Stir-Fried Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Gou): Leftovers go Lightly | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Stir-Fried Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Gou): Leftovers go Lightly

Stir-Fried Chinese Turnip Cake / Radish Cake / Lo Bak Gou 蘿蔔糕

Last week, also the first week of Chinese New Year, was almost all about eating. Like previous years, we had a family get-together playing mahjong, cards … in my flat, packed.

We feasted on tong yuan to celebrate the Festival. And as always, there were also Chinese cakes: lo bak gou 蘿蔔糕 (or luo bo gao aka turnip cake), and water chestnut cake 馬蹄糕 (ma tai gou) were sliced, pan-fried and served as snacks.

Happily, all homemade cakes were finished. What I have cooked here is the leftover of a store-bought turnip cake which was stir-fried with lettuce. This is not traditional because stir-fried lo bak gou is usually cooked with bean sprouts.

But the lettuce has also balanced the starchy turnip cake, making the whole dish lower in calories. It is somewhat like a warm salad and the portion here shall be good for two.

Stir-Fried Chinese Turnip Cake / Radish Cake / Lo Bak Gou 蘿蔔糕

It is quite a Chinese custom to make dishes with lettuce during the Spring (New Year) Festival because lettuce is pronounced as ‘san choi 生菜’ in our language and sounds similar to ‘生財’, meaning ‘thriving wealth’.

May this therefore helps me deliver you, ‘A prosperous and happy Year of Dragon!’

If you want to take a look at how turnip cake is made from scratch, let me walk you through here with step-by-step photos.

Chinese Turnip Cake / Radish Cake / Lo Bak Gou / Luo Bo Gao 蘿蔔糕

  • Ingredients
  • 5 slices of turnip cakes, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of ground white pepper
  • 6-8 lettuce leaves (wash and drain dry if necessary), shredded
  • Dressing / Sauce
  • 3 tbsp chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


Put cubed turnip cake in beaten egg, coating each cube evenly.

Arrange shredded lettuce on plate.

Mix well ingredients for dressing, add salt to taste.

Heat wok with oil over medium heat, when heated enough (same way as pan-fried tofu), pour in turnip cake with egg. Turn to low heat, let the egg set and browned a bit on the bottom side. Toss in chopped garlic, add some more oil if required. Then turn over (it doesn’t matter which other side you are browning, just gently give some flips and turns until all the coating is set and the cubed cakes are heated through, about a minute).

Dish up on the bed of lettuce. Serve with dressing while the lo bak gou is still hot.


Stir-Fried Chinese Turnip Cake / Radish Cake / Lo Bak Gou 蘿蔔糕

After shooting half portion of this recipe, I reheated the fried turnip cake left in wok together with the remaining dressing and lettuce. I want to tell you, that dish was good too particularly if you want it completely hot.

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  1. Juliana

    Wow, I never had Lo Bak Gou served this way, I usually just cut and pan fry all the sides until a crispy layer form. Next time I will try serving with lettuce and your dressing.
    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  2. Smoky Wok

    Beautiful and delicious!! This is such a great way of using leftovers YUM YUM 🙂

  3. noobcook

    I like the bite-sized cubes and fried to golden perfection =)

  4. Lisa H.

    I may have eaten this before when I was in KL, in one of the night markets… stir fry with bean sprout and egg.

    After feasting so much on CNY… this would be an excellent dish to enjoy 😀

  5. lena

    this is a good twist of cooking the turnip cakes with sake and sesame oil dressing. so how was your mahjong luck ? no mahjong for me but there were some of them playing cards over at my friend’s place but i didnt join in the game. You just reminded me here of my frozen tong yuen , i think i’m going to cook that on the 15th day.

  6. tigerfish

    I love love Lo Bak Gou! (pan-fried version is also my favorite dim-sum item).

  7. TasteHongKong

    Not much participation in the mahjong game due the errands in kitchen and taking care of my guests : ).
    Wish you a happy Lantern Festival … with tong yuen, turnip cake … and with your loved ones!

  8. Lori

    The turnip cake sounds delicious. I haven’t tried that yet, but we did have carrot cake in Singapore. This reminded me of it simply because of the name ‘cake’. Our minds always go to sweets when we hear cake around here, but that is sad correlation considering how many wonderful savory cakes there are in Asia.

  9. food-4tots

    I love turnip cake especially the stir-fried version. It is such a comfort food during CNY. Your version looks so delicious! 😉

  10. Mary Moh favourite. My family loves this. I had just made last week. I just pan fry the pieces and eat with chilli sauce. Next time I must fry with egg and preserved radish which is very popular back home in Malaysia. Great to know you have a wonderful Chinese New Year. It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!