Shanghai Shrimp with Rice Cake (Chao Nian Gao)

This is a dish that I often used to order at Din Tai Fung in LA. Along with their rightfully famous xiaolongbao. I had tried it a few times in China, but not with shrimp.


After tracking down the rice cakes (who knew there were so many types and shapes), it was a bit of a learning curve to figure our how to prep them for the wok. 
I finally settled on boiling them in water with a splash of fish sauce. The big take away, was it only took about 2 minutes for them to cook and they were done when they floated. Additionally once you drain them and start stir frying everything else, they tend to stick together, but quickly release once they hit the wok.
3 Tbsp Vegetable oil 
1 cup Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced 
2 cups Bok Choy, hard ends removed and cubed and sliced
2 Green Onion, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces. 
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups Rice Cake, see note. 
10-12 large raw Shrimp, cleaned and peeled, tails intact. 
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
Sauce Mixture:
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce 
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Black Vinegar
1 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tsp Sugar 
Heat pan with vegetable oil, add green onion, garlic, shiitake and bok choy and stir fry until they wilt. 
Add rice cake and stir fry until the rice cakes are cooked through and flexible Add shrimp and stir fry until shrimp just curl. Add a splash of Shaohsing wine to deglaze the wok and then add your sauce mixture and stir fry until rice cakes are soft. Serve with steamed vegetables. 


Note: If rice cakes are dried or vacuum packed, they will need soaking for three hours. For a faster method, cook for 2 minutes in boiling broth or until they float. Drain and reserve.

Pan Pizza, quick and easy.

There are so many options to make your own pizza. I really enjoy my 72 hour cold proof pizza dough, but sometimes I want something faster.

The pizza dough in this recipe is more like a focaccia texture, but that makes it perfect for a pan pizza. It is a recipe from the amazing Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. It is from his book “My Bread”.

3 3/4 cups/500 grams Bread Flour
2 1/2 tsp Instant or Active Dry Yeast
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Sugar
1 1/3 cups/300 grams Water, at room temperature. 
2 Tbsp Olive Oil 
Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl, slowly add your water and mix well with a spoon or spatula until well mixed. About 1 minute. Cover and allow to rise for two hours. 
Turn it out onto a floured surface and form into a ball and allow to rise for another 30 minutes covered with a damp cloth. 
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Once the dough has finished its second proof, oil a half sheet pan well and gently stretch the dough into a loaf shape and place the dough into the pan and use your fingers to stretch it into a thin even layer and a little bit of thicker crust around the edges.
Add whatever ingredients you desire and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until well browned. Slide it onto a cutting board, and slice into squares. 
Note: The pizza above with Parma Ham, Mozzarella and Arugula was particularly good.