This is the second time I made white radish cake and I can safely tell you that it is the easiest to make because you can never go wrong with it. It is very nice, tasty, cheap and yummy. In fact, much yummier than any of the dimsum restaurant version.
The white radish must be grated coarsely. Then, cook with some water. Initially, the smell of the fresh white radish can be off putting because my son said ‘Blek, this smells like some chemical.’ White radish has very strong ‘earthy’ smell so you need to cook it in some water for about 15-20 minutes. The grated white radish will soften and when cooked for a while, the smell disappears.
Then, I squeezed out the water from the cooked radish and season with oyster sauce, pepper and salt.
In another pan, I fried some dried shrimps and pound them.
Then, in another huge bowl, I mixed a batter of flour and boiling hot water. After the mixture is well mixed, I added the dried shrimps and the white radish and combine with the flour batter.
Next, put the batter into thin layer in a steaming pan and spread the surface smooth and steam over boiling water for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your batter.
The steamed white radish cake can be eaten on its own. However, many people prefer the fried version. I cut the radish cakes into oblong and deep fried them in very hot oil till the outer layer is crispy and brown.
Recipe for white radish cake
Part A –
500 – 600 grams of white radish, skinned and grated.
100 ml water
Cook the grated radish with water for about 15-20 minutes until the radish is soft and you don’t smell a very strong earthy smell.
Part B –
One handful of dried shrimps, either roasted or fried in oil till crispy. Pound
Optional – 1 Chinese sausage, cut into tiny cubes.
Part C –
300 grams rice flour (do not use glutinous rice flour but only rice flour)
60 grams wheat starch or tung mee fun (tang mien fern) – wheat starch is wheat flour without gluten. The gluten is normally used to make vegetarian mock meats while the leftover flour is the wheat starch. It gives a sticky, jelly like texture like tapioca flour. Normally it is use for making chai kuey which is an almost transparent like skin. Can be found at some supermarkets and cake supplies shop.
600-700 mls hot, BOILING, water.
Mix the flour in a big mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and pour the hot boiling water into it. Mix with spatula till well combine.
Seasonings consist of 1 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper and 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce (optional)
When the flour batter is well mixed, add the radish, dried shrimps and seasonings and combine well.
Put into steaming tray and steam for 30-45 minutes. Ideally, keep the thickness to about half an inch.
You can either deep fried the white radish cake or you can even cut the steamed radish cakes into cubes and fry them with beansprouts, eggs, garlic and prawns just like frying koay kark or koay teow style.
I got this recipe from a Chinese/English recipe book and they mentioned that white radish cake is a Chinese New Year festival dish. I halved the portion of the ingredients given because my original recipe calls for 1 kilogram of white radish! You can actually make a big portion, steamed it and store it nicely in the fridge, wrapped. Then, take the portion required and deep fry before serving.