Simple Spare Ribs with Rice Cakes

Eating rice cakes is a Chinese New Year tradition among many Chinese families, because rice cakes (年糕”nian gao”) signifies “increasing prosperity year after year”.

Chinese New Year has arrived, why not make some spare ribs with rice cakes and share the good wishes among your family? The ribs are so tender and easily detached from the bones, while the sticky rice cakes make the texture more interesting. The best thing is, you only need a rice cooker!

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

250g spare ribs

  • 150g rice cakes
  • 1tbs cooking wine
  • 1-1.5 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1tsb each sugar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce
  • drizzle of sesame oil
  • 2-3 pieces garlic cloves(halved or minced)
  • 2-3 green onions (cut into strips)
  • white sesame seeds to garnish


  1. Rinse pork spare ribs with cold running water until the water becomes clean.
  2. Add seasoning ingredients to spare ribs, mix everything,marinade the ribs for 1/2 hour
  3. Transfer ribs to rice cooker. Add rice cakes, mix with ribs. Add water to just cover all ingredients.
  4. Let it go through “plain rice” process, all you need to do is to wait. The ribs should be shiny, sauce thick and sticky , rice cakes soft when it’s done.

Sprinkle chopped spring onions just to beautify it. Serve immediately.

Who else likes rice cakes? The chewy texture is simply addictive.

The rib itself, so tender and flavorful. I was eating one piece after another without knowing how many pieces I had. Guilty pleasure indeed.


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