萝卜糕 Turnip Cake

Happy Lunar New Year! Sharing some inspirations for your CNY meal! Turnip cake (萝卜糕) is a traditional Chinese dish commonly found at dim sum restaurants. Unlike those fancy-looking dim sum such as taro dumplings and animal-shaped steamed buns (more recent phenomenon), turnip cake doesn’t look too pretty. But it is still one of my favourite dim sum dishes.

The crispy crust and tender center, as well as layers of flavours from daikon radish & Chinese sausages … you really have to try it to understand its unique beauty! With this recipe, you can make authentic turnip cakes that taste better than those served at dim sum restaurants!

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Ingredients (serves 4-6):
  • 450g peeled, shredded daikon radish
  • 70g Chinese sausage
  • 20g dried shrimp
  • 3-4 dried scallops, mini sized (optional)
  • 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 110g rice flour
  • 10g wheat starch
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 180-240g water

Prep: Rehydrate shiitake mushrooms in water. Soak dried shrimp & dried scallops with water and a dash of Shaoxing wine until they are softened. Chop mushrooms (squeeze water out). Shred softened scallops. 

Combine rice flour and wheat starch, pour a portion of the water (around 150 ml), stir and mix. The batter is smooth and thin.

Heat about 1/2 tsp in a non-stick pan, add chopped Chinese sausage, mushrooms softened dry shrimps, shredded scallops, stir-fry over medium heat until fat is rendered from sausage, about 4 minutes. Transfer everything to a plate.

Add daikon radish and sugar to the pan, cook over medium-low heat until radish is softened. Then return cooked sausage, etc. to the pan, combine with radish.

Add oyster sauce, ground pepper & salt to taste (you can actually taste it), then remove from heat. 

Pour in the rice flour batter, quickly stir and combine with other ingredients. The mixture should be thick but moist. Add more water if it’s too dry. If there is too much liquid, cook over low heat to thicken it. 

Transfer mixture to a greased contained, slightly press down with a spatula. Cover container with aluminum foil, then place container into a steamer with plenty of water, cook over high heat for 45-50 minutes, until inserted chopstick comes out clean. Let cool completely, refrigerate for hours or overnight before demolding.

To serve: cut turnip cake into slices. Heat oil in a pan, cook turnip cakes over medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Serve immediately. 

You won’t believe how easy it is to make copycat dishes until you try 🙂



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