Combine the pork (or chicken) with the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, cornstarch, and water. Marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat your wok until it starts to smoke lightly. Over high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, and stir-fry the pork until browned. Remove the pork from the wok and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add 2 more tablespoons oil to the wok, along with the ginger and the white parts of the scallions. Cook for 1 minute and add the carrots. Cook for another minute and add the napa cabbage. Stir fry everything together for a few minutes until the napa cabbage leaves are wilted.
Add 4 cups low sodium chicken stock and 4 cups water. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the thick stems of the napa cabbage are tender.
Add salt to taste, ½ teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon light soy sauce.
Stir in the cooked pork, and sprinkle the rice cakes over the surface of the soup, along with green parts of the scallions. The rice cakes should be resting on top of the soup so they don’t sink into it and stick to the bottom of the wok/pot. Cover and cook for another minute, or as long as it takes to cook the rice cakes through (please see the Recipe Notes if you are using dried rice cakes). Salt to taste again and serve!
Since this recipe requires 8 cups of liquid, keep in mind you’ll need a large wok. If your wok isn’t big enough to accommodate the recipe, you can make it in a large, thick-bottomed pot.The cooking time for rice cakes can vary based on brand, whether the rice cakes were fresh, frozen, or dried to begin with, and how thick or thin they were cut. Cooking time can be anywhere from 1-10 minutes. Fresh rice cakes cook in a minute or two. Frozen rice cakes can be thawed beforehand or thrown into the dish frozen, though they may take an additional couple minutes. Dried rice cakes should be soaked overnight first and may also take a little longer to cook.