Chinese turnip cake

My mom dropped off a turnip cake for Chinese New Year, and it’s delicious. Turnip cake symbolizes prosperity and fortune.

(I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to my other posts about symbolism in Chinese food, but there’s a lot of food that symbolizes some combination of prosperity, fortune and wealth. No wonder the Chinese like to eat so much.)

Anyway, turnip cake is a cross between a cake and a pancake. It’s made of daikon (a long, white, Chinese turnip), rice flour, Chinese sausage, and dried shrimp. My mom also throws in dried scallops and cilantro. The mixture is pressed into a cake pan and steamed.

Then it’s delivered to my house, where I cut it into pieces and panfry them until they’re crispy on both sides. Yum.


3 responses to “Chinese turnip cake

  1. josephwuorigami

    I love them, too, but I need to find people willing to make them without the dried shrimp due to my allergy. Dried scallops are a regular ingredient, although cilantro is not. And in Chinese, daikon is called lo bak. (Just little ol’ nitpicky me…)

  2. I like the addition of cilantro, which is odd because I don’t usually like cooked cilantro. Maybe you’ll just have to make your own turnip cake? If my mom can make it, surely you can!

    Yes, I call it ‘lo bak’ too, but people seem to be more familiar with the term ‘daikon’ so I that’s what I went with.

    Glad to have my own personal fact-checker, Joseph! 🙂

  3. josephwuorigami

    Too many recipes to learn! I grew up with a mom & grandmother who cooked Chinese cuisine well, so I never bothered to learn it. I learned other cuisines instead. And having lived in Japan as an “invisible gaijin”, I’m a bit oversensitive to the differences between things Chinese and things Japanese. 🙂

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