This soup is a complete meal by itself, and more importantly it is easy and simple to make. You can always change the kind of vegetable, meat or even go meatless. I made sure that I had veggies, protein (shrimp) and carb (rice cake).

I love the texture of the rice ovaletts or rice cake which is chewy…I got this rice cake at the local Korean grocery, but you can find in almost every Asian grocery store. Rice cake is used in all kind of Asian cuisine


1-2 cups of rice ovaletts
6~7 leaves of napa cabbage
2 medium carrots
½ bunch green onion, finely chopped
4~5 dry shiitake mushroom
Cilantro, finely chopped
1 can chicken broth
½ lb medium shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil


First soak the shiitake mushroom in hot water until soft, slice them and set aside. Wash and chop the napa cabbage and carrot.

Soak the rice cake in cold water for 5 minutes and drain well.

In a deep pot, heat the olive oil and add half of the green onion, sautee slightly, add the chicken broth and 1 to 1 ½ cup of water, let it boil.

Add the carrots and let it boil again. Add the rice cake, let it boil then add the napa cabbage, the mushroom, stir gently, by now the rice cake will be soft.

Add the shrimps and mix gently, until the shrimp turn pink, do not over cook, otherwise the shrimps will be hard. Finally add the remaining green onion and cilantro, stir gently and remove the soup from the heat.

Serve hot.

Did you know that the rice ovaletts are called Niao gao in mandarin, and translate to “year cake” or “Chinese New Year’s cake”? In spite of the name it can be found not only during the celebration of Chinese New Year but through out the year in Asian grocery stores. Moreover, the rice cake is made from glutinous rice.

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