Rice Cakes with Chili Paste, Fermented Black Bean, and Sichuan Peppercorn

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

About the author: Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.

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Rice Cakes with Chili Paste, Fermented Black Bean, and Sichuan Peppercorn

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:20 minutes
Special equipment:wok, nonstick skllet
This recipe appears in: Updated Rice Cakes, Inspired by Mission Chinese Food
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried, fresh, or frozen rice cakes, either oval or cylindrical
  • 1 link lop cheung (Chinese sausage), cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 5 ounces baby bok choy, peeled into individual leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried fermented black beans, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • 3 tablespoons cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves

Procedures

  1. 1

    If using dried rice cakes, soak the rice cakes in water the night before. Drain and set aside.

  2. 2

    Add sausage to a dry wok or skillet and heat over high heat, stirring constantly until fat begins to render. Continue cooking until sausage is slightly browned on the outside. (A few charred cubes are okay). Remove sausage from wok with a slotted spoon, retaining the fat.

  3. 3

    Return the wok to high heat until smoking. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring constantly until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.

  4. 4

    Add vegetable oil to wok and return to low heat. Add chili paste and fermented black beans and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the rice cakes and stir to coat evenly.

  5. 5

    Add the soy sauce and 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Cover the wok or skillet with a lid and let rice cakes soften in the liquid, 1 to 3 minutes depending on the brand, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove the lid and keep stirring, until all the liquid is gone.

  6. 6

    Return the sausage and bok choy back to the wok and stir to mix. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with peppercorns, scallions, and cilantro.

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