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For those of us that enjoy an occasional dim sum meal must have tried one of the dim sum dish called turnip cake. This cake is light and delicious. Even though it`s called a cake, it`s not your ordinary baked and frosted cake with sweet icing. This cake actually is steamed and is more healthier. Of course everything has its limits.
The ones at dim sum is most likely always pan fried after being steamed. But sometimes I prefer to just eat it right off the steamer. Well not literally... Haha
So that`s why there`s an advantage in making your own and it`s very easy and satisfying especially if you don`t live close by to a restaurant that serves this.
The main ingredients I used to make this cake is turnip aka daikon, Chinese sausages and green onion. The recipe I tried listed several more ingredient which I opted to leave out but you can put these in if you want. I also adapted the recipe to my liking. I tried the recipe as is the first time around and found that my tastebuds was overwhelmed by saltiness. So let me share with you my adapted version and I`ll also list the full recipe afterwards.
2 medium sized turnips shredded
3 slices of ginger
200 g rice flour about 7 oz.
25 g cornstarch about 5 tsp
250 ml water about 1 cup
2 Chinese sausages diced
2 stalks green onion diced
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp chicken powder
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
First you want to dice the Chinese sausages and put aside. Then dice the green onions and put aside. In a bowl combine the rice flour and cornstarch then set aside. Next you want to heat a wok and stir fry the Chinese sausages on medium low until fragrant, do not burn. Clean the wok and heat it up again with some oil and stir fry the shredded turnip for about 6 minutes. Then add the ginger slices and cook for another couple minutes until turnip is cooked. Next add in the sugar, salt, chicken powder and white pepper powder. Mix thoroughly. After the turnip is cooked, turn off the heat and remove the ginger slices. Leave the turnips in the wok. Then you add the water to the flour mixture and mix well. After mixing the flour mixture, add it to the turnips and mix well. Then add in the sausages and green onions and mix well. Keep on mixing until the batter is no longer watery, like a thick dry sticky batter. It`ll take about a few minutes. Then pour into a pan and steam on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hr. To check if cake is done, stick a stick into the center. If it comes out clean, it`s done. I steamed mine in a 9` cake pan.
Now the reason why there is a variation in measurements for the salt and chicken powder is that sometimes I would add more salt and less chicken powder or vice versa. Or you could put in the same amount. Just up to your personal preference.
I also added a bit more turnip. I added anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 medium sized turnips where the original recipe called for 100 g of turnip which is about 1 medium sized turnip. You could add less if you want.
The other ingredients that was in the original recipe that I left out was :
5 dry scallops, washed and soaked and peeled into pieces
18 medium sized mushrooms, soaked and cut
** original recipe also called for 4 Chinese sausages but I just preferred to use only 2
The original amount of seasoning used in the original recipe are as follows:
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chicken powder
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
As you can see 2 tsp of salt and chicken powder was just too much for me. The outcome of the cake when I followed the recipe was just too salty for my taste. But I didn`t add the mushrooms or dried scallops but I don`t think that will affect the salt level. But I did use 4 Chinese sausages when I first made it and those already contain salt. It`s best to reduce the salt when making it the first time and adjust it from there to your liking otherwise you`ll end up with a really salty cake like me.
If you do follow the original recipe. The steps are basically the same. Except that you`ll stir fry the sausages, dry scallops and mushrooms at the same time. And for the filling you can add it all at once to the turnip mixture like me or as the recipe calls to save 1/4 of the sausages and green onion and sprinkle it on top of the cake before steaming. And for the 250 ml of water, you can use that water to soak the dry scallops after washing it and save the water for mixing in with the flour and cornstarch.
Another step you can add to this turnip cake is that after it has cooled down after its cooked, you can slice it up and pan fry it on each side until it`s golden brown like the restaurant.
***pictures belong to me, please don`t use without permission ***