Chinese Radish Cake

I bought a huge radish (about 10-12 inches long and 3-4 inches thick) from Otara Market.  Used half of it the same night and made a Turnip cake.


Daikon radish (or Chinese radish), botanically known as Brassicaceae raphanus sativus, is a white-fleshed tuber also known as Japanese horseradish or mooli.  The word ‘Daikon’ is Japanese for “great root”.

Turnip cake (or Radish cake) is a Chinese dim sum dish made of shredded radish and plain rice flour.  The recipe is similar to making Yam cake (or Taro cake).

Turnip cake tastes lighter as compared to Taro cake which is a lot more dense and starchy.  Personally, I like taro cake better but it has a lot more carbohydrate compared to turnip cake which is light and easy to eat.

Here’s a simple recipe to make Turnip cake, a Yam Cha (Dim Sum) dish.  They are great for brunch or mid-afternoon snack with tea.


Group A
1 Chinese white radish (or half if they are giant sized) shredded
1 teaspoon chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 few dashes of light soya sauce
1 cup water
Oil for frying

400gm rice flour (1 packet) mix with 400gm water and stir well.

Group B
100 gm dried shrimp soak in water for an hour
2 cloves garlic
1 small piece of preserved Chinese turnip (40gm)
Oil for frying

  1.  Soak the dried shrimp in a cup of water and leave for at least an hour.
  2. Skin the radish and shred into pieces.  Put aside.
  3. Remove the dried shrimp from the water and mince together with garlic and preserved turnip in a blender.
  4. In a shallow pan, put in a little oil and fry the minced items (Group B) till fragrance.
  5. Leave all fried items aside.
  6. In a big saucepan, put in some oil and fry the shredded turnips.
  7. All in all the seasoning in Group A (chicken stock, five spice powder, soya sauce).
  8. Pour in two cups of water and cover to cook for 5 to 10 minutes under medium heat.
  9. Reduce heat to low.  Slowly pour in the rice flour water and keep stirring into the turnip mixture.
  10. Add in the fried ingredients from Group B.
  11. Continue stirring under the mixture thickens.  About 10 minutes.
  12. Spray/oil an 8 inches cake tin or an 8 inches white (pyrex) baking dish.
  13. Pour the cooked turnip mixture into the dish and using a spatula to flatten the top.
  14. Steam in medium flame for 40 minutes.
  15. Leave cake overnight.
  16. When cool, cut into small pieces and pan fry the necessary portions.
  17. Freeze the balance and thaw before using the next time.  Good for 6 months.

Total preparation and cooking time: 120 minutes (not including the pan frying part)

I have a weird way of enjoying my turnip cake.  Could be a habit formed from young.  A thin spread of Marmite (or Vegemite) gave the cake an even better taste (yummilicious though my taste buds may not be the same as yours).  The turnip cake is, however, to be just eaten as it is.  The flavour is already superb on its own.  Some people like a little chilli sauce to give the taste an added kick.

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