A typical Chinese New Year feast will feature dumplings, noodles, rice balls and nian gao, or rice cakes.
Diana Kuan is a fan of the latter for their chewy texture. In her new cookbook, “Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces From Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make With Them,” out Tuesday on the holiday, the Brooklyn-based food writer and culinary instructor shares a recipe for fresh rice cakes stir-fried with vegetables and spicy XO sauce. “They are an addictive entree alongside other dishes at the table, or just eaten on their own,” she writes.
Stir-fried rice cakes with zucchini, mushrooms and XO sauce
Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal
- 8 oz. fresh rice cakes
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 large zucchini, cut into half-moons about 1/2 inch thick
- 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup XO sauce
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar
1. Soak the rice cakes in room-temperature water for 2 hours or according to package directions. Drain.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 2 tbsp. of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the garlic, ginger and shallot and stir-fry just until aromatic, about 20 seconds. Add the zucchini and shiitake mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil and the rice cakes and stir-fry until they start to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the stock or broth, cover the wok or skillet with a lid, and let steam until the rice cakes have softened and most of the liquid is gone, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and add the rice wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula if any of the rice cakes have gotten stuck to the bottom. Add the cabbage, XO sauce and rice vinegar. Stir so that everything in the pan gets evenly coated and cook for another 1 minute. Adjust the seasoning with salt if needed. Transfer to a plate and serve.
Reprinted from “Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces From Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make With Them” by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019, Diana Kuan.