I really love the rice cakes that are so popular in China and Korea, in part because they are neutral in flavor which makes them extremely versatile. Most are also gluten-free. Rice cakes are thick, sticky, chewy pasta-type morsels that usually come in oval medallions (like the ones here) or shaped into thick cylinders. I use pork in this rice cake stir-fry dish, but you could substitute chicken or just about any other protein, including tofu. You can find rice cakes either fresh or frozen in many Asian food markets.
For the pork & marinade:
- 8 oz. thinly sliced boneless pork loin
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp. light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch
For the stir-fry
- 1 pound rice cakes, thawed if frozen
- 8 oz. baby bok choy or Chinese broccoli, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp. oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- salt (to taste)
- In a bowl, mix together the water, light soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, vegetable oil and cornstarch to make the pork marinade. Add the pork, stir to mix well, and allow the pork to sit in the marinade for 30 minutes.
- Place a wok or large, deep skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the 3 Tbsp vegetable oil to coat the wok, and add the pork and garlic. Cook until the pork turns opaque and is just barely still pink
- Add the scallions, bok choy/broccoli, red onion, and Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then move everything to the center of the wok to create an even bed of vegetables and meat. Distribute the rice cakes on top (this prevents them from sticking to the wok).
- Add a half-cup of water to the wok. Cover, and cook for 2 minutes to steam the rice cakes and cook the vegetables. If the mixture gets too dry, add another ¼ to ½ cup of water.
- Remove the cover and add the sesame oil, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, and sugar. Stir everything together for 1 minute over medium heat. Taste, and season with additional salt if necessary. Continue stir-frying until the rice cakes are coated in sauce, and cooked through but still chewy.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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