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With Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this Shanghai Style Rice Cake Stir Fry recipe. It’s a classic Chinese recipe that typically involves some kind of protein, Asian vegetables and a soy based sauce. Chinese rice cake stir fry flavours vary by region and even by country! For example, there is a very similar Korean dish with slightly different flavours involved. This is a vegan and gluten free recipe inspired by the decade of my life I spent growing up in Shanghai.
Although you can absolutely enjoy a rice cake stir fry any time of year, it is commonly enjoyed around Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year time because rice cakes (nian gao/年糕) symbolize good fortune and prosperity. In fact, the literal translation of the Chinese is “year cake”. If you ever attend a traditional Chinese New Year dinner, expect a steaming plate of sliced rice cake stir fry!
This Shanghai Style Rice Cake Stir Fry recipe is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and nut free. It’s easier to make than you might think, and comes together in one pan.
How to Make Chinese Stir-Fried Rice Cakes
Soak your dry sliced rice cakes in cool water to loosen and soften them. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and whisk together your sauce ingredients.
In a wok or large frying pan, sauté garlic, mushrooms and crumbled tempeh with half of your stirfry sauce.
Add the remaining vegetables, napa cabbage and bok choy and sauté again.
Drain your rice cakes and add them to the pan along with vegetable broth, then cover and let soften for a few minutes. Finally, add remaining sauce, sauté and enjoy.
Vegan Chinese Stirfry Sauce
Our vegan Chinese stirfry sauce is a modified version of the classic. It’s also gluten free, and can be made refined sugar free. We’ll be using gluten free soy sauce, which I find to be best for flavour, a vegan and gluten free oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch or arrowroot flour and sherry wine in place of Shaoxing wine. Shaoxing wine can be a tricker ingredient to find, and it also contains gluten, but sherry wine makes a great substitute! In place of gluten free soy sauce, you can use liquid aminos or coconut aminos, but keep in mind the flavour will change slightly.
Where to Find Chinese Rice Cakes
If you’re wondering where to find Chinese rice cakes, I’d recommend checking out a Chinese grocery store or general Asian grocery store. If your area has a Chinatown, you can also look to see if fresh sliced rice cakes are available. Most often though, Korean grocery stores will be your best bet. You can find packages of dried sliced rice cakes in the refrigerated section and you’ll just want to make sure they’re gluten free. The ingredients should only be rice or rice flour, but some brands may add wheat flour so it never hurts to double check.
What Vegetables For Chinese Stir Fry?
You can customize the vegetables you use, and traditionally vegetables will vary by region and season. Here are a few common vegetables for Chinese stir fry:
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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