Chinese Turnip Cake (Lor Bak Go)

Chinese New Years may have passed but that doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate with Chinese Turnip Cake! I love ordering these at the restaurants and with our never ending obsession with buying daikon to make pickled daikon or Japanese dishes, it seemed to make sense to make turnip cake with any extra daikon that we can’t finish.

However, as some of you may know, finding Chinese recipes on the internet isn’t exactly the easiest thing and even when I do find one, I’m skeptical as to how credible the source is how ‘authentic’ the recipe is. Lucky for us, we’ve stumbled across the blog WoksOfLife and tried a few of their recipes and found them to be quite authentic and delicious. And thus, they became our default go to site for any Chinese recipes. When we decided to make Chinese Turnip Cake, lo and behold, we checked their site first and luckily, they had it (yay!)

The ingredients aren’t too hard to find – in fact, we would say most of them are staples in a Chinese household.

One key thing to note is to soak your dried shrimps and mushrooms ahead of time (at least an hour to 2 before your anticipated cooking time). If you’re impatient like me, I used boiling water to rehydrate these ingredients to speed up the process. Also, do not throw the water which those ingredients were soaked in away! They have a lot of flavour and will be used later on in the cooking process.

Once the shrimps and mushrooms are rehydrated, chopped them up into small pieces. Along with the chopped green onion and chopped chinese sausage, cook them in some vegetable oil over medium high heat for a few minutes or the chinese sausage starts to get a bit dark and crispy.

Once done set aside. With the leftover water from the hydrated shrimp and mushroom, combine it to see if you have approximately 1 cup worth of liquid. If not, just top it off with extra water and use that liquid to boil the grated daikon. Boil for approximately 10 minutes. Strain daikon and reserve 3/4 of the residual liquid which the daikon was boiled in.

Mix in the cooking liquid, cooked daikon, and cooked ingredients from earlier together with the dry ingredients until it forms something like a thick paste. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to come together. Then, scoop the mixture into a greased pan – we used a square baking tray. Steam it for 50 minutes and when it’s done, it’ll look something like this – not that appetizing in terms of looks in our opinion…

Allow to cool for 30 minutes and when ready to serve, you may eat it as is or we like to pan fry ours so we just cut it up into squares and pan fry it on medium high heat in some vegetable oil. Voila you’re done! Serve with some hot sauce, hoisin sauce, and/or XO sauce.

Recipe below is adapted from Woksoflife.

Chinese Turnip Cake (Lor Bak Go)

Chinese Turnip Cake (Lor Bak Go)

Ingredients

  • 1 Daikon radish (about 20 oz.), grated
  • 1 cup liquid (from soaked dried shrimp and soaked dried mushroom)
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, washed, soaked and chopped
  • 3-5 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms, washed, soaked, and chopped
  • 1 Chinese sausage, diced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • white pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. First, rinse and soak your dried mushroom and dried shrimp to rehydrate them for at least an hour (preferably 2). Keep the liquid which the mushrooms and shrimps were soaked in for later, approximately 1 cups worth.
  2. Add your grated daikon and the soaking liquid into a large pot or dutch oven and bring it to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the turnip does not brown. Strain the cooked radish and reserve about ¾ cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. Pour cooked daikon including the reserve liquid into a large mixing bowl to cool.
  5. Heat your pan over medium heat and add some vegetable oil. Add the shrimp, mushrooms, and sausage and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped scallion and remove from the heat to cool.
  6. Add rice flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar, and white pepper into a separate mixing bowl and mix to combine. Then, add the radish and reserve cooking liquid and mix until combined. Add in the cooked shrimp, mushrooms and sausage, and the residual oil from the pan into the batter. Mix well and let sit for about 15-30 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into a well-oiled square pan and place it in a steamer with plenty of water to steam over medium-high heat for 50 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the steamer and allow the turnip cake to set and cool for about 30 minutes. Once cooled, loosen the sides with a spatula and turn it out onto a cutting board to cut into square pieces.
  9. You can serve the turnip cake as is but we prefer to pan fry it. Add some oil to a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and fry until both sides are golden and crispy. Serve with some hoisin sauce, XO sauce, and/or hot sauce.
  10. If you're making this in advance, you can always fry it later when you're ready to eat it.
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