Nian Gao (Stir-Fried Sticky Rice Cakes) Recipe

Chewy rice cakes add texture to this simple Chinese stir-fry.
Stir-Fried Sticky Rice Cakes (Nian Gao) Recipe
Photo by Alice Gemignani 

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


1 pound|500 grams fresh or frozen rice cakes, thinly sliced diagonally
3 ½ ounces|100 grams streaky bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
7 ounces|200 grams Napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 ounces|100 grams shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 ounces|150 grams carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces|150 grams zucchini, thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces|80 grams zha cai (Chinese pickled vegetables)
2 teaspoons Chinese cooking wine
granulated sugar, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice cakes and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain and cool.
  2. Heat a wok over high. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Add the vegetables, cooking wine, and a pinch of sugar and cook quickly until crisp, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice cakes and bacon and cook for 2 minutes more. Season with salt and sesame oil and serve immediately.

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