Chinese New Year is just around the corner! One of the many foods that I look forward to is homemade turnip cake. It’s pretty much the only time that my mum will make it herself. I have tried many of it at Chinese restaurants and I have concluded that my mum’s recipe is the best. It is mainly because the restaurant ones skipped a lot of fillings, they use a lot more powder, can’t really taste any turnip, just starch…
This recipe is not difficult at all, the prep work takes a bit of time because you need to grate the turnip, chop the ingredients and take a while to steam. It definitely worth the works tho! Both my mum and my mother-in-law said the golden rule is 1:5, 1 serve of powdery ingredients with 5 serves of turnip. I use 200g powder and 1kg turnip in the recipe. The cake turned out soft, melt in your mouth and FULLLLLLL of turnip flavour.The steps are very simple (just takes time )
Traditional Canton Turnip Cake
- 1 kg Turnip
- 2 Preserved Meat Sausages (around 80g)
- ½ Curled Meat (around 45g)
- 55 g Dried Shrimp
- 60 g Salted Radish
- 1 Shallot
- 170 g Rice Flour
- 4 tbsp Wheat Starch
- 190 ml Water
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp Five Spice Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- Peel and grate the turnip, set aside.
- Bring water to boil, simmer the preserved meat sausages and curled meat for 3 minutes to soften them.
- Chop them up into small pieces (preserved meat sausages, curled meat, salted radish, dried shrimp and shallot).
- Fry preserved meat sausages, curled meat, salted radish and dried shrimp over medium heat, set aside.
- Fry up shallots and add in the grated turnip, add in white pepper, five spice powder and salt, stir well.
- 6Add water into the pan, once it boils, bring down to simmer for 5 mins, cover with lid.
- Add rice flour and wheat starch into the pan.
- Remove pan from heat, mix all the powdery ingredients well with the turnip.
- Add in the fried up ingredients from step 4, mix well again.
- Divide the ingredients evenly between 2 foil pans.
- Steam for 45-60 minutes (stick a chopstick into the centre, if it comes out clean, then it is ready).
- Once ready, let it cool down completely.
- Slice the cake once it is fully cool down.
- Heat up a pan with a little bit of oil, fry the sliced cake and dig in.
Note: The water level should be adjusted based on how wet the daikon is. Also, it cuts much easier when cold in fridge not cooled on countertop. wet your knife with water between each cut to avoid sticking on knife breaking pieces up.
If you prefer a harder texture, you can adjust the recipe by increasing the powdery ingredients and a bit less water. My mother-in-law used a blender to grate the turnip once but the texture wasn’t exactly what we were after, however it was still flavoursome. I recommend only slicing the cake before you fry and serve it on the day
Check out our recipe for laughing sesame cookies and sesame balls if you are looking for more traditional Chinese snacks.