Shanghai Cai Fan

This Shanghaiese staple, Shanghai Cai Fan, is sure to bring back fond memories. Just like Hong Shao Rou (Red Cooked Pork) or Shanghai Soup Dumplings, this dish is an integral part of Shanghainese cuisine.

My grandma always put a heaping helping of grease into this dish. Pork fat was considered a valuable commodity back then. Thus, it was often kept for later use.

Lard isn’t something most people keep on hand for cooking, but if you insist on using it, I won’t hold it against you. Even without the pork fat, this classic Shanghainese one-pot dish has its own, and it’s a lot healthier with just a touch of vegetable oil.


  • 1/2 lb of finely chopped baby bok choy
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of diced salted cured pork
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of pork lard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger


  1. Let the rice sit in a clay pot with 1 1/4 cups of water for 45 minutes to an hour. After the pork has been soaked, sprinkle on some salt and add a tablespoon of fat. Cover the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
  2. One tablespoon of oil should be heated in a wok over medium heat while the rice is coming to a boil. Caramelize the ginger that has been finely chopped and add it. Then, add the bok choy and stir-fry until it has wilted. Shut off the furnace.
  3. After the water boils, cover the saucepan, and simmer on low heat for 8 minutes. Take the lid off the rice and add the cooked bok choy on top without pouring in any cooking liquid. Keep it at a low boil for another five minutes. Serve!
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