Chinese New Year Turnip cake recipe
Yes, it is cake again following the last recipe on Water Chestnut Cake, from which you may check out why cakes are so welcomed during the Chinese New Year. Actually this turnip cake or radish cake (Law Bak Gou 蘿蔔糕) is not only popular for the Festival but it is also one of the famous dim sum here in Hong Kong, served either steamed or pan fried throughout the year.
I particularly love to make this cake during winter when the turnips are most juicy and sweet. Like the Water Chestnut Cake, this can also be prepared in advanced and be stored in fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, allowing me to serve my family and friends any time they are ready to be my guests during the holidays. Happy!
- 2kg turnip (white radish)
- 300g rice flour
- 50g corn starch
- 2 pcs Chinese sausages (~100g)
- 4 pcs dried scallop
- 30g dried shrimps
- 2 each shallots, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp wine
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
Turnips: Peel, rinse, shred (I use a food processor for cutting, which helps complete the task in just a few minutes). Rest all the turnip strips in a colander above a basin to drain and collect its juice. Draining the turnips is to prepare it for stir-frying as well as to reserve its juice for combining with the rice flour and corn starch.
Four Delicacies: We called the ingredients for cooking with the turnip the four delicacies, namely the Chinese sausages, dried mushrooms, dried scallops, dried shrimps.
Chinese sausages – rinse, coarsely chopped
dried mushrooms – rinse, soak in 1 cup of water for at least an hour or until soft, squeeze water in them and coarsely chopped, reserve water
dried scallops – rinse, soak in 1/2 cup of water for at least an hour, tear them into strips, reserve water
dried shrimps – rinse, soak in 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes, discard water
Marinade the reconstituted, chopped mushrooms, scallops and shrimps for about 10 minutes.
Combine the corn starch and rice flour with 2 1/2 cups of water (inclusive of those collected from draining the turnip, soaking the mushrooms and scallops). Stir and mix well until smooth. Set aside.
Heat 3 table spoons of oil in wok over medium heat, sauté shallots till fragrant followed by chopped sausages, stir fry till they are also fragrant, then add in shrimps, mushrooms and scallops, keep stir frying. As all of them turn golden, about 3 minutes, toss in the turnip strips, add seasonings, and stir well. In about another 5 minutes, the strips will be softened and juice will exude from them.
Turn to low heat, slowly stir in flour mixture into the turnips (give the mixture a good stir before pouring in to avoid flour settling at the bottom). Turn and mix well until all incorporated well like a soft batter but is not runny, which almost like a sticky dough. Turn off heat.
Grease dish for steaming (mine is a 22cm diameter, 6cm depth round dish). Transfer the turnip batter into the pan, flatten it into same height. Steam the turnip cake over high heat for 40 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
1) Cut out your preferred size and serve hot.
2) Let cool, chill it in fridge, invert from dish, then cut into about 1cm thick slices and pan fry (chilling makes the cake firmer and thus pan frying easier). Usually, I serve the pan-fried turnip cake slices with chili sauce.