港式蘿蔔糕 and 台式蘿蔔糕 Hong Kong and Taiwanese Radish Cakes

蛇年快樂!!!

2013 Blizzard

雪下很多很多

Just in time for the Lunar New Year a blizzard dumped a couple feet of snow on my little corner of the world. Just as well, it gives me more reason to stay inside and work on a recipe or two. And of course write a short post about the Chinese White Radish, commonly known as a Daikon Radish. They are big, they are white, they are in every asian market (and an awful lot of ink paintings). So what do you do with them? Make a cake of course. No not the fluffy sweet kind of cake, but the dense fragrant kind.

In parts of China and on the island of Taiwan 蘿蔔糕 (luo bo gao)Radish Cakes (also called turnip cakes) are popular during the Lunar New Year (and pretty much every day for breakfast in Taiwan). So it being New Years I think I will focus this post about one/two of my favorite breakfast foods 台式蘿蔔糕 (tai shi luo bo gao) and 港式蘿蔔糕 (gang shi luo bo gao) Taiwanese and Hong Kong style Radish Cakes.

The Taiwanese style Radish Cake is quite simple, especially when compared to the richer Hong Kong version, but I like it’s simplicity and it’s unique, but delicate fragrance and the soft texture. It reminds me of early mornings in Taiwan and the quick and cheap breakfast to be had at one of the many of the roadside stands. A quick bite before the cities start to wake up and before the heat of the day really sets in.

The Hong Kong version on the other hand is more of a special treat, though you can have it for breakfast everyday if you want. It is chock full of goodies giving it a more complex flavor and stronger aroma. It is also firmer in texture, a little more QQ. Though Hong Kong style Radish Cakes can contain a large number of varying extras, I just went with a rather simple recipe that uses things that you can easily find at a Chinese market. Well mostly, I could not for the life of me find 澄粉(cheng fen) wheat starch, and I did not want to look all over town. So i just went with a substitution that gives more or less the same results.

Now a good radish cake should be served with a good sauce. As for the sauce, I like it with a bit of sweet chili sauce. I am convinced that one must get a good Southern Chinese or Taiwanese chili sauce for the “right” flavor. These have the addition of salted plums, giving them a more complex flavor and aromatic quality. Of course you can use whatever sauce you prefer.

港式蘿蔔糕

Hong Kong Style Radish Cake

Recipe:

  • 390 g. shredded daikon radish (the big holes on your grater)
  • 1 & 3/4 c. water
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 T dried shrimp (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes then drained, and chopped into little bits)
  • 2 Chinese style sausages, chopped (steam for 15 minutes, let cool, then chopped into little bits)
  • 160 g. rice flour (not glutinous rice flour)
  • 3 T. wheat starch (if you can’t find, use 1 T. of corn starch and 2 T. of potato starch)
  • 1 T. of water chestnut powder
  • 3/4 t. of salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. ground white pepper
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 1 c. water

Method:

  1. First line two 4 x 8 loaf pans with parchment paper or cellophane. And prepare a steamer that will fit said loaf pans.
  2. Saute the sliced shallots in 2 T. of vegetable oil until slightly golden. Then add the chopped dried shrimp and the the chopped chinese sausage. Saute for two or three minutes more, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  3. In a pot combine the shredded daikon radish and 1 & 1/2 c. water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sauteed shallots, shrimp, and sausage to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the rice flour, wheat starch (or corn and potato starch), water chestnut powder, salt, sugar, and ground pepper.
  5. To the rice flour mixture add 1 c. of water and 1 T. sesame oil, mix together.
  6. Pour the simmered daikon, shallots, etc. and the cooking water into the bowl. Mix to combine and stir until the mixture thickens a bit. If the rice flour water mixture is a bit thick, add some of the cooking liquid first and stir to make a slurry, then add the rest of the radish etc. and stir until combined and it thickens.
  7. Pour the mixture into the two prepared loaf pans and steam on high for 60 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and let cool completely. Cut into about 1/2 inch slices and fry the slices in a little light oil over medium heat until slightly golden on both sides. Serve with some chili sauce.

Taiwanese Style Radish Cake

Recipe: 

  • 360 g. shredded daikon radish
  • 1 & 1/2 c. water
  • 200 g. rice flour (not glutinous rice flour)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 T. dried shrimp (soaked for 30 minutes in warm water, then drained, and chopped)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. ground white pepper
  • 1 & 1/4 c. water

Method:

  1. First line two 4 x 8 loaf pans with parchment paper or cellophane. And prepare a steamer that will fit said loaf pans.
  2. Saute the sliced shallots in 2 T. of vegetable oil until slightly golden. Then add the chopped dried shrimp. Saute for two or three minutes more, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  3. In a pot combine the shredded daikon radish and 1 1/2 c. water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sauteed shallots and shrimp to the pot, stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the rice flour, salt, sugar, and ground pepper.
  5. To the rice flour mixture add 1 1/4 c. of water, mix together.
  6. Pour the simmered daikon, shallots, etc. and the cooking water into the bowl. Mix to combine and stir until the mixture thickens a bit. If the rice flour water mixture is a bit thick, add some of the cooking liquid first and stir to make a slurry, then add the rest of the radish etc. and stir until combined and it thickens.
  7. Pour the mixture into the two prepared loaf pans and steam on high for 60 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and let cool completely. Cut into about 1/2 inch slices and fry the slices in a little light oil over medium heat until slightly golden on both sides. Serve with some chili sauce.
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About L P

cook, eat, ride, live
This entry was posted in Dishes, East Asian, Food, Recipes, Taiwan and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 港式蘿蔔糕 and 台式蘿蔔糕 Hong Kong and Taiwanese Radish Cakes

  1. Angie G. says:

    Ahh! Looks delicious! Happy Chinese New Year!

  2. Erik says:

    We had it for dinner tonight, delicious ! Thank you Paul!

  3. Li-Ling says:

    Nice blog! More images to show the steps will be nice.

  4. Anne says:

    Is it white ground pepper or black ground pepper that you would use?

  5. Pingback: 早安臺北 Good Morning Taipei | An Acquired Taste

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