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I have some white rice cake. The instructions say to soak it in water overnight, then either fry it or simmer it. I tried part of it simmered some time ago, and didn't like the bland taste. So today I shallow fried some of it. I had soaked enough for two batches. The first batch went in when the oil was at about 190°C. They took a lot time to get ready, and soaked up too much oil in the process, coming out greasy (despite the fact that I packed them in paper as soon as they came out of the pan). For the second batch, the oil had gotten at above 250°C, actually above the smoke point. These cakes puffed up, forming air pockets between the cake body and some kind of thin "skin" on the upper side. The underside fried quickly and well, but when I turned them, the puffed bubbles kept the cakes from contact with the fat, so this side stayed almost unfried.

Is my frying technique wrong? Should I drain the cakes for longer time before frying (they had about 10 minutes of draining now)? Is there an optimal temperature for frying them so they neither get greasy nor puff up?

Edit: I didn't know that there are many kinds of rice cake. Mine are dried. enter image description here

The first one is raw, non-soaked. The second one is from the first batch (greasy, pale). The third one is from the second batch (with the bubble).

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Those are Shanghai Rice Cakes - Nian Gao If you google, you'll find a bunch of recipes for what I think of as the "standard" rice cake dish, with shredded pork and cabbage. In most of them, the soaked/softened rice cakes are added at the end, after all the other ingredients, so they only get lightly fried.

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Assuming you mean soft, fresh rice cakes, they just need a quick stir frying.

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They are too flat and too long for efficient stir-frying. And just shallow frying and turning them once didn't give satisfactory results. –  rumtscho Mar 27 '11 at 19:27
    
Try slicing them up then, into strips, and stir frying with some vegetables. Add the usual soy sauce, rice wine (or dry sherry) and sesame oil for flavour. –  ElendilTheTall Mar 27 '11 at 19:43
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