Steamed Radish Cake, A Dim Sum Favourite That You Can Now Make At Home
Steamed Radish Cake is a popular Cantonese dim sum dish. It is affordable to make, can be made ahead of time, can be eaten as is or can be kept frozen and thawed to be pan-fried when needed. Radish Cake comes in two variations, pan-fried or steamed. Either way, they taste just as good. Radish Cake is also sometimes translated in English as Chinese Turnip Cake or traditionally called Carrot Cake in Singapore. Contrary to the name, this cake dish only uses shredded Chinese radish to make. This type of Radish is also known as Daikon Radish or White Radish. So I presume, Radish Cake is a more accurate name for this dish.
For this traditional dim sum recipe, I am making the Hong Kong style, Steamed Radish Cake. This version of Radish Cake is on the softer side and usually served in Cantonese dim sum restaurants such as Tim Ho Wan.
How To Make Steamed Radish Cake (Chinese Turnip Cake – Loh Bak Gou 蒸萝卜糕)
Start By Preparing Ingredients
To make this delicious Steamed Radish cake, start by preparing the ingredients. For this recipe, I have added dried scallop for flavour. If you don’t have them or do not wish to add, that is totally fine as well. First and foremost, shred and cut the peeled radish or daikon. For more texture of the radish, grate them into coarse strips instead of finely and hand chop the other half. The combination of grated and hand chopped radish really helps to create a balanced cake texture. Then prepare the flavouring ingredients that we are going to put into the radish cake.
First, soak the dried shrimps, dried shiitake mushrooms and dried scallop till they are fully hydrated. Then drain all the dried ingredients and retain all the soaking water in a measuring cup. Chop coarsely the dried shrimps, dice finely the dried mushrooms and shred the scallop into tiny fibre. As for the chinese sausage, remove the skin and finely dice it. Then prepare to cook the ingredients.
In a wok, add in the shredded radish strips and toss till they are slightly wilted. Add in the soaking water and simmer till the radish is softened and cooked. Drain well the cooked radish through a sieve. Press out as much liquid as possible from the cooked radish and set aside the radish juice to cool. Then measure one cup radish juice to mix into the rice flour and tapioca flour. If you do not have one cup of radish juice, just top up to one cup with water. Stir till free of lumps and a smooth flour batter is formed. Then set aside.
Combine Ingredients and Cook Steamed Radish Cake
In the same wok, sauté garlic, chinese sausage, dried shrimps and dried shiitake mushrooms till fragrant. Add in the drained radish and seasonings and stir well till all the ingredients are incorporated. Lastly add in the flour batter and keep to low heat, stir quickly till the mixture starts to turn into a paste. Transfer into an oiled steaming tray and steam the radish cake for 45 min to 1 hour till cooked. Insert a toothpick into the steamed cake and it should come out clean. And we are done!
Remove from steamer and cool on wire rack. Garnish with fried shallots, toasted white sesame seeds, diced spring onions and red chillies. Let cool for at least 4 hours before cutting to serve. By adding dried shrimp, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and chinese sausage into the radish cake, the end result after steamed is one of the most umami-filled homemade dim sum treat.
Popular Ways To Serve Radish Cake: Steamed or Pan Fried
You can enjoy the steamed radish cake as is alongside some chilli sauce. If you choose to pan fry, then just do not add the garnishing. Just pan fry them with a little oil and it is good to go. This Steamed Radish Cake is great for breakfast, tea time or even for a party at home. So give your family and friends a treat today!
Steamed Radish Cake (Chinese Turnip Cake – Loh Bak Gou) 蒸萝卜糕
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- 6-7 inch round or square steaming tray or cake pan
- 750 gram daikon radish, peeled, grate and cut
- 15 gram shitake mushrooms, soaked, drained, finely diced, retain liquid
- 30 gram dried shrimp, soaked, drained, coarsely minced, retain liquid
- 25 gram dried scallop, soaked, drained, shred into thin fibtre, retain liquid
- 1 chinese sausage, remove skin, finely diced
- 3 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 130 gram rice flour
- 30 gram tapioca flour
- 1 cup soaked liquid, or water
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp chicken stock granules
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 tbsp fried shallots
- 1 red chilli, cut into pieces
- 1 bunch spring onions, diced
- Have ready ingredients needed to make steamed radish cake.
- First peel a daikon (white radish). Then divide into two portions. One portion, shred into strings with a julienne peeler. The other portion, hand slice into pieces and then julienne into bigger strips. Then set aside.
- Soak the dried shrimps, dried shiitake mushrooms and dried scallop in water until completely hydrated (about 2 hours). Retain the soaking liquid.
- Then roughly chop the dried shrimps, finely dice the dried shiitake mushrooms, finely dice the chinese sausage and finely shred the dried scallop into thin fibre.
- Lastly, peel and chop garlic. And that's all the prep work needed and we can start cooking.
- In a hot wok, add in the radish strips (daikon). Toss around until slightly wilted. Then add in the soaking water. Cover with lid and lower the heat. Simmer and cook for another 10 minutes until nice and soft, stirring occasionally before done.
- Remove and drain the softened radish through a sieve and collect all the radish juice from the softened radish in a bowl. Use a spoon to press as much juice out from the cooked radish. From the drained radish juice, measure out 1 cup of juice and leave to cool down a bit. Set aside the drained radish in a bowl. Then prepare the batter.
- To make the flour batter, first put rice flour and tapioca starch into a mixing bowl. Then pour in the 1 cup radish juice and using a whisk, mix well till there are no lumps and a smooth batter is formed. Then prepare to cook the steamed radish cake.
- Heat a little oil in wok and saute garlic till fragrant. Then add in the diced chinese sausage and over low heat, fry the sausage till the pork fat is released. Then add in the diced mushrooms, dried shrimp and dried scallop and saute till aromatic.
- Next, add in the drained radish and stir fry to get everything evenly distributed. Then add in the seasonings and mix well. And we are ready to pour in the batter.
- Turn the heat to low and pour in the flour batter. Stir quickly to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Cook till the mixture turns into a thick paste. Then off the heat.
- Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a heatproof steaming tray. Then transfer the radish paste onto the oiled tray. Smoothen the top using a spoon or spatula and make sure there are no gaps on the sides of the tray. And we are ready to steam the radish cake.
- Prepare steamer by bringing water in a wok to a boil. Steam the radish cake for 40 to 50 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from steamer and leave to cool on wire rack. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, fried shallots, chopped spring onions and red chillies.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting and serve with dipping chilli sauce and hot chinese tea alongside and Enjoy!
Cooking the cut radish (daikon):
Preparing Radish Cake Flour Batter:
Preparing Steamed Radish Cake:
- Tapioca flour or cornflour is added as it aids in binding the cake together with the aromatic dried ingredients and chinese sausage.
- After adding the flour batter, be sure to cook the radish and flour mixture till it starts to form a paste using low heat. This is to ensure an even texture for the radish cake when you steamed it later.
- I am using a wok with a rack as a steaming device. Fill about half the wok with water, cover and bring to a boil. Then remove cover and place the radish cake in steaming tray in the middle. Cover and steam over medium high heat. Refill water if necessary. You can also use a bamboo steamer as well.
- This radish cake can be eaten steamed or pan-fried and the best part is, you could make them ahead of time and keep well in the fridge for up to a week! If freeze, can be kept even longer.
Some Questions About This Recipe
The softness of the cake can be adjusted by adjusting the ratio of rice flour to liquid when making the batter. For a softer cake texture, liquid ratio can be increased. For a firmer cake texture, flour ratio can be increased.
Radish or chinese turnips have a slightly bitter or pungent taste. This is natural and common in this dish. If you do not like this taste, you can also increase the water to radish juice ratio; instead of 1 cup radish juice, use half portion radish juice and half portion water.
Yes, just pan fry the radish cake with a little oil. The texture will firm up better for frying after leaving in the fridge for 1 day. For frying, skip the garnishing.
To make a vegetarian or plain version of Steamed Radish Cake, just omit dried shrimps, dried scallops and chinese sausage. You can also replace these ingredients with vegetarian versions. Chicken stock granules can be replaced with mushroom seasoning.
It’s important to cook the batter mixture into a thick paste on low heat before pouring into steaming tray. This will prevent batter from separating while steaming. The combination of hand chopped and grated radish helps to create a balanced cake texture.
This radish cake can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. If frozen, can be kept even longer.