It’s the 1st day of 2017. It is tradition in the Korean culture to eat rice cake soup (tteokguk or ddukgook). Come New Year’s day, my mom always had a piping hot bowl of rice cake soup with dumplings waiting for us at the table. It was comforting and delicious. Now that I live in the San Gabriel Valley, Chinese food has influenced my cooking greatly. The same rice cake ovalettes my mom used in her tteokguk is sautéed in with pork and napa cabbage in many of the local Chinese restaurants. The dish is more commonly known as shanghai-style rice cakes. I’ve always wanted to make this dish and so with the rice cake ovalettes that My mom bought me from the Korean market, I decided to make my version of this dish without the pork. I was pleased with the results and now sharing my recipe with you. The rice cakes are nice and chewy and full umami flavor from the mushrooms and oyster sauce. This recipe cooks quickly so prep all your ingredients in advanced. If you want to make the dish completely vegetarian, they offer a vegetarian version of the oyster sauce at your local Chinese market. Enjoy. (Mom, I saved the other half of the bag for tteokguk later tonight.)
Happy New Year!
Shanghai-Style Sautéed Rice Cakes
Serving size: 4
1 1/2 Tablespoons of oyster sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon of organic soy sauce
1 teaspoon of chili oil*
1 teaspoon of Mirin
Sunflower seed or organic canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces of fresh cremini or shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
Kosher salt, pinch
2 cups of chopped yu choy* or heirloom spinach
12 ounces of rice cake ovalettes*
Freshly grated black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
1 red jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
1. In a small bowl, add the oyster sauce, oyster sauce, chili oil, and Mirin. Stir well with a fork and set aside.
2. In a large pot add 2 quarts of water and bring it to boil. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan or wok to high heat.
Add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 15 seconds
3. Add the mushrooms and pinch of salt and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates, about 3 minutes. The mushrooms will be golden brown. Transfer the cooked mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.
4. In the same pan, on high heat add 1 more Tablespoon of oil. Add the chopped choy. And sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms back to the pan.
5. Meanwhile, to the boiling water, add the rice cakes. Boil for one minute.
6. Using a spider strainer, remove the boiled rice cakes and transfer them to the pan with mushrooms and yu chow.
7. Add the oyster sauce mixture and some freshly grated black pepper.
8. Sauté for one minute until all the rice cakes are coated with the sauce.
9. Add the chopped scallions. Give the rice cakes a quick stir.
10. Transfer to a serving plate and top with sliced red peppers, if using. Serve immediately.
* You can find most of these ingredients at your local Chinese markets.