Turnip cake, also known as radish cake or Lo Bak Go, is a dim sum staple at yum cha. It's also a popular Lunar New Year dish as it symbolizes good fortune. It's commonly made with ingredients such as dried shrimp and Chinese sausage, but this is a vegan version with shiitake mushrooms that is just as tasty and is healthier!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cooking Time 80 mins
Steam Turnip Cake
- Drain shiitake mushrooms (reserve the soaking water), remove stems and chop into small cubes. Set aside.
- Peel turnip. Then cut into two halves. Grate one half and cut the other half into small strips.
- In a skillet, add turnip strips and a little bit of water and cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally so the turnip does not brown, for about 6 minutes or until turnip becomes translucent. Add more water as needed.
- Add grated turnip and reserved mushroom water to skillet. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Reserve any cooking liquid left. Set aside and let cool.
- Heat up sesame oil in a clean skillet over medium-high heat and fry mushrooms until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and fry for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside.
- Pour the cooking liquid from turnip into a measuring cup, and add water to make up to 200ml.
- In a big mixing bowl, add cooked turnip, mushrooms, water, rice flour, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Mix until combined. Add more water if you prefer a softer cake texture.
- Pour batter into an oiled container. Steam over medium-high heat for 50 minutes or until an inserted stick comes out clean.
- You may slice it up now and eat it as is, or you may pan-fry it.
Pan-Fry Turnip Cake
- Let the steamed turnip cake cool, then put in fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight to firm up.
- Cut turnip cake into slices.
- Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add turnip cake slices and fry both sides until golden and crispy.
- Serve with chopped green onion, sesame seeds and dipping sauces of your choice. Enjoy!
- Adjust grated turnip : turnip strips ratio according to your preference. More grated turnip will result in a smoother turnip cake and more strips will result in a cake with more textural contrast.
- Pan-fried turnip cake is quite high in carbs and fat. Enjoy in moderation and with some steamed vegetables for a more balanced meal!
- You can make turnip cake in advance and store the steamed cake in fridge to slice and fry later. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- Enjoy the pan-fried turnip cake as is, or serve with dipping sauces such as vegetarian XO sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, or chilli sauce.