Turnip Cake is commonly served in Dim Sum restaurant, usually cut into rectangular slices and deep-fried. Crunchy layer on the outside and is soft on the inside. It is one of the standard traditional dishes in the Dim Sum cuisine of Hong Kong and China as well as overseas Chinatown restaurants. (This is as popular as another Dim Sum dish, Lo Mai Gai). It is also commonly to have this cake during Chinese New Year, since the word for radish is a homophone for “good fortune” in the Hokkien language. In Taiwan, Turnip Cake is a common breakfast, they Pan-Fried the cake with eggs.
In Malaysia, we have another alternative version of Turnip Cake. The cake cut into dice and stir fry with dark soy sauce, preserved radish, chives, bean sprouts, egg and chilli paste. It call Char Koay Kak, can easily found in Malaysia Hawker Food Court. It is delicious no matter deep-fried, pan-fried or fried, always my favourite comfort food.
My Childhood Memories
In my memory, the Turnip Cake I felt more impressed was the Char Koay Kak (Fried Radish Cake) to me. An uncle always with the same white t-shirt and black frame glasses. Which was frying Turnip Cake on his tricycle stall in front of the wet market. Uncle was not friendly, maybe his business was too good and too many special requests from customers. But it didn’t stop me from loving uncle’s Charcoal Char Koay Kak.
The Char Koay Kak was wrapped like a pyramid with the banana leaves and newspaper. Using a bamboo stick to poke the Char Koay Kak was the classic way to eat this dish. This was my favourite tea time snack in childhood.
Steamed Turnip Cake is the main one you have to do it first. Then can simply turn it into 3 different ways to serve. Pan-Fried (Taiwan Style), Deep Fried (Lo Bak Go) and Fried (Char Koay Kak).
Turnip Cake Recipes (Char Koay Kak, Lo Bak Go, Chai Tow Kway)
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- 500 g White Radish
- 300 ml Water for soak dried shrimp
- 700 ml Water
- 400 g Rice Flour
- 40 g Wheat Starch
- 25 g Garlic
- 25 g Dried Shrimp
- 4 tbsp Lard
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 tbsp Soy Saucea
- 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- Soak the dried shrimp in 300ml of water.
- Peel and slice the white radish and set aside.
- Mince the garlic and set aside.
- Pound the soaked dried shrimp.
- Sift the rice flour and wheat starch, add the soaked dried shrimp’s water and another 700ml of water and seasoning then stir well.
- Add lard to pan sauté garlic and dried shrimp and then add white radish fry until fragrant.
- Slowly pour the flour paste and stir fry over medium-low heat until thick and fill in to the mold (pour a little oil and wipe the mold with a brush).
- Steam with medium heat for 1 hour.
- After cooling, remove the mold and cut slices.
💥 DEEP FRIED
- Pour oil into a hot pot and wait until the oil temperature rises to bubbling. Put two sliced carrot cake in hot oil
- Deep Fried until golden brown and take out put on strainer to drain oil.
🍳 PAN FRIED
- Add a tablespoon of lard to the hot pan. Pan fried the steamed radish cake until the surface is slightly burnt.
- Add an egg into it
- Fry until the egg cooked.
- Add 1 tablespoon of lard to the hot pan. Add the diced radish cake and pour in a little dark soy sauce then stir-fry until the surface is slightly burnt
- Add another 1 tablespoon of lard and add preserved radish and chives.
- Add a teaspoon of chili paste.
- Add in bean sprouts.
- Add an egg and stir fry until it cooked.