Why It Works
- A high ratio of radish to rice flour creates a more full-flavored turnip cake.
- Bits of Chinese sausage, Chinese bacon, dried shrimp, and dried mushrooms pack flavor into every bite.
Studded with Chinese sausage, Chinese bacon, and shiitake mushrooms, this steamed (and then, optionally, pan-fried) daikon radish-based snack is a classic at both the Chinese New Year, and also on dim sum tables year-round.
Note: Lap yuk (Chinese cured pork belly), Chinese sausage, and dried shrimp are available at Asian grocers.
This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and lightly updated to guarantee best results. For a smoother texture and more balanced flavor, we added 1/4 cup of water during the cooking of the daikon and reduced the amount of shiitake mushrooms and Chinese bacon used.
1/2 ounce (58g; 1 3/4 cup) dried shiitake mushrooms (10 to 15 mushrooms)
3 pounds daikon radish, peeled and finely grated on a box grater
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
3 ounces (2/3 cup) Chinese bacon (lap yuk), diced, see note
2 (3.25 ounces; 100g) Chinese sausage (lap cheong), diced, see note
1/4 cup (1 ounce; 28g) small dried shrimp, rinsed and patted dry, see note
1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
8 ounces (230g; 2 1/4 cup) rice flour
Toasted sesame oil, for serving
2 scallions (1 ounce; 30g), white and light green parts only, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving (optional)
Hoisin sauce and Sriracha, for serving
Place dried shiitakes in a heatproof bowl and pour over enough hot water to cover. Soak until rehydrated and plump, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms, rinse under cold running water, and squeeze out excess water. Trim and discard stems and dice caps.
Set a large pot, Dutch oven, or wok over medium heat and add grated daikon and 1/4 cup (60ml) water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until daikon is slightly translucent, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon brown sugar until dissolved. Transfer everything to a bowl and set aside. Wipe Dutch oven or wok clean.
In the same Dutch oven or wok, add diced shiitakes, bacon, sausage, and dried shrimp. Cook, stirring, until bacon and sausage have rendered some fat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons brown sugar and the soy sauce and cook, stirring often, until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute longer. Transfer everything to a bowl with the cooked daikon.
Add rice flour in thirds to the daikon mixture, mixing thoroughly between additions (make sure no traces of flour are left at the bottom). If flour mixture becomes too difficult to stir, stir in up to 2 tablespoons (30ml) water to loosen slightly; the final texture should be sticky and the mixture will be somewhat loose.
Scrape mixture into two 7- by 5-inch baking dishes (greased with cooking spray) or disposable aluminum baking trays. Set up a steamer large enough to hold one of the baking dishes, then, working 1 baking dish at a time, steam turnip cake until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining baking dish. Let cooked turnip cakes rest 20 minutes. Loosen the sides with an offset spatula or butter knife and turn it out onto a cutting board. Slice each cake into 9 even squares.
Heat a large nonstick with 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add cakes; cook, undisturbed, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
Drizzle turnip cakes with sesame oil and top with chopped scallions, cilantro, and sesame oil, if using. Slice and serve with hoisin sauce and/or Sriracha on the side. The cooked turnip cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
2 (7- by 5-inch) baking dishes or disposable aluminum baking trays)
This Recipe Appears In
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||10%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||14%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 27mg||134%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|