Friday, December 28, 2012

Making Radish Cake

Radish cake is one of those dishes that Chinese people almost always order when they are having dim sum. That and "har gow" (shrimp dumpling) and shu mai (pork dumpling) are pretty common. While it's easy to find plenty of dumplings in the freezer section of any Asian market, radish cake (or "turnip cake") is something that has to be made from scratch. There are plenty of recipes online, such as this one (, but they look like they take a ridiculous amount of time to make. So, the Poor Student has created a video to make the whole process easier. There are other videos on youtube that show you how to make radish cake, so check those out too, in case you want a second opinion...

Basically, you need 2 cups rice flour, 1.5 cups water, 6 shitake mushrooms, around 3 lbs daikon (Japanese radish), and 2 Chinese sausages (or other kind of sausage). Other things you can add are scallions and dried shrimp. The base of the recipe is rice flour, water, and radish. All of the other stuff is just for adding flavour. To make the process easier, you can use a grater to grate the daikon or a food processor (instead of dicing the daikon with a knife). Chop or process everything, cook the daikon with the flavouring ingredients, mix the water with the rice flour, and throw it all together in a loaf pan. Steam it for an hour. Cool it for several hours, slice it, and pan fry it. While you're waiting for it to cook, go do your homework and set an alarm to tell you when to do the next step. The recipe is time consuming mainly because of the time it takes to cook the daikon, steam it, and cool it. The rest of the steps are pretty quick.

Making this dish is like making polenta but perhaps with a bit more chopping involved. It's kinda time consuming but one batch will yield about 10 large slices, which can be stored in the fridge until you're ready to fry one up.

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