Fried Radish Cake 蘿蔔糕 (luóbo gāo) Radish cake is one of the great staples of breakfast stores and dim sum restaurants.
Although you use four cooking methods (frying, simmering, steaming and frying) to complete the dish, it is fairly easy.
600 g (1.3 lb) daikon radish
850 ml water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon white pepper
300 g (11.5 oz) rice flour
Peel, and grate radish finely.
Heat some oil in a wok, add radish to wok, mix in, fry at medium heat, stirring occasionally until radish threads are soft (10–15 minutes).
Add sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir, and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add 400 ml of water, stir, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, add 450 ml of water to rice flour, mix till smooth. Add to wok gradually, while continuing to stir as mixture thickens.
Lightly grease a large pan. Place mixture into a pan. *Steam for about 40 minutes.
Allow to cool before running a knife around the inside edge of the pan and carefully turn the cake out onto a cutting board as you would for a sweet cake.
Cut cake into 1 cm (1/2") slices, then cut into manageable size pieces for the frypan.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a flat frypan, and fry radish cake on each side until golden brown and crisp. Add more oil as necessary as you cook through the batch.
Serve as is or with chilli or soy sauce.
Notes: *To steam I use an electric rice cooker (basic type with water in the outer pan). If you don't have one, you need some kind of bain-marie/double boiler arrangement: basically, steam your pan of radish mixture inside a larger covered container with water. Rice flour (rice powder) is not the same thing as rice starch. Dish is also known as turnip cake, loh pak kou.
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An enormous amount of rice is grown and consumed in China, but to characterise Chinese as rice eaters, or call China a "rice-based" society, as the Asia Rice Foundation does, (an organisation that should know better), is quite misleading … more