Yum Cha Style Radish Cake

This is a steamed, savoury cake. And it is gluten free. 

Radish Cake (Yum Cha style)
I'm told that in Hong Kong, this cake is popularly eaten and also gifted to relatives/friends during the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities as its name in Cantonese apparently sounds auspicious (or something like that). 

Many years ago, a good friend shared with me her family recipe for Steamed Yam Cake. I've adjusted her base batter ratio for use with radish - which has a lot more moisture content - instead of yam. And now, I have converted this recipe to be prepared (and if desired, steamed) using the CP.

It is usually made as a whole cake and then cut into slices or wedges to serve. Yum cha restaurants traditionally serve it in slices, pan-fried, and with little plates of dipping sauces like hoisin/chilli sauce. It tastes really nice freshly pan-fried so each slice has a nice thin crusty fragrant skin and the inside is warm and soft.

Steamed Radish Cake

600 gms fresh radish (daikon) - peeled, roughly slice into 2 cms slices
2 tablespoons dried shrimps
6-8 pieces dried shitake mushrooms
2 Chinese sausages
4 cloves garlic - peeled
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 tablespoons neutral flavoured oil

Batter Ingredients:
1 lt water - mix of soaking liquids and plain water
300 gms fine rice flour
10 gms tapioca flour
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)


Prepare these following ingredients beforehand :-
  1. Shitake mushrooms - wash and soak in boiling water for 1 hour, then remove, squeeze excess water off and remove/discard the hard stalk. Reserve the soaking liquid.
  2. Dried shrimps - rinse and soak in water for 15 minutes. Remove from water and reserve the soaking liquid.
  3. Chinese sausages - soak in water for a few minutes, then peel off the skin and slice into thickness similar to that of the mushrooms.
  4. Slowly pour the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and dried shrimps into a measuring jug, discarding the bottom bit which might have some sediment. Top up with water to make 1 litre. Add this water into the rest of the batter ingredients and stir till batter is lump free. Set aside.

Step 1
Insert MultiBlade into CP bowl. Add radish pieces, pulse briefly a couple of times to coarsely chop radish. Do not over process radish, you need it to resemble grated radish, not puree. Remove and set aside.

Step 2
Without washing CP bowl, and still using MultiBlade, add garlic and pulse 3 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl, then add Chinese sausages, mushrooms, dried shrimps, and pulse briefly till ingredients are coarsely chopped. Change to StirAssist blade. Add white pepper and oil. Launch program Fry P1, increase speed to 1, measuring cup off.

Step 3
Add chopped radish. Launch program Stew P3. Stir the batter to incorporate the flours which might have settled and pour batter thru lid opening into CP bowl whilst program is running. As it cooks, the mixture will become thick.

Step 4
In a large steamer, boil enough water for steamer. Spray a deep 8-inch baking tin with oil. Pour mixture into baking tin, press down and smooth the top with a spatula (you can steam cake in small individual bowls/molds as well). Steam over medium high heat for approximately 30 minutes. It is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes up with a bit of thick sticky cake on it and not wet batter.

**Note: To steam using the CP, use a baking tin that will fit into the large CP external steaming basket. Arrange a pair of wooden chopsticks 6cms apart in the steaming basket, and place the baking tin on top of the chopsticks (this will enable steam to circulate). Add 2 litres boiling water into a clean CP bowl, no blade. Put steaming basket on top of CP bowl. Cover with steaming lid and put a kitchen towel on top of the lid to keep steam in. Launch program Stew P2, reduce speed to 0. Test for doneness as above.

Step 5
Only cut cake when it is warm (not hot) and serve with hoisin sauce (diluted 50:50 ratio with boiling water) and chilli sauce, garnished with chopped spring onions. If you prefer pan-fried pieces like yum cha restaurants, it is best to make this cake a day before and cooled overnight in fridge so cake is firmer and easier to slice. Pan-fry slices in a non-stick pan with a tablespoon oil till light golden brown.