I was 12, when I had Shanghai style rice cake soup for the first time. It was made by my best friend’s grandmother. She was a very nice and sweet lady. She’d always welcome us with a warm smile and make us food when we were over to hang out. One day, she made this dish for us. My family usually makes rice cake into a sweet dish and I have never had the savory-style rice cake before, but I was blew away by the taste.
Being a kid who loves to cook, I asked if she could teach me how to make this dish after dinner. She felt very happy I liked this dish and showed us how to make it. Now whenever I make this dish myself, it takes me back to the kitchen of my best friend’s grandmother and reminds me of her.
This rice cake soup is a traditional comfort food in certain areas in China and very easy to make. There are only a few main ingredients required. Together with rice cake (I used the sliced Korean rice cakes) , pork and a type of leafy green such as bok choy are typically needed for this dish.
For pork, the loin chops are commonly used. For preparation, it needs to be cut into strips and marinated with cooking wine and salt to add flavor. To start, I gave the pork a quick saute until it is no longer pink and transfer on a plate to set aside.
After I removed the pork from the pan, I added the baby bok choy and mushroom into the pan for stir-frying. If you can’t find baby bok choy in where you live, feel free to substitute it with spinach, cabbage or nappa cabbage (Chinese cabbage). For this recipe, I also added sliced white mushroom to add more flavor and texture.
I added chicken stock (or water if you don’t have chicken stock) into the pan when the vegetables are slightly cooked. When it starts to boil, it’s time to add the previously cooked pork and the rice cakes. Sliced rice cakes are thin and easy to cook. It takes only a few minutes worth of simmering over high heat for them to be ready. When cooked through, the rice cake should be softened but still remains slightly chewy.
I hope you enjoy making this Shanghai-style rice cake soup recipe. Let me know if you have questions, I am here to help. Thank you for stopping by!
- Marinate the pork strips with cooking wine and salt in a container for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large pan, sauté pork over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Stir mushroom slices and baby bok choy into the same pan, stir fry for 2-3 minutes until starting to turn soft.
- Carefully pour chicken stock (or water) into the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add pork, rice cakes and season with salt, give it a gentle stir to mix everything well.
- Covering the pan with a lid, simmer 4-5 minutes over high heat until the rice cakes are soft and cooked through.