Tag: Rice cakes

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

There’s this dumpling house near my mom’s old apartment in Bellevue called Din Tai Fung. It’s a chain, but it’s ok because the dumplings are awesome. We always entrusted our ordering to my little sister, who is the guru of Asian cuisine, and she always ordered the best dishes. If you go, I highly recommend the juicy pork dumplings that are filled with pork and a hot broth, the shrimp and pork shao mai, and some variation of the Shanghai rice cake. These rice cakes are small, oval cakes that I assume are made out of ground rice. They’re delicate and chewy at the same time, and they take on the flavor of whatever sauce they’re cooked in.

Recently I went to Fubonn Supermarket, an Asian market in southeast Portland. I love roaming the aisles of international markets, being astounded by some of the things you can find, and excited when you happen upon an ingredient that you love but have never been able to find before.

You can imagine my delight when I happened upon a bag of dried rice cakes, and they were roughly $2 for a pound. So… that’s a thing. I immediately grabbed a bag, and it sat on our shelf for a few days while I tried to figure out what to do with them. (Then they sat on the shelf a couple days longer when I forgot to start soaking them the night before we wanted to make them, so we had to whip up something else for dinner instead.)

I believe you can also get frozen and fresh rice cakes, but with my dried ones, I soaked them overnight before I made them. But they were easy to use, and delicious, and I recommend getting your hands on some as soon as you can to start experimenting! I stir fried mine with some bok choy and shiitakes, and it was delicious.

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes


3 Tbl canola oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
8 oz rice cakes, soaked overnight if dried, thawed if frozen
2 heads baby bok choy, rinsed
8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced into 1/3-inch strips
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-3 tsp Sriracha
1-3 tsp brown sugar


More optional additions: bean sprouts, napa cabbage, other mushrooms, fish sauce, pork, beef, shrimp.

In a large wok or nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté until fragrant and starting to brown, about one minute. Add the rice cakes, bok choy, and mushrooms and cook until the bok choy is wilted. If your rice cakes aren’t quite soft enough (remember though, you want them to be a little chewy), add about 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover for a few minutes to steam a bit. Once the mushrooms are cooked through and the bok choy is wilted, add the soy sauce, sriracha, and brown sugar to taste. Start with less sriracha and brown sugar, and taste a lot! I found that I wanted a larger amount of brown sugar because of the saltiness of the soy sauce, and Jonah wanted more Sriracha (obviously). Cook, stirring, until all the rice cakes and vegetables are thoroughly coated and the liquid of the soy sauce has cooked off. Enjoy with teriyaki salmon or Korean short ribs (like we did).

Restaurant Review: Double Dragon

Double Dragon

A few weeks ago, my co-worker Kelly (who is also a big foodie) told me about this restaurant by our office, the Double Dragon. He said they had awesome bahn mi sandwiches for lunch. So the following week, Jonah and I went to get lunch there with our co-worker Sarah. I had the pork belly bahn mi, which was delicious. Now, let me say that I am not usually a sandwich person. There is usually just too much bread and all the fillings squeeze out as you eat it and it can just be a big mess. I’m a fan of silverware. But this bread was so good – like a baguette but really light and the crust was more crispy than crusty. I don’t know what they did to it, but it was awesome. The pork belly was wonderfully cooked and just melted in my mouth, and the whole thing was topped with aioli, jalapeno, and pickled carrot and daikon. It was awesome.

So when Little Green Pickle invited me to the celebration at Double Dragon to welcome their new expanded menu (after 5 pm) and cocktails (yum), I was more than happy to show up, eat some food, and drink some drinks. The party was open to the public, so I was happy to bring Jonah and our roommate Mac along. It was a beautiful day in Portland, and the picnic tables outside were packed. Here’s what we ate (and drank):

Run Castro Run at Double Dragon
Miso Disco Fries at Double Dragon

Double Dragon

While Mac and Jonah both got the IPA on tap, I decided to try the Run Castro Run, a cocktail with tequila, pineapple, jalapeno agave, egg white, and angostura bitters. It was creamy (thanks egg white) and light, and perfect for a sunny day. We also were gifted an unclaimed cocktail, Double Dragon’s punch, which consisted of gin, lemongrass, ginger, and champagne. It was also really light and refreshing, perfect for a sunny day.

We had a little basket of the miso disco fries, Double Dragon’s take on the every popular poutine. Crispy, perfectly cooked fries, drenched in a miso sausage gravy, and topped with melty queso fresco. These were a really good start, and a more unique version of poutine (which you’ll find on a lot of happy hour menus in Portland) than I’ve had before.

Probably my favorite thing we ate was the rice cakes and Chinese sausage. I don’t know what they did to this dish, but it was awesome. I am a really big fan of this kind of rice cake, and I haven’t found it a lot in Portland. But rather than just being a little chewy, they must have pan fried these, so the edges got a little crispy, which was awesome. And the combination of that with the sliced sausage (which also seemed pan fried and had nice crispy edges) made for a really delicious dish. More bar snack than entree, it’s definitely something I’ll be returning for.

Overall, the food was really good, and the cocktails were really refreshing and light. I will definitely be hitting this place up for a post-work drink and bite. I recommend you do the same.

Rice Cakes (using rice gone wrong)

Rice Cakes
Rice Cakes

Rice Cakes

Sometimes you’re in the kitchen and you have a lot going on and you miss something going wrong. Maybe you accidentally over-salt your pasta or you burn your veggies. There’s a whole (albeit little) chapter in Tamar Adler’s book all about how to save your mistakes. For example, turn those burned veggies into a smoky veggie salad. Or take that over-salted pasta, mix it with some herbs and butter, and make a frittata. The possibilities are endless.

A while ago, Jonah and I made these rice bowls. We doubled the rice recipe, and I must’ve done some math wrong and put in way too much liquid. So, while the rice tasted good, it was definitely a little mushy. After sitting in the fridge sadly for a week, I was thinking of using it to make rice cakes. Jonah reminded me about the “Further Fixes” chapter in An Everlasting Meal, so to the book I went. It kind of told me what I was already thinking of doing, so on I went.

Rice Cakes


roughly 3 cups of overcooked rice
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 leek (if I’d had a whole one, I’d have used it), thinly sliced
salt, pepper
garlic powder
parmesan cheese
olive oil for cooking


I heated up the rice in the microwave, drizzling it with water to kind of re-steam it. If your rice won’t stick together (perhaps it’s not quite as mushy as mine was), feel free to stir an egg into the mix. Stir together the rice, shallot, and leek, and add any seasoning you like. I added a few shakes of garlic powder, probably 1/2-1 tsp salt, and probably 1/4 cup grated parmesan. But none of this has to be exact. Put a bunch of stuff you like in there. I bet chopped sage would’ve been good, as would onion and garlic.

Heat some olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat, form the rice mixture into patties, and cook on each side until golden brown, roughly 3-5 minutes. Add more oil as you need it. You want them to have a nice crispiness on the outside to add some texture.

We ate them alongside some delicious panko-crusted tilapia and roasted broccoli. They would make a great appetizer for a fancier dinner. Also, they would make a delicious breakfast had I put a fried egg on top. Or melted a slice of cheddar. With some breakfast sausage on the side. See, there are so many uses for botched food! Now go mess up some rice.