Turnip cake, also known as Radish cake or Law Bok Gow, is a traditional Lunar New Year dish made with daikon. It is also often featured as a side dish in congee restaurants. Every year, we celebrate new year’s with both my family and The Hubby’s. My family is from mainland China, and his are from Hong Kong, so our traditions differ slightly. With both families though, the main celebration revolves around the New Year feast. The dining table is filled with home cooked dishes (whole fish, dumplings, wood ear fungus, to name a few) and the meal lasts hours. This year’s Lunar New Year is quickly approaching (Feb 8th!) and The Hubby and I decided to try making turnip cake ourselves. We tried both cutting the daikon by hand and using a grater, and found that grating created a smoother texture.
- 1200g of daikon radish
- 1 tbsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp chicken powder
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 75g of dried Shrimp, soaked and drained
- 2 Chinese sausages
- 45g of preserved pork belly (1/2 stick)
- 4-5 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and drained (optional)
- 2 shallots (optional)
- 200g of rice flour
- 200ml of water
- 4 tbsp of wheat starch
- Soak the dried shrimp (and shiitake mushrooms if using them), dice shallots, grate daikon, dice salted pork belly and preserved Chinese sausage
- In a hot wok add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot add in the shallots, salted pork belly, preserved sausage, dried shrimp (shiitakes) and sauté. Add in Chinese cooking wine as the meats cook. Set aside.
- Using the same wok, add the grated daikon and enough water to just cover the daikon. Season with sugar, salt, chicken powder, white pepper.
- While the daikon cooks, combine in a mixing bowl the rice flour, potato starch and water. This will form a paste like mixture.
- Pour the paste mixture into the cooked daikon, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Then stir in the cooked meats and mix well.
- Pour the turnip cake batter into a greased cake pan and steam for one hour. Once steamed, the turnip cake can be served as is, or pan fried to add a crispy crust.
- Immediately after steaming, the texture of the turnip cake can be goopy, making it hard to pan-fry. Resting the turnip cake in the fridge for a few hours will help it firm up.
- If using a different amount of daikon, use a ratio of daikon to rice flour of 6:1 and a ratio of rice flour to water of 1:1.
Step by Step Photos
Assemble ingredients, cut or grate daikon
In a hot pan with oil, saute the shallots, meats and season with cooking wine
Measure out rice flour and wheat starch
Combine rice flour, wheat starch and water to form a paste
In the wok, add daikon and enough water to just cover the daikon. Cook until the daikon is soft
Pour the paste mixture into the cooked daikon, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming
Pour the turnip cake batter into a greased cake pan and steam for one hour
Optional, pan-fry the cooked turnip cake to add a crispy crust
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