Sauteed sticky rice cakes

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 8 as a side dish
Sauteed sticky rice cakes
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times )

Prepare the rice cakes: Place the package of frozen rice cakes in a bowl of water until softened and fully defrosted, 1 to 1 ½ hours at room temperature (the cakes can also be placed in the refrigerator to defrost overnight). Remove the cakes from the package and soak them in a bowl of water until the cakes separate from each other, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in enough water to cover until softened, about 40 minutes. Drain the water and dice the mushrooms. Set aside.


Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the Chinese sausage. Boil until the sausage is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the water, slice the sausages on the bias so they are similar in size to the rice cakes. Set aside.


In a large nonstick pan with fairly high sides, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and, stirring frequently, cook until the mushrooms tighten and absorb most of the oil, about 2 minutes.Stir in the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and the cabbage, along with 2 tablespoons of chicken broth, and cook until the cabbage is softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.


Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, along with the rice cakes. Heat the cakes over medium-high heat, gently but constantly stirring so they don’t stick to one another. Drizzle 2 tablespoons broth over the cakes as they heat, constantly stirring. Continue adding broth and stirring until the cakes are softened and warm throughout, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful that the cakes do not stick to each other or the pan; however, a little coloring on the cakes is fine.


Stir the sausage in with the cakes and cook for about 1 minute to heat through. Stir in the soy sauce, chile, oyster sauce and sesame oil, along with the cabbage mixture, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to marry the flavors. Add the pepper and salt if desired, along with the green onion, stirring to combine.


Remove from heat and serve immediately.

The rice cakes, lap cheong and dried black mushrooms are available at Chinese markets.

Jenn Harris is a senior writer for the Food section and is also the fried chicken queen of L.A. She has a BA in literary journalism from UCI and an MA in journalism from USC. Follow her @Jenn_Harris_.
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