Stir-Fried Shanghai Rice Cakes – 年糕

My not-so-authentic, but very delicious Shanghai stir fried nian gao

Shanghai-style rice cakes, but with extra chilli. Chewy and delicious.

When I was young, I didn’t really like rice that much. It was boring to me becasue we had it every day with everything and it was everywhere.

But one thing I did love was rice cakes, aka nian gao. Not the crispy kind that you eat with peanut butter or hummus, this is the chinese rice cakes that has a similar texture to mochi and tang yuan (glutinous rice balls filled with things like sesame paste or sweet red bean paste). Basically I loved all things chewy, and the fact that it can be stabbed with a chopstick made it extra fun to eat, so I’m here reliving those days in my small London kitchen while in quarantine.

Before I drizzled a ton of chilli oil

Anyway, this recipe might not be the most authentic, but I’m often on a mission to use up all my leftovers, so this is pretty perfect for that purpose. Here, I threw in some leftover cajun chicken from another night, along with some bits of vegetables, and of course rice cakes for a lazy weeknight dinner.

I’ve been busy learning CSS today, because #quarantinelife lol, and also I decided to not buy a premium them and build my own.. (is that a wise decision, I don’t want to think about it right now haha). Hence why here’s another 15-min meal. I do love my express cooking on days like this 🙈

Shanghai-style stir fried rice cakes

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2 people


  • Portion of fresh rice cakes bought at the Chinese supermarket
  • Chicken thigh or breast sliced
  • 3 Shiitake mushrooms soaked, sliced and stem removed
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Clove of garlic finely chopped
  • Slice of ginger finely chopped
  • Spring onions roughly chopped
  • Pak choi leaves roughly chopped


  • Soak the rice cakes in warm water for a bit to soften if taken straight out the fridge. If they’re dried, they will need to soak overnight.
  • Marinade the chicken in a splash of soy sauce and set aside.
  • Fry off the garlic and ginger in a hot pan and then add in the chicken to cook.
  • Once the chicken is browned, add in the pak choi and other sliced vegetables and give them a quick stir.
  • Now add in the rice cakes, along with the oyster and soy sauces, sugar and chicken stock. Combine thoroughly.
  • Cover with a lid and let everything cook for around 3-5mins.
  • Once the rice cakes are softened, it’s ready to eat! Adjust seasoning according to taste and enjoy.


It started as a little side hobby, documenting travel experiences and food that I made at home, and now it's my life and my job... life is weird like that!

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