The Informal Chef: Super Moist

Carrot cake recipe Chinese


IMG_0691Today, I have prepared some radish cake but the simpler hawker version. As we all know, hawker version radish cake will not have anything fanciful… Just very simple radish, flour and seasoning.. I believed that is the most basic of this cake.

There is no changes in the recipe.. Just ignore the meat portion and proceed the batter portion. Steam and deep fry or air fry.

INTRODUCTION

Some families in Singapore and Malaysia do prepare this snack during Chinese New Year and is considered as it is considered as an auspicious dish. I should have prepared this earlier, during the Chinese New Year period, but I have hold it until today because my house is full of “foods” from Chinese New Year festival. However, I believed that it is better to be late than never. Radish cake is not a difficult cake to prepare. In fact, it is very easy as you shall read in the instructions.

As inferred from its name, the main ingredient is radish (or colloquially know as white carrot). It is also called turnip cake. Rice flour is added to bind the ingredients together. In order to have a better binding, a small quantity of corn starch or 澄粉 are added.

There are many types of radish cakes and this post is sharing a Hong Kong version of radish cake, the type of radish cake that have minced meat, Chinese sausages, mushrooms, dry shrimps and etc. Unlike the Singaporean and Malaysian version of radish cake, the radish cake in Singapore and Malaysia are mostly plain (with only radish and flour) and usually served by stir frying with dried radish (菜脯 or cai poh), eggs and spring onions. Another type of serving is to stir fry the plain radish cake with black sweet dark soya sauce and dried radish.

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This radish cake is flavourful. It is considered as a complete cake after steaming. However, in order to make it more aromatic, at times, the cake was cut into thin slices, coat with eggs and shallow fry before servings.

As per Wikipedia:

“Turnip cake (simplified Chinese: 萝卜糕; traditional Chinese: 蘿蔔糕; Jyutping: lobaakgou) is a Chinese dim sum dish made of shredded radish (typically Chinese radish or daikon) and plain rice flour. The less commonly used daikon cake is a more accurate name, in that Western-style turnips are not used in the dish; it is sometimes also referred to as radish cake, and is traditionally called carrot cake in Singapore. It is commonly served in Cantonese yum cha and is usually cut into square-shaped slices and sometimes pan-fried before serving. Each pan-fried cake has a thin crunchy layer on the outside from frying, and soft on the inside. The non-fried version is soft overall. It is one of the standard dishes found in the dim sum cuisine of Hong Kong, China, and overseas Chinatown restaurants. It is also commonly eaten during Chinese New Year, since radish (菜頭, chhài-thâu) is a homophone for “good fortune” (好彩頭, hó-chhái-thâu) in Hokkien. In Taiwan, turnip cake is also commonly eaten as part of a breakfast.” (Source:

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For this illustration, since a lot of families have a lot of pork jerky left (bak kwa) from the Chinese New Year festivals, I have replaced half of the Chinese sausages quantity with the Chinese pork jerky. The taste is equally delicious. I have also coated the radish cakes with eggs and also stir fry in a way that was commonly sold in the Singaporean and Malaysian hawker centre.

WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Lok Bak Ko

Servings: A 10 inches diameter round steaming tin (at least 10-15 person)

  • 1/4 cup of Chinese sausages (腊肠) (into small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup of Chinese pork jerky (肉干)(into small pieces) *
  • 1/8 cup of red carrot (julienned) (红萝卜) – for colouring *
  • 1/4 cup of minced meat (肉碎) *
  • 1/4 cup of winter mushroom (冬菇)(soaked and into small pieces)*
  • 1/8 cup of baby shrimps or dried shrimps (虾米)(soaked and pound)
  • 1/8 cup of white end of spring onion (or garlics) (青葱) (cut into small pieces)
  • Some green end of spring onion (青葱)
  • Some red chilli (cut into small pieces) (红辣椒)*

* Optional. For Chinese sausage and pork jerky, it is substitutable.

  • 500 grams of daikon (白萝卜)or radish julienned into thin and small pieces
  • 400 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 50 grams of corn starch /wheat starch(澄粉 或 玉米粉)
  • 2 teaspoons of white pepper (胡椒粉)
  • 2 big tablespoons of chicken stock (鸡精块)(or 2 cubes of chicken stock) – or other types of seasonings preferred
  • 1200 ml of water (清水)

STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pour the water into a big mixing bowl. Add chicken stock or chicken cubes. I have used one tablespoon of liquid chicken stock and another one cube of solid chicken stock.. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In another big bowl, put rice flour, corn starch and 1 teaspoon of white pepper. Make a well in the centre. Pour the chicken stock into the flour, stir using a hand whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  • Lightly greased your preferred tin for steaming. As an extra precaution, I have put a piece of baking paper to facilitate unmoulding. In a frying pan, sauté the white portion of spring onion until fragrant.
  • Add in the ingredients in this order : white pepper, mushrooms, baby shrimps/pounded dried shrimps, minced meat, red carrot. Stir fry until fragrant. Add in the julienned radish. Stir fry until well mixed.

  • Add in the rice flour solution prepared earlier. Stir fry until well combined and the rice solution starts to thicken. It is considered as ready when you can put a spoon upright in the centre of the mixture. Be extra careful as the thickening of rice flour can be rather fast. Transfer the half cooked batter to the steaming tin. Press it as compact as possible and avoid trapping of air. Steam in a steamer for at least 45 minutes to one hour or when a skewer inserter into the steamed cake comes out cleaned. The batter will solidify when fully cooked though it can be still soft in the centre.
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