Turnip Cake

It is been a while since the last time I post a dim sum recipe. Just in case you don’t know what dim sum is. It is a Cantonese style brunch that people normally enjoy with tea. It is a variety of food that is prepared as small portions and served in a bamboo steamer or on a small plate. I am a super fan of dim sum. I have a playlist of all the dim sum recipes that I love. I will put the link in the description. You can check it out later. But now I am going to show you another classic – Cantonese turnip cake. I know it sounds weird. But this is a dim sum staple. So let’s get started.

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4.73 from 11 votes

Turnip Cake / Radish Cake Recipe



  • Peel the Chinese radish. Julienne half of it into thick strips. Roughly diced the other half.
  • Soak 4 pieces of dried shitake mushrooms with clean water 4 hours in advance or until they are nice and soft.
  • Soak 30 grams of dried scallop and 30 grams of dried shrimp with water 1 hour in advance.
  • Squeeze the water out of the mushroom. Do not throw away the soaking liquid because it is packed with umami flavor. Use a strainer to collect the liquid from the scallop and the shrimp. Put the umami liquid aside, we will use it later.
  • Dice the mushroom and shrimp. Use your fingers to shred the scallop.
  • Dice 100 grams of Chinese cured pork belly and 100 grams of Cantonese sausage.
  • Dice 4 shallots and 4 cloves of garlic.
  • In a large mixing bowl. Add in 400 grams of rice flour, 120 grams of wheat starch. If you cannot find it, you can use cornstarch or potato starch instead. Season it with 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar, 1 tbsp of oyster sauce. A big drizzle of sesame oil. Some freshly ground white pepper to taste. You can also use black if you want. Pour in 800 grams of water. Carefully whisk everything. Check the bottom constantly. If you see any lumps, just keep mixing until it is completely dissolved. Set it aside.
  • Get your wok ready. Add 3 tbsp of cooking oil while the wok is cold. Follow up with the diced shallot and diced garlic. Turn the heat to low. Fry these aromatics until they are nice and golden brown. This will take 8-10 minutes. Stir continually so they don’t get burned. Use a strainer to fish them out.
  • Leave the oil in the wok because we will use that to cook the mushroom, cured pork belly, sausage, and seafood. Stir them on medium heat for 5 minutes. Take it out and set it aside.
  • Keep using the same wok, add all the radish in along with 400 grams of the soaking liquid that we collected before. Cover the wok. Bring it a boil.
  • Once it comes to a boil, keep stirring and cooking it at medium heat for 5 minutes. Or until your radish becomes translucent.
  • Turn off the heat. Bring the starch mixture over here. Make sure you stir it first because starch likes to sink to the bottom. Pour 1/4 of the mixture in. Make sure your heat is off. I am using a gas stove. When the flame stops, the heat stops too. If you are using an electric stove, please move the wok away because the rest of the heat from the induction stove will keep cooking the food and you will end up having starch sticky at bottom of the wok.
  • Keep mixing this until there is no running liquid in the wok. Pour another 1/4 of the mixture. Mix it again until you don’t see any running liquid. Introduce the cooked ingredients that we prepared back to the wok- the Seafood, cured meat, sausage, mushroom, fried shallot, and garlic. Mix until well combined.
  • Dump in the rest of the mixture. Keep mixing. In the end, the mixture should be quite fluent but it is also thick. The starch is not running away from the radish or other ingredients. That is what we want. You can cook a small amount in the microwave and taste it. See if you need to adjust the flavor. I like to make it less salty than my preference so when you serve it with the dipping sauce, it will be perfect.
  • Put the radish&flour mixture into a baking pan with a parchment paper placed at the bottom. Giggle the mixture around so it will be flat. This recipe is enough to fill up 2 baking pans (8*8*2inches).
  • Place the baking pan on the steamer rack. Cover the lid. Use high heat to bring this to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, let it steam for 40 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Take the cake out. Let it cool completely. Once it is cooled, you can cut it into whatever size you like.
  • Place the turnip cake in the cast iron skillet with some oil. Pan-fry them on medium-low heat. Each side needs a couple of minutes. Once it is nice and golden brown. Take them out.
  • Garnish with some green onions. And you are done. For the dipping sauce, hot siracha is great. If you don’t eat spicy food, hoisin sauce is perfect. It is sweet and nutty. Enjoy.


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