Turnip cake is not actually made with turnip – well technically not English turnip. It is made from a root vegetable which is part of the turnip family. This root vegetable is called daikon but it is also known as mooli or even just Chinese radish.
Daikon is like a big white carrot looking root vegetable with a subtle radish flavour. It’s also lovely boiled in soups and stews, grated in spring rolls or even just grated or julienned in a nice salad.
Today we are going to make a savoury turnip cake. A popular dish at dim-sum and one of my daughters favourite dishes. It’s so easy to make and tastes great pan fried.
Get your ingredients ready …
Firstly grate the daikon, I use a box grater for this. Trim the ends of the daikon and peel the skin then grate the daikon into a large bowl.
Transfer the grated daikon to a wok (or a large pan) and add the water. Bring the water to the boil then reduce to a simmer – cook the daikon for about 15 minutes continuously stirring.
Once cooked, remove the daikon from the wok, drain the water into a cup (top the water up to 250ml) and allow the daikon to cool in a large bowl.
Dice the mushrooms, Chinese sausage, shrimps, scallops and spring onions.
Add some scallion oil to the pan and fry them all in a wok (or large frying pan) until they are nicely browned.
Put the cooked daikon into a large bowl and add the rice flour, cornflour, salt, sugar and white pepper with the drained water. Add the fried sausage and mushroom mixture to the bowl with the daikon and mix well.
Mix well …
Lightly coat a shallow heatproof dish with some scallion oil (or sesame oil) then transfer the mixture to the dish.
Use the back to a spoon to push down the daikon into the dish to flatten it and evenly spread it in the dish.
Steam the turnip cake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. The turnip should be nice and soft with a paste like texture.
I use a wok filled with water to steam the daikon. You can use any steaming method you prefer, but you may have to adjust the timings.
Once steamed, the turnip cake should be soft and paste like in texture. It will firm up once it has cooled down.
Allow the turnip cake to cool down completely before slicing.
Once cooled, take a slice and pan fry it. Depending on the size of your dish and the thickness of the turnip cake you can slice the turnip cake through the middle so that the slices are not too thick. Do this before you fry them.
Once pan fried, the turnip cake with have a lovely crispy coating with a soft paste like texture.
Serve on its own as a snack or will be a great accompaniment to any meal.
See below for a printable recipe.
– 600g daikon (also known as mooli or Chinese white radish – peeled and grated)
– 250ml water
– 2 tbsp scallion oil (or sesame oil)
– 2 tbsp dried shrimps (washed, soaked and finely chopped)
– 10g dried scallops (washed, soaked, dried and finely chopped)
– 5 large Chinese mushrooms (washed, soaked and finely chopped)
– 1 Chinese sausage (finely diced)
– 2 spring onion stalks (finely chopped)
– 150g rice flour
– 1 tbsp cornflour
– Pinch of salt to taste
– ½ tsp sugar
– Pinch of white pepper to taste
1. Firstly prepare all the ingredients as above.
2. Peel and grate the daikon and place it in a large wok with 250ml water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the daikon for 15 minutes continuously mixing it.
3. Once the daikon is cooked, transfer it to a bowl to cool slightly. Keep the remaining liquid and top it up to make 250ml of water.
4. Add the rice flour, cornflour, salt, pepper and sugar to the daikon. Add the water and mix well. Set aside while you cook the rest of the ingredients.
5. In the same wok, fry the shrimps, scallops, Chinese sausage and spring onions in some scallion oil until nicely browned. Add this to the daikon mixture and mix well.
6. Lightly grease a shallow heatproof dish with some scallion oil. Add the daikon mixture and use the back of a spoon to press down the daikon into the dish and flatten it. Spread it out evenly.
7. Steam the dish for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. The turnip mixture will cook and form a firm paste.
8. Once steamed, allow to cool before serving. You can eat it as it is, but for even more texture and flavour, cut the turnip cake into slices and pan fry them to give them a crispy texture.
I hope you give this recipe a try. It’s delicious and so simple to make. Let me know how you get on!
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~ The Cake Lady xx