my mom didn’t have time to make delicious food for me, but she gave me a pack of nian gao (chinese rice cakes?) to bring back. so first we tried making it the way my mom makes it. this is the white rice cake kind of nian gao not the sweet brown kind we eat at chinese new year’s (both are very delicious).
mom’s nian gao
some nian gao (like half a pack?)
some chinese mushrooms, soaked and chopped
at least 1/2 head napa, chopped
3-4 oz lean pork, sliced thin
a little chicken broth
some green onions, possibly ginger/onions, chopped up
1. soak the nian gao in water overnight.
2. marinate the pork with some soy sauce, pepper, wine.
3. stir fry the pork with ginger/onions if you have them.
4. when the pork’s not quite done, put in the mushrooms.
5. then put in the napa.
6. then put in the nian gao and green onions with a little chicken broth.
7. cover, stir, cover, stir
8. when nian gao is soft, it’s done (5 minutes or less). can add soy sauce if needed.
comments: whenever i ask my mom for her recipes, it’s kinda hard to figure out the amounts since she doesn’t measure things. anyway, i really like my mom’s nian gao because it’s really simple, has good light flavors, and is really delicious. of course, ours didn’t taste like mom’s. but it was still pretty good. ours came out a little watery – i guess too much chicken broth.
with the other half of the nian gao pack, i tried looking for a recipe for the shanghai nian gao, but i only found some recipes for shanghai noodles, but those weren’t really like how i remember shanghai nian gao or noodles. i just went on my memory, but it turned out pretty good!
nian gao (kinda shanghai style)
nian gao (about half pack?)
choy sum, cut into 2″ pieces
pork, sliced thin (maybe .5 lb.)
dark soy sauce
white mushrooms, sliced
green onions?? (i can’t remember)
1. soak nian gao overnight.
2. marinate pork with dark soy sauce, wine (maybe pepper?).
3. stir fry the pork (be more generous with the veggie oil)
4. when the pork is almost cooked, add the mushrooms
5. add the choy sum
6. add the nian gao and green onions. add more dark soy sauce if needed?
comments: this actually turned out really tasty even though i can’t remember exactly how we cooked it. for me, the main thing about shanghai nian gao is the dark soy sauce and oil sauce. i think i’ve had it with spinach, but choy sum was on sale and tasted good. the white mushrooms were on sale too, so i just added them, and they were happy as they soaked up the tasty sauce. this one isn’t as light as my mom’s and it’s got some stronger flavors. both are great!