Rice Cakes With Mixed Vegetables

January 31, 2023

These vegan and vegetarian Chinese rice cakes mixed with vegetables stir-fry is bright and filling.

The Mandarin term for rice cakes is a homonym of two Chinese phrases meaning “upper year,” niángo (or neen goh in Cantonese).

Family gatherings surrounding the Lunar New Year (also known as Spring Festival) often include niángo in one of its various versions because of its growing symbolism in the coming year.

Oyster mushrooms were added to the stir-fry to give it a more meaty taste. Fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms are suitable substitutions. The napa cabbage, the carrots, and the bean sprouts all add a variety of textures.

Even I, a lifelong fan of rice cakes, was astonished that I didn’t crave meat while testing this dish.


  • 1 pound of rice cakes
  • 1 pound of napa cabbage (cut into 1-inch/3cm pieces)
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts separated; cut into 2-inch/5cm lengths)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 1 small carrot (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup of mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup of oyster mushrooms (torn)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetarian oyster sauce or regular oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper


  1. Cook the oil, star anise, ginger slices, and scallion whites in a wok over medium heat. Put the garlic in first, followed by the mushrooms and carrots, and cook for a minute. Cook in a wok for a minute.
  2. Turn the stove up to high. Shaoxing wine and napa cabbage should be added. Adding the rice cakes and water to the pan and continuing to stir-fry until the cabbage is almost completely wilted (approximately 30 seconds). Leave covered for 2 minutes at medium heat.
  3. Take the lid off the wok and give everything a good stir. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the vegetarian oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper. Stir the mixture once more.
  4. Finally, turn the heat up high and add the bean sprouts and the green sections of the scallions.
  5. The rice cakes should be soft but still chewy, and the scallion greens should be just wilted when you add them to the pan for the final minute of stir-frying. Prepare the plates!
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