Turnip or Radish Cake with Chinese Sausages | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Turnip or Radish Cake with Chinese Sausages

Fried Turnip or Radish Cake

Yes, it is cake again following the last recipe on Water Chestnut Cake, from which you may check out why cakes are so welcomed during the Chinese New Year. Actually this turnip cake or radish cake (Law Bak Gou 蘿蔔糕) is not only popular for the Festival but it is also one of the famous dim sum here in Hong Kong, served either steamed or pan fried throughout the year.

I particularly love to make this cake during winter when the turnips are most juicy and sweet. Like the Water Chestnut Cake, this can also be prepared in advanced and be stored in fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, allowing me to serve my family and friends any time they are ready to be my guests during the holidays. Happy!

  • Ingredients
  • 2kg turnip (white radish)
  • 300g rice flour
  • 50g corn starch
  • 2 pcs Chinese sausages (~100g)
  • 6 pcs dried black mushroom
  • 4 pcs dried scallop
  • 30g dried shrimps
  • 2 each shallots, finely sliced

Shredded Turnip
Ingredients for Turnip or Radish Cake

  • Marinades
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp wine
  • Seasonings
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil

Preparation

Turnips: Peel, rinse, shred (I use a food processor for cutting, which helps complete the task in just a few minutes). Rest all the turnip strips in a colander above a basin to drain and collect its juice. Draining the turnips is to prepare it for stir-frying as well as to reserve its juice for combining with the rice flour and corn starch.

Four Delicacies: We called the ingredients for cooking with the turnip the four delicacies, namely the Chinese sausages, dried mushrooms, dried scallops, dried shrimps.
Chinese sausages – rinse, coarsely chopped
dried mushrooms – rinse, soak in 1 cup of water for at least an hour or until soft, squeeze water in them and coarsely chopped, reserve water
dried scallops – rinse, soak in 1/2 cup of water for at least an hour, tear them into strips, reserve water
dried shrimps – rinse, soak in 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes, discard water
Marinade the reconstituted, chopped mushrooms, scallops and shrimps for about 10 minutes.

Turnip Cake Step by Step

Combine the corn starch and rice flour with 2 1/2 cups of water (inclusive of those collected from draining the turnip, soaking the mushrooms and scallops). Stir and mix well until smooth. Set aside.

Heat 3 table spoons of oil in wok over medium heat, sauté shallots till fragrant followed by chopped sausages, stir fry till they are also fragrant, then add in shrimps, mushrooms and scallops, keep stir frying. As all of them turn golden, about 3 minutes, toss in the turnip strips, add seasonings, and stir well. In about another 5 minutes, the strips will be softened and juice will exude from them.

Turn to low heat, slowly stir in flour mixture into the turnips (give the mixture a good stir before pouring in to avoid flour settling at the bottom). Turn and mix well until all incorporated well like a soft batter but is not runny, which almost like a sticky dough. Turn off heat.

Grease dish for steaming (mine is a 22cm diameter, 6cm depth round dish). Transfer the turnip batter into the pan, flatten it into same height. Steam the turnip cake over high heat for 40 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

Steamed Turnip or Radish Cake

To serve
1) Cut out your preferred size and serve hot.
2) Let cool, chill it in fridge, invert from dish, then cut into about 1cm thick slices and pan fry (chilling makes the cake firmer and thus pan frying easier). Usually, I serve the pan-fried turnip cake slices with chili sauce.
3) Or, it can simply be reheated by steaming after retrieved from fridge.
Enjoy!
Fried Turnip Cake with Chili Sauce

To get immediate updates and new recipes from my blog, you may also SUBSCRIBE them via RSS feeds. See you there.

Comments

Thank you for visiting, I would love to hear from you as much as I love to put up posts here ...
  1. Sook

    Wow the cakes look beautiful and delicious! No wonder why they are so popular during Chinese New Year’s! :)

  2. LeeYong

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I for one love turnip cakes and since I’m Chinese, I should give this a try! BTW, your cake looks wonderful!

    Happy baking!
    LeeYong

  3. Dave -nibbleanibble

    Steamed is good sometimes but I prefer pan fried on most occasions.

  4. MaryMoh

    Ooooh….my favourite. Yours look very delicious here with so many good ingredients there. I can’t get dried scallops here so have to omit. It’s quite a long time I have not made this. Have to start again soon. You have just started my craving!

  5. Kitchen Butterfly

    Looks great! And I can imagine it with some hot sauce…….hmmmmm!

  6. Hungryc

    This is one of my favourite dim sum dishes….amazed that you make it at home, and make it look so plausible. Love the step-by-step pics and instructions

  7. noobcook

    They look amazing. I never knew how to make them. I like the idea that they can store in the fridge for so long =)

  8. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    Wow, your pictures of Law Bak Gou 蘿蔔糕 are gorgeous.
    Love to cook some whenever I crave for it, dipping with some chili sauce, that makes me eat a lot. Delicious!.

  9. Patty

    I cannot believe how beautiful your turnip cake is! not only does it look good, but I can tell that they are absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing. I am most definitely going to try this dish. Would you mind describe Chinese sausage to me? I am sure I can find it at the local asian market, but I want to make sure I get the right kind. Thank you!

  10. Juliana

    Oh! My mom always makes this turnip cake…but she does not add all the goodies that you have in it like sausage, scallop and mushrooms. I love the slightly crispy layer of the cake when you pan fried it…so delicious…I must surprise my mom and make my own ;-)

  11. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    That is a perfect turnip cake! Recipe bookmarked.! Thanks

  12. Jason

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

    I am actually thinking of making one to give it a try but going to skip the steaming (step 6 above) phase and make it like a pan-fried turnip cake right from the mixture … I wonder if it would work out alright … ummm

  13. TasteHongKong

    Hi,
    I am reading your comments from Penang right now. Because of limited internet access, excuse me for not answering you one by one but I must say thank you all for sharing your thoughts and all the kind words.
    By the way, Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day!

    @Patty, Let me check if I’ve got a photo on Chinese sausage and hopefully get back to you when i’m in H.K. on March 2 : ).

  14. Joy

    YUMMMMMYYYYYY oh man I loooove turnip cake!!!!! I love that you put chinese sausages in them because I think those are the best kinds — I always get disappointed when restaurants get cheap and dont add it in. Great recipe, I will definitely try it sometime, thanks for sharing!

  15. waufat

    Wow! Your turnip cake look exceptional beautiful. I prefer plain one and usually eat with a lot pan-fried minced garlic.

    Occasionally I just add some dried shrimps to the turnip cake.

    Will try out this recipe but will omit sausage and scallop. Thanks.

  16. TasteHongKong

    @Patty, I have just put up a separate post on Chinese sausage at http://www.tastehongkong.com/ingredients/chinese-preserved-sausage/. Hope it comes in time.

  17. mycookinghut

    Love radish cake!! Glad to have found your blog!

  18. Divina

    This is a favorite in this house. Thank you so much for the step by step photos. I think I can make this at home already. :)

  19. TasteHongKong

    @Divina, Thanks. This indeed is a dish good for sharing.

  20. Pork Estofado

    […] Turnip or Radish Cake with Chinese Sausages | Blog about Recipes … […]

  21. Ga Ga Tse

    I would like to learn make the Radish Cake from this recipe, this is my first make the Radish Cake and special for my mother-in law, I hope she like it.

  22. TasteHongKong

    @Ga Ga Tse,
    If this is your first making a turnip cake, let me emphasize that it is important to drain the shredded turnips in a colander and collect their juice. With the juice (and also the water from soaking dried scallops) mixed into the flours, you will make a delicious cake.
    It is usual that the flour mixture will get thicken with the turnips as you cook them in wok, Keep stirring until they together thickened like a very sticky dough. The process toward the end does require some arm effort.
    Good luck and enjoy!

  23. carol

    my husband and i love radish cake! so excited that i can make my own! and i have some wonderful fresh turnips too!

  24. PrettyWahine

    I love turnip cakes! I’m glad to have found your blog! I guess I need to make a trip to China town to get some of the ingredients!

  25. TasteHongKong

    @PrettyWahine,
    Glad to have you visiting. Good luck shopping.

  26. Bette

    There is only one thing better than shopping in Hong Kong, and that’s eating. From small noodle joints to upscale French restaurant, you will locate all sorts of restaurant, eating hall and snack stall on earth in Hong Kong. Here I found small amount of Hong-Kong-styled snacks online (yummiexpress.freetzi.com). This is definitely a good choice before I have $ for another trip.

  27. Dim Sum, Right In Your Own Home! « The Pleasure Monger

    […] Pan-Fried Radish Cake (Lor Bak Gou) (adapted from Taste Hongkong) […]

  28. Happyfeetmama

    Hi, Glad to have found your blog through Mary Moh’s.

    Your Lor Bak Gou looks so inviting and delicious. Beautiful photos. Makes me want to try out this Lor Bak Gou recipe though I have made yam cake before. Thanks for giving such detailed and easy instructions to follow.

  29. TasteHongKong

    @Happyfeetmama,
    Thanks for your advice and kind words. Yes, I have enjoyed reading Mary’s homey, hearty recipes.
    Hope to hear from you again.

  30. ktuk85

    Just made this and the whole family loved it!
    Tastes just like the ones served in dim sum restaurants. Will be putting in more chinese sausages in next time though and perhaps some spring onions to make it look pretty.
    Every now and again though I got a bitter taste, I’m guessing it’s not quite the season for the turnips and mother said there was 1 large turnip which may have been the culprit due to its age therefore bitter in taste…must pick the young looking turnips next time :D

    Thank You for posting this wonderful recipe!

  31. TasteHongKong

    @ktuk85,
    Great to know your whole family loved this turnip cake!
    You are right, turnips are quite seasonal though they are available most of the time. When they are in season here, during cooler months, I like to pick those that are heavy for their sizes, indicating that they are more likely to be sweeter and juicier.
    Have fun and enjoy!

  32. Happyfeetmama

    I finally made this Lor Bak Gou last week and it tasted wonderful. The ingredients in this recipe is just right. My friends and colleagues love it and of course there was not enough to go round. Thanks you.

  33. TasteHongKong

    @Happyfeetmama,
    Thanks for writing again! So glad to learn that you and your friends had both enjoyed this . Turnips are juicy and sweet these months (usually before weather turns hot), meaning there are still months good for making our Lor Bak Gou.

  34. Shirley

    I made it for the first time last week and it is delicious!!! i love your page. i can’t wait to try the other recipes.

  35. TasteHongKong

    @Shirley,
    Hope you would enjoy other recipes as much as this, thanks for your feedback!

  36. Elsie Hui

    i love your Chinese creations! Thanks for blogging!

  37. chilli

    I made the cake according to your recipe but I cut the radish to 1 kg instead of 2. However I find the radish mixture too much for the flour mixture when I was about to cook the latter with the radish mixture.

  38. chilli

    Also the cake didn’t turn up as soft as I expected.

  39. TasteHongKong

    @chilli,
    With the same amount of flour, am afraid you should use 2kg than 1kg radish (or slightly less than 2kg after peeled). When you stir in the flour mixture into the radish, it might look a little bit thin. But as you cook them together, the mixture turns thicker. One of the above paragraphs, “Turn to low heat, slowly stir in flour mixture … almost like a sticky dough” describes the details.
    Hope the feedbacks from ktuk85, Happyfeetmama and Shirley will give you the confidence in making this again. Good luck!

  40. chilli

    OK I’ll try again but if I’m using 500 gm of radish, should I reduce the flour to 75 gm? Thank you for replying

  41. TasteHongKong

    @chilli,
    Although I haven’t made such a small amount before, your numbers look fine to me. And you may also want to proportionally adjust the amounts for other ingredients, seasonings, and marinades. Depending on the thickness of your cake (mine was ~6cm thick), you may also need to adjust the steaming time, but do not proportionate, as I believe it should need no less than ~20 minutes to get done. Also check doneness as suggested.
    Have fun and enjoy!

  42. tract

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. I was wondering if you know why my radish cake has a bitter taste. Is it the radish or is it my cooking method. It’s driving me crazy because I love radish cake but i’ve not master the technique of making a good one. Please help!!!

  43. TasteHongKong

    @tract,
    Radish which is not in season or is not of good quality might taste bitter. If the bitterness is mild, then adding some more sugar and oil while cooking it might help, but that could only reduce the unpleasant taste. The best solution is to get quality radish (that is why I said I like making radish cake particularly during winter).
    Have a bite to your radish after peeled to see if it is the cause of the bitterness.
    Hope my guess helps.

  44. carmen

    May I know why my radish cake is watery and sticky even after chilled for 2 days? Wht went wrong? Thx

  45. TasteHongKong

    @carmen,
    You may want to make sure if the radish shreds are drained and the flour mixture has been cooked enough (the runny batter, after cooked, should turn into a sticky dough for steaming). Not that sure if there are other possibilities as I have not experienced the same.

  46. Carmen

    May I know do I need to fridge it for few days so it won’t be sticky. Or I should put more rice flour up to 350 g so it won’t be sticky. I think it is hard to cook the sticky dough coz the wok will burn if cook too long. Don’t know why my radish is just sticky. Thx

  47. TasteHongKong

    @Carmen,
    To me, chilling the radish cake overnight is enough for easy cutting.
    Yes, if your wok can’t help that way, then it would be harder to get it right. Although it sounds possible with 350g rice flour if the cooked batter is thinner, the question is: how thin the consistency would be appropriate. Which means, you may need to experiment (with halved recipe perhaps).

  48. Tankchua

    I halved the entire ingredient list and the cake came out great texturely. Planned to finetune the taste to my palatte next time – more salt, less sugar:-) thangs TSK for the recipe.

  49. TasteHongKong

    @Tankchua,
    You are welcome; feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your own taste.

  50. Tracy

    Hi TasteHongKong, why is my radish cake not white like the ones made in the stores or dim sum places? My color is off greyish. Any clues? Thanks for you help.
    Tracy

  51. TasteHongKong

    @Tracy,
    If you see the cake turning greyish only after it is steamed, then it could be the utensils used for steaming, just a wild guess.

  52. Tracy

    Thank you so much. I used a stainless steel plate…I’ll try something different next time to see if it makes a difference. Thanks again.

  53. Eliza

    Hi
    Can I fry the cut sausages to remove excess oil then marinate it?
    In your recipe, do you marinate the 4 delicacies individually? If yes then Is the quantity used for the marinates for each delicacy or for all 4?
    What kind of wine do you use?
    Thank you!
    I can’t wait it try it out soon before it becomes perfect during next year’s CNY!

  54. TasteHongKong

    @Eliza,
    Just marinade the mushrooms, scallops, dried shrimps together as mentioned under “Four delicacies”. I used the white wine, Mei Kuei Lu Chiew 玫瑰露酒, as in this recipe (green bottle).
    Enjoy!

  55. Eliza

    Thank you!

  56. Tan yang Ming

    Hi, if your 1 cup water is equivalent to 277ml?

  57. TasteHongKong

    @Tan yang Ming,
    About 240ml, but I wasn’t that exact here.

  58. Tan yang Ming

    tks. i assume the cup size is the normal cup measurement and not the rice bowl right?

  59. Ana C.

    Hi! Can you also post a recipe for taro cake? Thanks!

  60. TasteHongKong

    @Ana C,
    Haven’t made taro cake for quite a while.

  61. Jazmyne

    Hi. I mam new at this. I want to surprise my HK husband with this cake but seem to be having a hard time converting the measurements go the ingredients. Would you be so kind to help me in that? Thank you.

  62. Emily

    My lo bak go came out to be superb except that it was a bit bitter on the first day but the bitterness was gone in the next 2 days. Our family enjoyed it very much during this CNY, many thanks. Would appreciate it if you could come up with your yam cake recipe – I love your cooking style!

  63. TasteHongKong

    @Jazmyne,
    This tool might be of help.

  64. TasteHongKong

    @Emily,
    Great! Happy to hear that your family enjoyed this too.
    Noted and thanks, but I haven’t made taro cake for quite a while.

  65. nostalgiceatery

    I love your blog and always look forward to the updates. I was just craving lo bak go when I saw your post on the Valentine’s Day version:) I live in Japan where Chinese sausages are hard to come by- but nevertheless I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  66. TasteHongKong

    @nostalgiceatery,
    Thanks!
    Consider using ham then; if it is a bit lean, add 1-2 more spoons of oil while frying the turnip shreds. Enjoy!

  67. nostalgiceatery

    thank you for this tip!

  68. nostalgiceatery

    I made this for the second time in 10 days… so addictive and so authentic tasting:) thanks for sharing this recipe! I ended up substituting salami which I happened to have, for the lap cheong, and added a little sugar to mimic the sweetness of lap cheong. It worked, the salami in the finished log bak go tastes like lap cheong!!

  69. TasteHongKong

    @nostalgiceatery,
    Smart! And thanks for sharing.

  70. papayasmoothie

    What type of pan do you use to steam it? I am using my baking pan but after 60 min…it is still not cooked. I think it may be too thick (Calphalon material)

  71. TasteHongKong

    @papayasmoothie,
    Mine was a stainless steel pan, and the cake was about 6 cm thick. I had also used glass baking dish and stoneware but not Calphalon.

  72. JJ

    Just made this and it was amazing! Every recipe I’ve tried from your blog has been delicious. Thank you so much for your blog

  73. TasteHongKong

    @JJ,
    You are welcome! Perhaps you might also like the Lo Bak Go in heart shape next time.

  74. Ana C

    I made the turnip cake according to the recipe, but it never thickened together. The consistency was more like a wet mash. The flavor was good, so I ended up eating it anyway, but the texture was way too wet. Can you provide some guidance? Do I need to stir it a lot in the wok to get rid of the moisture?

  75. TasteHongKong

    @Ana C,
    Right, you need to take some elbow grease to stir the flour mixture with the fried turnips in wok until they form a sticky batter (as the middle picture in the second row of the grid above), which should still be moist but not runny .

    You may also want to make sure that you didn’t add too much water/liquid (2.5 cups in total inclusive of those collected from draining the turnip, soaking the mushrooms and scallops) to the flours.

    Good luck and enjoy!

  76. www.adobe.com

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  77. Francesca

    Hi, I hust made this cake using 1 kg of turnip and cutting in half the rest of the ingredients . I squeezed very well the turnips to extract as much liquid as possible. After 1 hour and half of steaming it was still very gooey. And in that size mold was barely fitting. Cannot imaging doubling the recipe. I looked at other recipes and most use 300 g rice flour for 700-800 g of turnip, hopefully resting in the fridge will help. Appearance before steaming was similar to yours. Do you have any suggestion to fix this if doesn’t firm up?

    Thanks!

  78. TasteHongKong

    @Francesca,
    Right, for 2kg turnip, I use 300g rice flour but note that we also need 50g corn starch and only a total of 2 1/2 cups of water (inclusive of all those reserved from draining the turnip, soaking the mushrooms and scallops). You may read repeated successes from above.

    If the dough could also form a sticky mass before steamed, I wonder if it was the steaming that caused the problem, like having condensed water droplets dripped from the lid into the food; but not sure, as it should not be that bad. To prevent this, you may try covering the pan/mold with a foil or with a dish and steam several minutes longer.

  79. Francesca

    I just want to let you know that I tried another recipe that used much more flour. It was better but still didn’t firm up enough to give a clear cut.
    So possibly the problem was with the flour I used: http://www.bobsredmill.com/organic-white-rice-flour.html
    It feels a little coarse compared to the Thai or Chinese variety.

  80. cpl

    Hi, I made this yesterday. The taste is good. The only problem was the texture. It is quite sticky when eat. The mixture before i steam is like what you have described. Even after it is chilled, it is still sticky. Any advice what has gone wrong?

  81. TasteHongKong

    @cpl,
    Generally, the higher the water content, the more sticky the cake, and vice versa. You may want to check that if the turnip shreds are drained well, if not, they might leach excess liquid into the cake as it is being steamed (also make sure 2 1/2 cups water added to the dough include all those liquid collected from draining the turnip, soaking the mushrooms and scallops).

    This cake is sticky but not gooey, if you want to reduce its stickiness, try to add a couple spoons more of corn starch. Honestly, I do not feel we need to add more, as my preference is a less starchy version.