Taiwanese Turnip Cake

White radish and rice flour are the base of this savory cake.  Traditionally served around Chinese New Year for good luck and very popular dish in dim sum year around.

My mom used to make this cake quiet often and I never thought in making it as occasionally when visiting my mom, I will come home with a big piece of this cake and will kill the craving for it.

I bought one turnip and used half to make soup…didn’t know what to do with the leftover…called my mom and got the recipe.

– What is turnip cake?

Before any confusion, this is a savory cake, yes, savory… made with shredded white turnip or daikon mixed with rice flour. This cake can be plain or mixed with shiitake mushrooms, green onion, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, bacon…

– How do I make turnip cake?

The rice flour and shredded turnip with whatever ingredients you want to add is cooked by steam. Once cooled, the cake is sliced, and pan fried before serving. The amount of shredded turnip added to the rice flour is totally up to you, the more the tastier.

– How the turnip cake tastes?

The turnip cake is slightly crispy on the outside and soft, moist on the inside. It can be served with a soy sauce base sauce with or without chili.

– Is there a ratio between rice flour and liquid?

According to mom’s recipe to get the perfect texture and consistency, 1500 ml of liquid should be added to 1 lb of rice flour.

– Should we make the turnip cake?

Please bare in mind that I only had ½ turnip, therefore adapt accordingly if following this recipe.

I used the Tatung steamer when steaming the cake batter.

Instead of pan frying the turnip cake I used the air-fryer, which turned out to be awesome.

I served this cake with a sauce made with finely minced garlic and soy sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g turnip radish, peeled and shredded
  • 3 dry shiitake mushrooms
  • 2-3 green onions or scallions
  • 250 g rice flour (not glutinous flour)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 420 ml liquid (water plus the liquid from turnip)

Method:

In a small bowl soak the mushrooms in 1/3 cup warm water for approximately 20 minutes or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove the stems and cut into small pieces.

Finely chop green onion and set aside.

In a pan or wok, add the olive oil and sauté the mushroom and add the green onion until golden and fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.

On the same pan sauté the shredded turnip under medium heat, cook until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

In the meantime, in a medium bowl mix the rice flour, corn starch with 420 ml of liquid (cooking liquid from turnip, mushroom water and plain water). Add the drained cooked turnip and mix.

Return rice flour/turnip mixture back to the pan and add salt, pepper and mushroom/green onion. Cook under medium heat, stirring constantly as the rice flour batter cook the consistency will thicken.

Transfer the batter into a heatproof container (I used a rectangle Pyrex) and steam under medium-high heat. I used Tatung steamer, added 2 cups of water on the outside and set it to steam.

If steaming in the stove, make sure to check the water level and replenish if necessary. Once cooked remove the bowl from the steamer and allow to cool before slicing.

Remove the cake from the container and slice into approximately ½ inch thick or into cubes. Pan fry with a little of oil until both sides are golden brown.

Serve immediately, with the sauce of your preference.

– Interested in more Asian Inspired recipes? Check these out…

Did you know that there are my types of radish? Radish comes in a variety of shapes, lengths and colors. The main component of a radish is water, up to 95%. Radishes contain  vitamin C and other nutrients.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Tofu Fa with Sweet Peanut Soup

This a recipe for the traditional Taiwanese dessert made with soy milk. Actually it is a soy custard served with sweet peanut soup. It is a lighter version of tofu in terms of texture.

This recipe might sound strange for you if you were never been exposed to it. If you are familiar with dim sum, you might have encountered this dessert, but if you have never tried I encourage you to give this a try.

Tofu Fa or toufa…it is a traditional Chinese snack based on soy, like tofu, but much tender and silkier. In Taiwan it is served with cooked peanut soup (sweet), red bean, oatmeal, green beans or a combination of these items, depending of your taste.

Here I have it with a sweet peanut soup…yes, it sounds strange right? Yes, but once you try, might my get addicted to it…like my husband…

I kind of use the short cut, I used the tofu-fa from a box (comes with a package of dry soy powder and gypsum) but if you want you can make your own soy milk and add gypsum, which is a tofu coagulant. Gypsum is used in some brewers and winemakers to adjust the pH.

Some recipes call for gelatin or agar-agar…but these are different from tofu, they are more jelly like, and the texture and consistency are different from tofu.

Going back to tofu-fa, I followed the instructions from the box, please make sure that you add the appropriate amount of water for tofu-fa, otherwise you will end up with regular tofu and not the custard like texture.

Since all the instructions for the tofu-fa in on the box, I will only post the sweet peanut soup…believe it or not, it is very simple, only 2 ingredients, okay, 3 if you count water.

Ingredients:

  • 454 g (1 lb) skinned peanuts
  • Approximately 2 liters of water (8 cups)
  • Sugar to your taste

Method:

Wash the peanuts and soak them overnight.

Place the peanuts in a pressure cooker or slow cooker or a thermos cooker with water, which ever you prefer. Cook until the peanuts are soft and almost melting, creamy texture. It will take you a while to reach this texture…be patience it is well worth the wait.

Add sugar to your taste. Simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Serve warm, cold or over tofu-fa.

If you are adding the peanut soup to the tofu-fa you will need to add more sugar since the tofu-fa does not contain any sugar.

Tofu-fa can be served warm or cold.

 

If you enjoy this typical Taiwanese dessert, you might want to check on Green Bean and Barley Soup with Mochi Balls.

 

Did you know that gypsum, the coagulant used to make tofu and its derivatives is mainly calcium sulfate? Calcium sulfate is a mineral used in construction as a plaster, added to cement and to toothpaste as an abrasive compound. It is non-toxic , nevertheless, there are food grading gypsum which is widely used as calcium additive in flour, ice cream, canned cheese and of course tofu.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!