Shanghai Stir Fried Rice Cake
Hi all --
Looking for Shanghai stir fried rice cake in Los Angeles. See photo for clarification (I do not own the photo). Preferably a place west of the 5, but any suggestions in San Gabriel and Monterey Park would be great.
I'm looking for other options because I had it at Emperor Noodle and loved it.
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You can find this dish pretty much in any Shanghai-style restaurant. Ipsedixit has a pretty good list of some restaurants.
With the disclaimer that I last visited in 2009, I thought the one at Shanghai Restaurant in Focus Plaza 2nd floor was excellent, and had the best texture of almost any of the places I've been (other food was good, but this dish in particular stood out here). You could also try Shanghai Yu Yuan (Yu Garden) on Valley. In Shanghai, niangao can be purchased freshly cut (using a guillotine type device). As best I know, none of the places here use freshly cut niangao, but I'd be interested if someone has information saying otherwise. Even so, the texture is very important - it shouldn't be either too mushy or too hard, and I think it shouldn't be too chalky either. I think Din Tai Fung gets the flavor right, but not so much the texture.
In addition to the style that's pictured above, I also recommend trying the version with jìcài (荠菜; shepherd's purse), which usually has pork strips and / or bamboo shoots in it. Jicai is very common in Shanghainese cooking, and even though it isn't usually easily available fresh here, this is a variant I like quite a bit (even ordered vegetarian, without the meat). Some places, like Chang's Garden, do this version with xuecai instead of jicai. I don't know where has a good rendition, but I also like it in a soup with napa cabbage.