chinese new year is coming! it is the biggest festival for chinese people, which means eating nonstop for 15 days! turnip cake 蘿蔔糕 is one of the must-have items. they are available in every chinese restaurant during the celebration. but a good turnip cake is like a panda, endangered. every year my aunt makes her own turnip cake. her turnip cake is a big reason why i look forward to visiting guangzhou. it is the best i have ever had.
here i am sharing with you my aunt’s secret recipe, a recipe of 10 years’ of trials and improvements.
one thing to note. there is actually no turnip in a turnip cake. daikon is used instead. it must be some translation issue back then…
dried shrimp 蝦米 1 tbsp
dried scallop 乾瑤柱 2 tbsp
dried shiitake mushroom 乾冬菇 1/4 cup diced
warm water 1/2 cup
chinese sausage/ lap cheong 臘腸 3/4 cup diced
chinese cured pork belly 臘肉 3/4 cup diced
oil 2 tbsp
cornflour 1 cup
salt 1 tsp
caster sugar 1 tsp
ground white pepper 5 g
chicken stock 1/2 cup
daikon 1 kg
- rehydrate the dried shrimps, dried scallops and dried shiitake mushrooms in 100 ml warm water for at least 20 min, strain
- remove the sands and impurities, save the water for later use
- blanch the chinese sausages and cured pork in boiling water for around 30 sec to remove the extra fat and salt
- in a hot pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, saute the chinese sausages, cured pork and rehydrated ingredients until brown and fragrant
- in a big mixing bowl, slowly add the dried shrimp water into the cornflour, salt, caster sugar, and ground pepper, mix well to prevent any lumps
- add the sauteed ingredients and the chicken stock
- use a grater to grate the daikon into thick slices
- in a non-stick pot, without any oil, cook the daikon on high heat for 15 min, stir if necessary to prevent the daikon from sticking to the bottom
- while the daikon is still hot, stir into the flour mixture, mix gently and well
- grease a 2-3 inch tall container with oil
- pour turnip cake mixture into the greased container
- steam on high heat for 1.5 hr
- let the turnip cake cool completely
- cut the cake into 1/2 inch thick pieces
- on medium high heat, panfry the turnip cake on both sides with 1-2 tbsp of oil
- serve with oyster sauce and chili sauce
for a taste-testing, panfry a small portion. add salt and sugar to taste. the turnip cake would expand a bit, so make sure you don’t fill the container too full.
thank you for sharing your aunt’s recipe, in my opinion old and secret recipes are 1000 times more fascinating!
haha yes they are! so lucky i have an aunt who is an unexceptional cook!
uhh.. that looks complicated. no wonder i like to eat this when i go out for dim sum.. its much easier to watch someone else prepare it! =D
haha it is not easy. it took my aunt years to master it. and here it is, the recipe of years of efforts.
Love daikon cake! I tried a recipe from Food and Wine magazine (believe it or not) a while back and it came out pretty good. It’s similar to yours without the pork belly. By the way, I made your recipe Pork with Taro, and that came out good. Thank you!
that’s awesome! glad to know you tried one of our recipes. we’re still eating leftover daikon cake from chinese new year haha.
I love x 10,000 this!
I have a recipe for this, but I’m going to try yours.
Oh wow, I had no idea there were so many ingredients in turnip cake! I used to eat it all the time in Taiwan (usually at an all night breakfast cafe). Your aunt’s recipe looks really delicious, but it seems be a bit complicated for me since I’m just a beginner cook. I’d better start practising… 😉
oh yeah the turnip cake is definitely not an easy recipe. start with something easy first for sure.