Loh bak goh / Turnip cake

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 ) , steamed
3 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 .


  1. I have never heard of such a cake!

  2. Never tried this dish....Looks tempting!

  3. I love loh bak kou Anne and looking at yours at this hour makes me want it for breakfast! Yours is so beautifully steamed, very good job! Btw, one kilo in 3 minutes is amazing, if we were both in a contest, you will beat me flat :))

  4. LOL, you guessed my question!! Thanks for sharing what a turnip cake is...and hoping I'll get to sample one as lovely as the ones you shared some day!

  5. Anne, I read and studied diligently every word you wrote for this loh bak goh...I will try to do this for this week in time for CNY...so, we might have CNY fun afterall this year! I'm grateful you're a genius and always wanting to share what you know:)

  6. Hi Anne, I love loh bak goh and also made this at home whenever my family requested. Your pics make me drooling... look so yummy!

  7. YUM! Looks sooo good ! This is another favorite of mine & I have to agree that grating 1 kilo of turnip is no fun . Moreover I also grated mine with the usual flat grater too . LOL

  8. Wow! This is my favorite order at dimsum restaurants! Super yummy! got to pin this for reference...I'll use a food processor to grate the turnips:D Happy Chinese New Year to you!

  9. This reminds me that I should make a batch too! These look very delicious, Anne.

  10. Looks great, Ann! Wish I could have a few slices.

  11. now you tempt me to buy that box grater...haha...grating a kilo in less than 3 mins is super fast! nice pictures, anne!

  12. Love this ! but so long didn't make this, ok, must try this out, and I have a lot of lap cheong now, hehehe..

  13. I would love to try Turnip Cake, Anne. It sounds not only yummy but quite intriguing too. I'm so glad you have shared this recipe with us. a little taste would be so nice too, lol...Thank you so much for sharing, Anne. A very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year to You and Yours!!!

  14. OMG, I luuuuuurve loh bak goh! It's one of my favorite dishes whenever we have yumcha, but the idea of grating all that turnip to make it at home seems daunting. Now that you've mentioned using a food processor, I just realised I can make this with my new one. Did you steam yours with a dried chilli in the center?

    1. Hi Melissa , sorry for the laaate reply ! Yeah , food processor is a great way to grate turnip and so much faster I than doing it manually . That's not a chilli , it's actually a dried red date , I've added that one after I finished steaming the cake :D

  15. Is this a different version of the turnip cake that I saw on your blog or am I mixing with taro root cake. In either case both look good.

  16. I have never tried turnip cake before, but I would love to. This looks great!

  17. Hi Anne, your turnip cake look so good, love the perfect texture. Great pictures. :))

    Have a nice day ahead,regards.

  18. I've always hated turnips. A lot! But this looks amazingly yummy, and when have I ever disliked any Asian cuisine? I'm really excited to try this out!

  19. Hi Anne,
    We love turnip cake! Very much! Yummilicious, especially when dipped in my favourite chilli sauce! I have not made this in ages! Yours look delicious! Am wishing for some right now!
    Your new grater sounds cool!

  20. Hi Ann,

    I have not eat loh bak goh for ages... Yours look so tempting. Drooling here!!! Ops!

    You are so sweet asking about Kit. I will leave a comment at her blog to include you. I think she will more than happy to do this :D If you still can't gain access to her blog, please let me know again and I will email her. Cheers!


  21. Hi Anne, Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too! Your new grater sounds like it does the job really well... 3 mins I'm impressed ;)


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