Braised Rice Cakes with Shiitake Mushrooms

香菇炒年糕xiāng gū chǎo nián gāo


1/2 lb pork tenderloin

OR 1/2 lb baked / dried / pressed tofu

1 lb Napa cabbage

2 cups frozen rice cakes

6 dried Shiitake mushrooms

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 hot pepper

2 green onions

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

Prep Ingredients

  1. Soak Shiitake mushrooms in lukewarm water for 1 hour.

  2. Soak rice cakes in lukewarm water for 1 hour as well.

  3. While soaking the mushrooms and rice cakes, we can start prepping the other ingredients.

  4. Remove the Napa cabbage leaves (we used about half of them) and wash each leaf.

  5. Cut the root tip off each leaf and throw away (or compost!).

  6. Stack 3-5 leaves on top of each other, and then cut into 8 sections.

  7. Put aside all the leaves once cut.

  8. Mince ginger.

  9. Wash and trim green onion, then chop up into small pieces.

  10. Wash and remove the core of the pepper (you can use whatever hot pepper you want here). Cut into thin slices.

  11. Cut the pork into 1/2 inch slices, and then cut each slice into thin strips.

  12. (vegetarian/vegan option) If you want to go meat-free, replace the pork with pressed tofu (dòu gān) and cut into strips similarly.

  13. Once it's been an hour soaking, remove the Shiitake mushrooms from the water and wash them in cold water.

  14. Cut each mushroom in half, around the stem.

  15. Cut the stem off the halves with the stems.

  16. Slice each mushroom half into thin slices.

  17. Strain the rice cakes and mix with 1 tbsp olive oil. The olive oil will keep the rice cakes from sticking together when you cook the dish.

Saute Dish

  1. Heat a pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add 3 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of ground pepper to the pan.

  3. Add shredded meat (or shredded tofu), cooking wine, ginger, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, hot peppers, and 1/8 tsp salt to the pan.

  4. Stir and saute for 3-5 minutes or until the liquid in the pan is mostly gone.

  5. Add Shiitake mushrooms and half the green onion.

  6. Saute for another minute.

  7. Add Napa cabbage and stir until the leaves have wilted.

  8. Add cold water and another 1/8 tsp of salt.

  9. Place the rice cakes on top of everything - it's okay if you have to layer them on top of each other.

  10. Cover the pan and let braise for 8-10 minutes. During this time, DO NOT stir or flip the dish.

  11. After ~8 minutes, check to see if the rice cakes are tender (if you can poke a hole through them with a fork / chopstick, they're tender). If not, give it another minute and check again.

  12. Once rice cakes are tender, remove the lid and stir the dish.

  13. Once most of the sauce is gone / soaked up by the dish, turn off the heat.

  14. Add the remaining green onion, give it another stir, and then serve!