Thursday, April 23, 2009

Daikon Cake (蘿蔔糕)

According to Wiki:

"Turnip Cake is a Cantonese dim sum dish made of shredded radish (typically Chinese radish or daikon) and plain rice flour. Despite the name, turnip is not an actual ingredient, hence the less commonly-used but more accurate name of Daikon Cake. It is sometimes also referred to as Radish Cake."

Whatever the accurate term is, I love me some cakes. When cooked right, they are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside (from pan frying). They are also extremely filling so a few pieces always leave me stuffed.

Every so often, my mom or my mother-in-law would send us home with some homemade Daikon Cake. While they are all very good, I've always wanted to make my own. So after my mom talked me through it and I researched a bit online on my own, I finally gave it a try.

It was so easy (and delicious!)! Just mix everything together and steam. The most time-consuming part was the frying. For those who don't want to be bothered with that, it's actually not necessary. My parents eat it plain with soup sometime. They say it's just as good, but for me, I need that crunchy texture.

I've always believed that Daikon Cake was hard to make. Now having successfully made it, I feel I can cook just about anything! :)

Daikon Cake:

- 2 1/2 to 3 cups daikon, peeled and shredded
- 4 oz ground pork, lightly seasoned with salt and white pepper OR 1 Chinese sausage, finely diced
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 cups rice flour (do not use glutinous rice flour)
- 1 3/4 cups water, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp small dried shrimp, finely diced (optional)

1. In a big mixing bowl, combine rice flour, salt, white pepper, and 1 cup water. Mix well. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a skillet and add shiitake mushrooms. Cook until fragrant. Add ground pork. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add daikon. Mix well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
3. Add daikon mixture into the rice flour mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Spread the combined mixture into a cake pan (round or square - just make sure it fits into your steamer) lined with wax paper.
5. Place cake pan into steamer, and steam at a medium-high boil for about 50 minutes.
6. Cool overnight in refrigerator. After cooling, cut the cake into slices and pan fry in a liberal amount of oil until both sides are golden brown.
7. Serve with soy sauce and hot sauce.

{Recipe adapted from here, here, and here}

8 comments:

  1. oh! my goodness - i haven't seen those in quite a while!

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  2. I've never had these before but they look and sound really tasty.

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  3. Hey, you didn't take any pictures of all the shredding I had to do. I almost scraped my knuckles running that thing back and forth. But it was worth it, yummy soft and filling.

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  4. I'm taking a dim sum cooking class this Sunday! I can hardly wait! I'll have to remember to ask about Daikon. How do you pronounce that?

    Info about the instructor chef

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  5. My sous chef is the best. Thanks babes!

    Intense Guy,

    Fun! You will have to share the experience and recipes on Monday. :) It's pronounced dye-kon. I hope that makes sense.

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  6. Wow! We eat daikon all the time, but never like this. I'm definitely giving this a try soon. Oh, and when you shred the daikon are you meant to drain all its juices afterward, or does all the liquid just get boiled off in the end anyway? Thanks for sharing this!

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  7. Hi Sapuche,

    I don't drain the juices. After the shiitake and meat are done cooking, I add the daikon in the skillet, along with water. So since there is going to be liquid away, I don't bother with draining. None of the recipes I referenced drain either...

    Hope you like it!

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  8. I LOVE turnip cake. This and the steamed pork buns are my favorite dim sum items.

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