Shanghai-Style Rice Cake w. Pickled Mustard Green(上海雪菜炒年糕)

I admit that my limited knowledge on Shanghainese food does not make me a creditable person to write about this topic. But my unparalleled fascination with this cuisine makes it irresistible to not offer my 2 cents. From the drunken chicken to the stinky tofu to the more popular juicy soup dumplings, my every trip to a local Shanghainese restaurant has been a discovery of more exciting dishes.

To define Shanghaiese food is no easy task. This newly established cuisine (relatively speaking) was in fact born out of the influences of multiple surrounding cuisines. Through years of refinement, today’s Shanghai cuisine is known for its sweet, sour, and winy taste profile. Being a stubborn spicy food eater, I was pretty suprised by the fact that I am happy with most of the Shanghainese dishes I have sample so far.

I only started to cook Shanghainese food recently, mainly on the simple homemade dishes so far. This stir fried Rice Cake is one of them. Rice cake is no delicacy but it’s one of the dishes I have ordered repeated from different restaurants. The rice cake is prepared in dozen ways at each restaurant and they are all super tasty. Out of all the variations I especially like the dish that uses pickled mustard green, which adds some salty and sour flavors to balance out rice cake’s blandness.

This recipe was from a Chinese Cooking show I came across a while ago. I added some fresh soybeans (edamame) as an experiment and it worked out great. For a different style, you can substitute pickled mustard green with napa, broccoli, or vegetables of your choice. Also you can add seafood or eliminate meat to make it vegetarian. Some variations also use soy sauce as seasoning.

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Shanghai-Style Rice Cake w. Pickled Mustard Green- Ingredients

16 oz Rice cake, sliced

4 oz Pork, shredded and marinade.

3 tbsp Perseved mustard green

2 tbsp Soybeans(edamame), precooked (optional)

1 tbsp Ginger, chopped

1/2 cup stock or water

½ tsp Ground hite pepper

½ tsp sesame oil



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Shanghai-Style Rice Cake w. Pickled Mustard Green – Step By Step

1.Cut and marinate the pork. This step can be done in advance.

2.Over medium heat, stir fry your pork with 1 tbsp of oil. Take it out as soon as the pork turns white.

3.This step is to soften the rice cake to make it easier to stir fry. You can either blanche it in boiling water for about 2 minutes or soak in hot water for 2.5 mins until the rice cake starts to turn soft. drain out the water and keep the rice cake in a strainer. Try to avoid blanching or soaking the rice cake for too long. If it’s too soft it will be sticky and hard to stir fry.

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4.In a skillet or pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, ginger, pickled mustard green, and soybeans. Stir fry until aroma arise. About 2 minutes.

5.Add the stock or water to the cooking ingredients. Stir to mix. Bring it to boil.

6.Add blanched rice cake and pre-cooked pork. Saute until incorporated. The liquid will reduce as the rice cake gets softer.  Add white pepper powder, salt, a few drops of sesame oil to season.

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What’s your favorite rice cake dish?


  1. This looks wonderful. I made pickled mustard greens from my garden last summer; can’t wait to try this but have to find some rice cakes. Thank you

  2. I’ve been eating this dish at restaurants for many many years and tried to replicate it at home several years ago. I’ve never had success with the package directions on softening and cooking with the rice cakes, so I’m so happy to find this. (Your recipe appears to be THE only recipe of this dish on the internet!) I tried it this weekend and had complete success! Thanks!

    Your steps on marinading the meat were “direction-less” (I hoped for specific quantities) so I improvised and was very pleased with the results. I used sherry, ground ginger, fresh chopped ginger and garlic , soy sauce, a bit of salt, sugar, water, and cornstarch.

    • Hey terri, I am glad that you’ve found this recipe somewhat helpful. I really enjoy this dish a lot and like to cook it once in a while. It’s not easy to control the texture of the rice cake so definitely not an easy dish to cook. I am happy to hear that it came out delicious :)

      Yes I agree that the direction on how to marinate the pork is not all spelled out. That’s because everybody marinates their meat differently so I’d rather let you do what you are conformable with. For a basic guideline, you can check out this quick tutorial I wrote (it’s also linked to the original recipe).

      Thanks for your visit and have a great week!

    • oops! No, I found the recipe totally helpful, Yi!

    • Thank you it’s my pleasure!

  3. This looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing with me! I found you on I think!

  4. I was wondering if the rice cakes are gluten-free? I think they are made of rice, but I’m unsure if there is any gluten product in there to make it sticky?

    I am trying to introduce Chinese food to one of my friends but she has Celiac Disease. Thanks!

    • Hi Katherine,
      The plain rice cake itself is made of glutinous rice (sticky rice) and water. According to this glutinous rice is free of gluten. Therefore I’d say that your friend will be fine eating the Chinese rice cake.
      Thanks for the question and I hope your friend will like this dish!

  5. I love this dish! My mom (who was born and raised in Shanghai) cooks it every time I come home, and I always overeat until I am sick. Love the pictures!

  6. wow im drooling..this is def a dish i order from chinese restaurants all the time too! mustard greens go so well with the rice cake…hmmmm! my mum makes the rice cake with chinese cabbage….yummy too!

    • Rice cake is really addictive. In Sichuan and Yunna, rice cake is also grilled on a skewer and served with hot and spicy sauce. Drooling just thinking about it :)

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