Easy Stir-Fried Rice Cakes with XO Sauce

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easy stir fried rice cakes xo sauce
Diana Kuan/Red Hot Kitchen

There’s nothing quite like Asian rice cakes. (Chewy, sticky, sweet vehicles for more sauce? Count us in.) And surprisingly, they’re actually pretty easy to make at home.

“I often crave chewy rice cakes, also known as nian gao in Mandarin,” explains Diana Kuan, author of Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces from Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make with Them. “You can find fresh rice cakes in Chinese or Korean grocery stores, usually in the refrigerated section near the fresh noodles and tofu.”

And like tofu, these rice cakes absorb the flavors that surround them, so the sauce is extra important. In Kuan’s recipe, they’re stir-fried with flavorful XO sauce (which you can grab at the Asian market too). Serve this addictive entrée with simple steamed bok choy or broccoli, or just eat a heaping plate of it on its own.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 large zucchini, cut into half-moons about ½ inch thick

12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced

8 ounces fresh Asian rice cakes, soaked according to package instructions

⅓ cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

2 cups shredded cabbage

¼ cup XO sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar



1. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the shallot, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry just until aromatic, about 20 seconds. Add the zucchini and shiitake mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the rice cakes. Stir-fry until they start to turn golden, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the stock, cover the wok or skillet with a lid and let steam until the rice cakes have softened and most of the liquid is gone, about 3 minutes. Uncover and add the rice wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula if any of the rice cakes are 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 1 minute more.

4. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed. Transfer to a plate and serve.

Nutrition Facts
  • 403 calories 

  • 13g fat

  • 63g carbs

  • 9g protein

  • 0g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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