Last time I've been complaining about how hard it was to make turnip cake . Grating more than a kilo of turnip is no joke ! At that time , I'm still using a flat grater so I told myself come winter , I should start looking for a much sturdier grater , box grater , if the price is right ! Or just use the food processor , which I need to unearth from the darkest corner of the cabinet .
Since I'm a regular visitor at Shanghai St ., I stumbled upon this gorgeous stainless steel box grater and at a fraction of a price to the one I've been planning to buy .
Believe it or not , I've grated a kilo of turnip in less than 3 minutes lol
And if you've seen the price of turnip cake in some of the popular shops here in HK , you gonna roll your eyes . Imagine paying HK $ 172. for 1.3 kilo of turnip cake and in some hotels , it will cost you more ?! Better make your own !
Now some of you will think , what the heck is loh bak goh aka turnip cake ? Well , if you're not a Chinese or you don't frequent Chinese restaurant or not adventurous enough to eat Chinese food ( Say what ? Tsk ! Seriously ?! ^___^ ) Turnip cake is actually a savoury steamed cake . It is made by grating the turnip , additional ingredients such as Chinese dried sausages , dried shrimps and mushrooms are added , rice flour and water mixture to bind them together then steamed . After steaming , you can actually eat it right away , just add a drizzle of light soy sauce and a sprinkle of sliced spring onions . Pan frying it is the traditional norm and so much more satisfying !
Though you can order this cake all-year round when you go yum cha , it is only few weeks before the Chinese New Year when you can actually see this cake being sold . To some , Chinese New Year won't be complete without loh bak goh . To me , I see it as my winter comfort food . I've made my first turnip cake 2 months ago and I'll still be making it until the weather turns hot lol
Have you tried turnip cake before ?
Makes one 8 x 2-inch steamed cake
1 kilo ( 970 grams peeled weight ) Chinese white turnip
2 pieces Chinese sausage ( lap cheong / pork sausage and yun cheong / duck's liver sausage ) , steamed3 tablespoons dried shrimps , soaked
4-5 dried mushrooms , soaked
a generous dash of ground white pepper
1 teaspoon chicken powder
1 teaspoon raw sugar ( or granulated sugar )
pinch of salt
180 grams rice flour
35 grams potato starch ( or cornstarch / tapioca )
1 cup water
* Grease an 8 x 3-inch cake pan . I used an 8-inch loose-bottom cake pan .
* Grate turnip . Cut sausages and mushrooms into small dices , coarsely chopped dried shrimps , set aside .
* In a small mixing bowl , combine rice flour and potato starch , mix well then add in the water , use a wire whisk to combine everything together until no lumps form , set aside .
* Heat wok or a large pan , pour 2 teaspoons of oil then add in the sausages , shrimps and mushrooms , cook for about 3 minutes . Transfer to a plate .
* In the same pan , add in the grated turnip , season with pepper , chicken powder , sugar and salt . Cook for about 5 minutes , add in the sausage mixture and mix well to combine . Take pan off heat then add in the flour / water mixture , mix and stir thoroughly ( if you feel that the mixture is a bit runny , put back the pan/wok to the stove , turn heat to medium and continue to stir the mixture for few seconds until thick enough .
* Transfer to the prepared pan and steamed over medium-high heat for 1 hour . Leave turnip cake inside the wok , covered for at least 3 hours . Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely .
* Remove the turnip cake from the pan and transfer to a serving plate . Cut into 1/2-inch thick ( rectangle ) slices and pan fry on both sides until golden brown . Serve with chilli or hoisin sauce .
* For the spicy fried turnip cake , cut cake into small cubes , pan fry until lightly-browned , transfer to a plate . In the same pan , add 1 teaspoon XO sauce , 1 teaspoon chilli sauce and 1 teaspoon sliced spring onion . Stir-fry for about 30 seconds then add in the fried turnip cakes , stir gently to combine and cook for about a minute . Transfer to a plate and garnish with some sliced spring onions , serve hot .