I have fond memories of making delicious food with my mum and grandmother around Chinese New Year. When making Turnip cake, Mum always put copious amounts of sausage and mushrooms and I got so used to that ratio, that I would snub other store- bought ones in favour of hers.
This is one of my favourite Chinese New Year celebration dishes. It’s not just for Chinese New Year though – you can have it year round and quite often at yum cha too.
The recipe says to chop and grate the turnip. The reason for this is purely for texture. You can really taste the sweet turnip with the thicker strips and the grated portion contributes to the overall sturdiness of the cake.
As the batter will be really sticky, I highly recommend cooking this in a non stick pan, rice cooker or even the pot of the pressure cooker, which is what I used. The clean up is so much easier!
Highly non-traditional, is the use of a sharp edged tray to cook these in. This is to facilitate equal sized pieces and hasten the preparation of all welcoming dishes before guests arrive. You can make them in many types of pans: round baking pans, rectangular loaf pans and if they are for gifting, make them in foil trays so they can be transported easily.
Wrap any left overs with food wrap and place in a sealed container. It will keep well refrigerated for up to 5 days.
800g chinese Turnip 白蘿蔔
170g rice flour 粘米粉
30g wheat starch 澄麵
4 Chinese sausages (about 120g), diced
8 Chinese mushrooms 冬菇 (soaked 240g), diced
5 dried scallops 60g, chopped
2 shallots, diced
3/4 cup Chicken stock (I use Gault’s)
- Peel the skin off the turnip. Grate half into a bowl, and chop the rest into fine strips (around 0.5cm)
- Oil your steaming pans.
- Mix the flours in a bowl, set aside.
- In a hot pan, fry the diced sausages, mushroom and scallops for a few minutes, until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add a tablespoon of oil in the pan and fry the shallots until fragrant. Add turnip and cook for a few minutes, then add chicken stock, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the turnip is soft.
- Turn off the heat and add in flours in a quick motion. Stir to create a semi cooked batter. It should be thick and not watery.
- Add the cooked sausages, mushroom and scallop, stir to mix well (you can also reserve some of this cooked mixture and layer it on the top).
- Pour mixture into your oiled steaming pans and steam on high for 45 to 60 minutes. It’s done when there are no opaque batter when poked with a toothpick.
- Cool thoroughly for it to harden.
- Slice into 1 to 1.5 cm pieces and pan fry both sides till golden.
- Serve with sriracha hot sauce or XO sauce.