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three pieces of fried turnip cake on a white plate

Dim Sum: Turnip Cake

Servings 8 -10
Author Sharon Wong


  • 2 daikons 1 1/2 inch diameters
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 Chinese sausages "lap cheong" (optional or substitute bacon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil optional
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots optional
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp optional
  • 2 green onions chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or soy alternative optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar optional
  • 3 1/2 cups rice flour 1 pound bag
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Oil as needed


  1. Brush some oil on a 2 quart casserole that will fit inside a large stock pot (8 quarts or larger), set aside.
  2. Fill a large stock pot (8 quarts or larger) with 1 1/2 inches of water with a steamer rack and set on low heat until step 12.
  3. PREPARE DAIKON: Peel and grate the daikons into a bowl or a fine colander, dice the last 2 inches.
  4. Salt with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
  5. Squeeze some of the daikon liquid out.
  6. Boil the daikon with 4 cups of broth in a 4 qt or larger pot with a lid on and then simmer on low to medium heat for 30-40 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
  7. PREPARE DESIRED MIX INS: cut the Chinese lengthwise into quarters and dice, chop green onions, cilantro and carrots; rinse and soak dried shrimp in a tiny amount of water for 10 minutes and then coarsely chop.
  8. IF USING Chinese sausage or bacon, then render fat in a small frying pan on low heat, and when the sausage/bacon starts to sizzle, stir fry in the chopped carrots or dried shrimp for a few minutes.
  9. IF NOT USING Chinese sausages or bacon, then stir fry the desired mix-in ingredients (carrots, shrimp) in 1/2 teaspoon of oil for a few minutes.
  10. Season the mix in ingredients with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce (or alternative) and 1/4 teaspoon sugar, remove from heat and set aside.
  11. ASSEMBLY: Check the water level of the stock pot and raise the temperature to medium high so that the water is bubbly and boiling.
  12. Add rice flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a medium bowl and stir in 2 cups of cold water until the batter is smooth and not lumpy.
  13. Increase the heat of the daikon and broth to a rolling boil, remove from heat and immediately pour in the rice flour batter and stir quickly.
  14. Add the mix-in ingredients and stir (the mixture should resemble mashed potatoes if 1) the daikon is boiling hot and 2) the broth is reduced)
  15. Transfer the daikon and rice flour mixture to the prepared casserole and steam for 60 minutes on medium high heat.
  16. Allow daikon cake to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  17. FRYING; Preheat the frying pan on medium heat.
  18. Turn the casserole upside down on a cutting board and give a few taps, the daikon cake should slide out.
  19. Cut the cake into quarters and cut each quarter into 1/2 slices.
  20. When the pan feels hot when you hold your hand over it, add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat pan (use non-stick cooking spray if eggs/pancakes stick to it).
  21. Pan fry for 10-12 minutes until crispy and slightly browned and if your frying pan sticks, use a little non-stick spray on the tops of the turnip cake before flipping over to pan fry for another 10-12 minutes.
  22. Garnish with chopped onion or chopped cilantro for a pretty presentation (optional) and enjoy!