Tummy-warming nian gao duk (rice cakes) with pork

I learned this from my mother, who was taught it by her mother and her mother before her, and so.

This is Chinese home cooking that delivers maximum comfort. It has become a favorite in my family and others with whom we have shared the dish.

You must remember to add plenty of Wok Chi to this one. It takes many attempts to be able to find your own personality in this wonderful and simple dish… but find it you will… and when you do, it will become part of your comfort food too.


  • 1 pack of Chinese or Korean rice cakes
  • 1 small pork tenderloin
  • Pork marinade (click here for this)
  • 1 medium napa cabbage
  • Around 8 dried shitake mushrooms
  • Up to a cup of chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 slice (coin) of ginger
  • Vegetable oil


  • A large wok
  • Large wok spatula (or big wooden spoon)


  1. Remove the stems from the shitake mushrooms and rehydrate in a couple of cups of warm water. (Keep the liquid for later.) You’ll need a while to fully rehydrate them, so this can be done well in advance.
  2. Soak the rice cakes in a bowl of water while you prepare the other ingredients. You will need to separate and drain them before cooking them.
  3. Slice the pork into thin strips, say 2” by ⅛” and marinade for around 15 minutes or more.
  4. Slice the mushrooms into thin strips.
  5. Cut the napa cabbage in two, removing the ends, and shred (¼” slivers).
  6. Heat the wok to medium heat and drizzle in a couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil.
  7. Add the ginger slice and then the pork, increasing the heat to high to get a good sear. If the meat doesn’t look dark enough, add a little extra dark soy sauce. Do not overcook the pork. Set aside.
  8. Clean and dry the wok and return to the stove to re-heat.
  9. Add two more teaspoons of oil. Saute the mushrooms (about 3 minutes).
  10. Making sure the heat is low, add the napa cabbage being careful not to singe the edges. Stir cabbage and mushrooms together. Spread the mixture around the wok to make a “bed” (so that when you add the rice cakes, they do not touch the surface of the wok).
  11. Carefully, and lovingly, add the rice cakes.
  12. Drizzle the oyster sauce on top of the rice cakes.
  13. Place the pork on top of the rice cakes (you now have three layers).
  14. Add around ½ cup of the shitake mushroom water and ½ cup of chicken broth. Maybe a little more of each.
  15. Cover the wok, turn the heat to high and, once it is bubbling, reduce to a low heat. Keep it covered for 15 minutes.
  16. Finally, integrate all the ingredients. The liquid should have thickened. Season to taste and serve immediately.

What you should know

Re: Tummy-warming nian gao duk (rice cakes)with pork

I love this recipe and I am making it tonight!

Re: Tummy-warming nian gao duk (rice cakes)with pork

Great recipe. This was easier than it looks on paper. All in it took about an hour.

15 minutes prep
20 minutes cooking
20 minutes anxious waiting for it to be done.

The picture of the final product is posted above.

Re: Tummy-warming nian gao duk (rice cakes)with pork

I have had this dish in a Chinese restaurant and loved it. It looks like fin to make too. Any idea where to get all the ingredients. They don’t have rice ckae in my supermarket.

Re: Tummy-warming nian gao duk (rice cakes) with pork