Stir-fried Rice Cakes (炒年糕)

As a kid, whenever we went to a Chinese restaurant, especially a Shanghainese restaurant, we would always order stir-fried rice cakes (chao nian gao, 炒年糕) of some sort — sometimes with cabbage and other times with shepherd’s purse. Since being in New York, I haven’t found a restaurant with stir-fried rice cakes that taste like the dish I grew up with, so I started to make my own. It turns out it’s actually a pretty simple dish to make. You can also make this vegetarian by leaving out the pork and amping up the shiitake — highly recommend saving the shiitake soaking liquid to use in place of the water that this dish calls for!

stir-fried rice cake


For the meat:

  • 1/4 lb pork tenderloin, sliced into thin strips (alternatively, use 1 small chicken breast)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp shaoxing wine

For the main thing:

  • ~2-3 cups of sliced rice cakes, roughly 1 lb (soaked or defrosted per package instructions)
  • 3 large napa cabbage leaves, cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces, or other leafy greens
  • 1 large shiitake mushroom, sliced, stem removed (fresh or dried both work)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • white pepper (optional)


  1. Marinate Meat: Mix together shaoxing wine, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Add in pork and coat well. Let the marinated pork marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat up oil (~1 tbsp) in wok. Add in pork (or chicken) and saute over medium-high heat until cooked. About 3-4 minutes. Remove.
  3. In the same pan (clean up wok and add more oil if needed), add shiitake and cook at medium heat for 1 minute. Add cabbage and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add 1/4 cup water to wok and turn the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add in rice cakes, soy sauces, oyster sauce, and a pinch of sugar. Cover and cook for 3 minutes at medium heat, stirring every minute or so, to prevent sticking. If you notice that all the water has evaporated and it looks a bit dry, add a little more water.
  6. Stir in pork (or chicken) and white pepper, if using.
  7. Enjoy!

//recipe originally posted Sept 2019, updated Jan 2021.