Turnip Cake or (Lo Bak Go 萝卜糕), is a savory cake like food dish that can be commonly found all over Asia. It’s extremely soft and flavorful while also being loaded with tons of nutrients. Learn how to make this amazing dish just in time to serve at your next Chinese New Year or Dim Sum party.
Every time Chinese New Years came around, one of my most favorite items is always served.
That item is called “Turnip Cake”.
It is a popular food dish to have for any and all holidays in the Chinese culture. But not only that, you can also find this tasty dish being served in a variety of different Dim Sum restaurants and Chinese restaurants as well.
Every time this dish is served, I always find myself serving my plate many slices of this delicious cake as it is so delicious.
The only problem with some of these places is that restaurants tend to skip out on certain ingredients when making this cake. Meaning that the Turnip Cake will be slightly plain as it doesn’t have all the delicious goodies inside.
Which is why, I prefer making this at home.
When you make it at home, you can guarantee that it will taste fantastic because of all the love and care you put into making this dish.
Now in my family, we usually serve it with two different variations of this cake. One is the steamed version and one is the fried version. Both of which are equally as good. However I have to personally say, the fried one is more to my liking.
But regardless of whichever way you like to eat your turnip cake, I guarantee this is one food you definitely can’t miss out on.
What Is Turnip Cake?
Turnip Cake / Lo Bak Go / 萝卜糕 as it sounds, is not actually a cake made out of turnips.
In fact, Turnip Cake is actually made from the Chinese White Radish (Daikon Radish). The lesser used name is called a “Radish Cake”, which is actually what it is. However Radish Cake is not that commonly used when referring to this food.
Plus, the cake isn’t sweet either, in fact it is a savory type of cake.
Turnip Cake is actually one of the most popular foods you can ever find in China. A lot of restaurants and Dim Sum places will serve this amazing dish all year round.
It basically consists of Chinese White Radish, Chinese Sausage, Mushrooms, and sometimes Dried Shrimp. It is then combined together to form a paste like substance and then steamed for awhile.
Thus producing a cake like item that everyone loves.
To Fry Or Not To Fry
Did you know that the turnip cake actually tastes quite different depending on how you cook it?
In fact, there are 2 popular ways of eating this delicious food.
The first is by just eating it straight after steaming. The texture will be a lot softer and stickier but also has a really nice taste.
The second method is to actually pan fry the turnip cake so that it becomes crispy on all sides. This method is actually the most popular way to cook this cake. It will make the turnip cake taste a lot crispier as well as being less sticky.
Both of these methods are really good ways to eat this turnip cake and in all honesty, you can’t really go wrong choosing either one.
It’s all up to preference. However in my opinion, I think pan frying the turnip cake will make things a lot better.
Ingredients To Make Turnip Cake
The ingredients you’ll need to make this Turnip Cake / Lo Bak Go / 萝卜糕 dish can all be commonly found at your local Asian supermarket.
You’ll need the following:
- Daikon Radish – 1 Daikon Radish 20 to 30 oz in weight
- Water – 1 Cup Water
- Dried Shrimp – 1 Tablespoon Dried Shrimp Chopped Into Small Pieces
- Dried Mushroom – 4 Dried Mushroom Chopped Into Small Pieces
- Chinese Sausage – 1 Chinese Sausage Link Chopped Into Small Pieces
- Green Onion – 2 Stalks Green Onion Chopped Into Small Pieces
- Rice Flour – 1 1/2 Cup Rice Flour
- Cornstarch – 1 1/2 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Sugar – 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- Vegetable Oil – For Cooking About 2 Tablespoons
- Ground White Pepper – Just A Pinch For Flavor
And that’s about it!
How To Make Turnip Cake
Making Turnip Cake / Lo Bak Go / 萝卜糕 is actually a very simple process.
The process to make it basically consists of:
Prepping Your Ingredients
First thing you’ll want to do is to soak your dried mushrooms and dried shrimp as that will take about an hour or so to be ready.
So grab 2 bowls and fill it with water and place your dried shrimp and mushrooms into the bowls. Let them soak for about an hour or until they are extremely soft.
While your shrimp and mushrooms are soaking in water, its time to get your other ingredients ready.
Grab your one Chinese sausage and then using a knife, chop it into really small pieces. Then set it aside.
Next you’ll want to grate your Daikon Radish.
So grab a large bowl or pot and then using your grater, grate the daikon radish until the entire radish is grated.
Set the shredded Daikon Radish aside for now.
Then grab your 2 stalks of green onions and chop them into tiny pieces. Then set them aside.
Cooking The Ingredients
Grab a wok or a large pot over medium heat, and put your entire shredded Daikon Radish into it. Then pour in about 1 cup of water into the pot or wok as well.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and make sure to constantly stir and turn the Daikon Radish around at this time. You do not want the bottom of the Daikon Radish to brown, so make sure it is constantly being moved.
During this time, water will be releasing from the radish while some other parts of the water will be evaporating.
After about 10 to 15 minutes of stirring things around, turn off the heat.
Scoop out the shredded Daikon Radish into a bowl and also pour about 1 cup of the remaining water into the bowl as well.
Set the shredded Daikon Radish and water aside for now.
By this time, your dried shrimp and dried mushrooms should be fully hydrated and soft to the touch.
Scoop out the mushroom and shrimp and put them on a cutting board. Then using a knife, chop the mushroom and shrimp into really small pieces.
After you have chopped the mushrooms and shrimp into tiny pieces, put them into a bowl.
Now it’s time to start cooking the side ingredients.
Grab a skillet or wok and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, toss in your chopped Chinese sausage, chopped shrimp, and chopped mushrooms. Stir things around for a good 4 to 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes of cooking, toss in your chopped green onions and stir it around lightly for another minute or so.
Then turn off the heat.
Once you are done, scoop out all the ingredients and put it into a bowl. Then set it aside.
Mixing The Ingredients
Now it’s time to make the batter for the Turnip Cake.
Grab a large mixing pot and add in your shredded Daikon Radish with the leftover cup of Radish Water, 1 and a 1/2 cup of Rice Flour, 1 and a 1/2 Tablespoon of Cornstarch, 1/2 Teaspoon salt, 1 Teaspoon Sugar.
Then mix things around.
Once you have made your batter, add in your bowl of chopped shrimp, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, and green onions.
Then mix things around once more.
Once everything is mixed together, grab a bread pan or a cake pan. Bread pan works best if you are wanting the rectangular shape of the Turnip Cake.
Oil the sides of the pan a little bit and then pour the batter straight into the pan.
Steaming The Turnip Cake
Using your preferred steaming method, steam the batter for about 1 hour on medium heat.
If you don’t know how to steam, then you can simply grab a large wok and fill it with water. Then bring it to a boil and place your bread pan straight into the wok. Cover the wok with a lid and let it steam for an hour on medium heat.
After the hour is up, turn off the heat.
Take out the bread pan and let it cool off for a few minutes.
Once the Turnip Cake is cooled, use a knife and slide it around the sides of the Turnip Cake to loosen it from the bread pan. Then turn the bread pan over so that the turnip cake can slide out onto a cutting board.
Wet your knife a bit, and then start slicing the Turnip Cake into 1 centimeter thick slices or about half an inch.
That’s basically it!
You can enjoy the Turnip Cake as it, or you can do an optional step and fry them.
(Optional) Frying The Turnip Cake
If you want to enjoy your Turnip Cake fried, then all you’ll have to do is grab a skillet or pan and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.
Then place your slices of Turnip Cakes onto the skillet or pan and let it fry a few minutes on each side or until they are crispy and brown.
Once both sides are crispy and brown, you can turn off the heat.
Serve on a plate with some oyster sauce and enjoy
How To Store/Keep For Future Use
If you happen to have any leftovers and you want to store it away to eat another day, then you’ll be happy to know that this Turnip Cake / Lo Bak Go / 萝卜糕 dish keeps very well.
Simply wait for it to cool down, and then wrap it up with some plastic wrap or cover it in an air-tight container. Then you can store it in the fridge where it’ll be good for up to 3 days.
As for freezing, turnip cakes can definitely be frozen in the freezer where it will keep well for up to 3 months. However, I would suggest you to slice the turnip cake first before you freeze them. This way you can thaw however much you want to eat when ready.
Now re-heating is a simple thing to do. Simply steam the turnip cake slices again or you can pan fry it which gives it a different texture. Both methods are perfectly fine and will deliver amazing results.
Turnip Cake Recipe (Lo Bak Go 萝卜糕)
- 20 Oz Daikon Radish About 1 Large Daikon Radish
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Shrimp Chopped into tiny pieces
- 4 Dried Mushrooms Chopped into tiny pieces
- 1 Chinese Sausage Chopped into tiny pieces
- 2 Stalk Green Onion Chopped into tiny pieces
- 1 1/2 Cup Rice Flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- Ground White Pepper Just a pinch
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Prepping The Ingredients
- Grab two bowls and fill it with water. Then place your dried shrimp in one bowl and dried mushrooms in the other bowl. Let them hydrate for about an hour. So set them aside for now.
- Grab a cutting board, and chop your 2 stalks of green onions into tiny pieces. Then set them aside.Grab your Chinese Sausage link and chop it into tiny pieces. Then set them aside.
- Now grab a large bowl and a grater. Grate your Daikon Radish until you have about 20 oz worth of shredded Daikon Radish.
Cooking The Ingredients
- Grab a wok or a large pot over medium heat, and put in your entire shredded Daikon Radish into it. Then pour about 1 cup of water into the wok or pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and make sure to constantly stir the shredded Daikon Radish around so that it doesn't burn.Let it cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.Note: during this time, the Daikon Radish will be releasing some extra water while some other water will be evaporating. This is normal.
- Once your Daikon Radish is nicely cooked, turn off the heat. Scoop out the Daikon Radish into a large bowl and pour about 1 cup of the leftover water into the bowl as well.Then set it aside.
- By this time, your dried shrimp and dried mushroom should be fully hydrated.So take them out of the bowls of water and place them on a cutting board. Then using a knife, chop the shrimp and mushrooms into tiny pieces. Then set them aside.
- Grab a large skillet or pan and pour about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, toss in your chopped shrimp, mushrooms, and Chinese sausage.Stir things around for a good 4 to 5 minutes.Then add in your chopped green onions and stir things around for an additional minute.Turn off the heat, and scoop out the ingredients and put them into a bowl. Set it aside.
Mixing The Ingredients
- Grab a large mixing pot and add in your shredded Daikon Radish with the leftover cup of Radish Water, 1 and a 1/2 cup of Rice Flour, 1 and a 1/2 Tablespoon of Cornstarch, 1/2 Teaspoon salt and 1 Teaspoon Sugar.Mix things around.Then add in your bowl of chopped shrimp, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, and green onions.Mix things around again.This is your Turnip Cake Batter.
- Grab a bread pan and lightly oil the sides of the pan. Then pour the Turnip Cake batter straight into the bread pan.
Steaming The Turnip Cake
- Using your favorite steaming method, steam the Turnip Cake over medium heat for about 1 hour.
- Once time is up, turn off the heat. Take out the bread pan and let the Turnip Cake cool down.Then, using a knife, slide it around the sides of the bread pan to loosen the Turnip Cake from the pan.Flip the pan upside down onto a cutting board and let the Turnip Cake slide out onto the board.
- Using a wet knife, slice the Turnip Cake into 1 centimeter thick slices or about half an inch thick.
- You can enjoy the turnip cake as it is right now, or you can take an optional step and fry it.
(Optional) Frying The Turnip Cake
- If you want to fry your Turnip Cake slices, then all you'll have to do is grab a skillet or pan and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.Place your slices of Turnip Cakes onto the skillet or pan and let it fry for a few minutes on each side or until they are crispy and brown.Once both sides are crispy and brown, turn off the heat.
- Serve on a plate immediately with a side of oyster sauce.Enjoy!
Did you try making my Turnip Cake / Lo Bak Go / 萝卜糕? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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