves, half an inch wide

1 bag rice cake (I prefer the sliced kind)

1 finger segment worth of ginger, julienned
MARINATE FOR CHICKEN

marinate chicken for at least 15 minutes before cooking

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp of sesame oil

1/2 tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp wine
OTHER CONDIMENT TO COLLECT BEFORE COOKING

2 tbsp. oil

1/2 tbsp. cooking wine

1/2 tsp. vegeta or chicken powder

1 tsp. of light soy sauce
DIRECTIONS

Add 1 tbsp. of oil in a big wok

Once smoky, add chicken and quickly stir-fry until the outside is cooked but the inside is still raw

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Remove chicken from wok, and heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a the wok

Once smoky, reduce heat to medium and add ginger

Cook ginger until just turn brown, increase to high heat

Immediately add napa cabbage and stir-fry

Then add wine and vegeta (or chicken powder) and stir-fry until the cabbage is half-cooked

Spread out the cabbage and spread out the sliced rice cake on top of the vegetables

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Cover for 3 minutes and spread the chicken including juice on top of the rice cake

Cover again and wait for 5 minutes*.

Remove lid and use a chopstick to poke through rice cake to check for doneness.  It should be easy to poke through.

Add 1 tsp. of soy sauce on top evenly and start stir-frying.

Once rice cakes, vegetables and meats are mixed well, it is ready!

*With my cooktop, it only takes 5 minutes.  If the cooktop is weaker, it will take a lot longer.  Key is to open the lid and poke the rice cake to check for doneness– but do so quickly as to save as much steam as possible for cooking in the system.

*If it starts smelling burnt, likely that napa cabbage at the bottom of the wok is burnt.  Lift as much vegetables and rice cakes as possible with the spatula from the bottom of the wok to confirm, and add a little water (1/2 tbsp. to 1 tbsp.) while lifting the food.

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  1. Where can I get vegeta? I’ve never heard of this!

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