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Taro Cake


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I have bought and tried exactly the same brand too! I found it too powder'ie (too much rice flour and not enough taro) and a bit bland. In my home-made version I can control the ratio to use more taro, plus a lot more dried shrimp and Chinese sausage "liu". :smile:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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No, the stir-fried turnip cake is a Malaysian/Singaporean dish (don't get into a discussion between Malaysian and Singaporeans about whose cuisine it belongs to; let them fight it out!). It's usually listed as fried carrot cake because the daikon radish is known as "white carrot". You can have it as "black" (cooked with dark soy) or white. I think it's more common as black - at least that's how I've usually eaten it. It's cooked with egg and bean sprouts with seafood (such as prawns and fish cake) and/or meat. This dish isn't made with rice cakes - that's something entirely different, and char kuay teow (made with rice noodles) is also something else, although cooked with similar flavours.

Oh, and when I say dark soy, it's this really thick, dark soy that isn't very salty. It's commonly used in Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian cooking but isn't easy to find.

Yeah.. it looks something like this.

gallery_38315_3918_872893.jpg

This is the black/dark soysauce version (sorry for the blurry pic)... we call it "chai dao kueh" or radish/carrot cake. :) And yeah... the dark soy sauce that is used to fry this isn't very salty. In fact, its usually a mixture of dark soy, normal soy and sweet soy... :) with salted radish (chai poh), and garlic. Yum.

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No, the stir-fried turnip cake is a Malaysian/Singaporean dish (don't get into a discussion between Malaysian and Singaporeans about whose cuisine it belongs to; let them fight it out!). It's usually listed as fried carrot cake because the daikon radish is known as "white carrot".[...]

That nomenclature sounds wrong to me. In Malay, as in Mandarin, carrot is called "red daikon (radish)." The Malay version is "lobak merah." I have yet to hear any Malaysian call lobak "white carrot." Considering what they call carrots, how would they call something a "white red daikon"? Perhaps TP will weigh in on this.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I too learned that daikon was known as white carrot. Oh well.

Fried carrot cake is known as chai tow kueh (spelling?) in Singapore and Malaysia. When I was a kid, the white style carrot cake (without sweet dark sauce) was the only kind available and it still remains my preference today. I do think though that the best chai tow kueh is found in Singapore (speaking as someone born in Malaysia!).

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Ya'll are forgetting what makes carrot cake tasty... it's fried in lard! (Ok, maybe not at halal places). The S'porean version usually has eggs too, right?

It's always a funny cross-cultural moment when I mention I could really go for some carrot cake and the S'porean's eyes light up until he realizes I mean you know, sweet cake made from red carrots. Which when you come to think of it, would have a hard time competing with chai tow kway.

regards,

trillium

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...  I like hoisin and chili sauce but in the dim sum houses they always give me oyster sauce.  Which is the "correct" one?

None of the above! :biggrin: Or may be all of the above. :hmmm: It seems to me that there is no one "correct" condiment sauce. Many restaurants in Hong Kong would provide light soy sauce, chili sauce, Chinese mustard. Pretty "standard". Haven't seen oyster sauce though. Hoisin sauce is more close to the "sweet sauce" ("teem jeung" [Cantonese] they called it on the street.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Are we supposed to fry it in lard?  What are the traditional sauces that accompany the lo bak goh?  I like hoisin and chili sauce but in the dim sum houses they always give me oyster sauce.  Which is the "correct" one?

I meant the lard comment about Singaporean style carrot cake which is fried in littler pieces along with eggs, bean sprouts, garlic and sometimes meats/shrimp, not loh bak goh which has the goodies added before it is cooked and is just fried in slices. But I'll bet if you wanted to fry your loh bak goh in some nice home made lard it would be delicious!

I say eat it with whatever you want, I'm partial to chilli and mustard myself but you always have to ask for mustard at the dim sum places I go. They don't bring it automatically.

regards,

trillium

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I've enjoyed eating taro cake in slices (fried or nuked), but I began to think - what do people do with it other than eating it as it is?  Is it used in combination with other foods, cooked into dishes?  Is it traditionally seasoned in particular ways?  Anyone have a particularly tasty dish to recommend, using taro (or turnip) cake?

Thanks,

- Phage

Taro and turnip cakes are just that - cakes/goh. They are not ingredients to be cooked into another dish. It accompanies other dishes - as part of dim sum or as a snack.

There are so many flavours in these cakes : doong goo, lap cheung, har mai, some even put in oyster sauce and cooking wine. :wink: If you try to "stir-fry it in with other ingredients, it would just crumble.

Sorry for an ignorant question--but I like getting turnip cake as a dim sum dish. It's usually served in squares or rectangles and seems to be slightlly browned; a little crispy on the top and bottom. I think there is usually little bits of pork in it. I usually eat it with a combination of soy sauce and hot chile paste.

Is this one of the cakes you mention above, if so, which one?

(Sometimes it's not brought to our table for dim sum and I have to ask for it so it would be handy to know the Chinese name. Thanks, in advance!)

Also, should I be able to buy it such that all I need to do at home is slice and pan sear?

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Sorry for an ignorant question--but I like getting turnip cake as a dim sum dish.  It's usually served in squares or rectangles and seems to be slightlly browned; a little crispy on the top and bottom.  I think there is usually little bits of pork in it.  I usually eat it with a combination of soy sauce and hot chile paste.

...

Also, should I be able to buy it such that all I need to do at home is slice and pan sear?

ludja: That's the whole discussion is all about. Dim sum is Cantonese in origin. We Cantonese make daikon-cake/turnip-cake/carrot-cake the way you described: first steamed and formed a "brick", then cut into thick slices and lightly fried. What they are discussing are other ways of making/serving what essentially the same item, as popular outside of the Cantonese style. In Singapore, Malaysia, etc..

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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^Thanks, hzrt8w... I thought so but I wasn't completely sure. :laugh:

It's off the main topic, but are pork bits a standard ingredient in turnip cake? From the packages of taro cake shown above I guess I should be able to buy pre-made turnip cake at a Chinese market.

Also, does anyone have the Cantonese word that would work to use when ordering in a dim sum place?

Thanks in advance....

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Errr... isn't loh bak radish (daikon), not turnip?

Hi Pan - Tepee is away so will help out on the white carrot question. In Bahasa Malaysia it's generally referred to as lobak (adopted from Chinese) but lobak putih is understood too as the Cantonese in Malaysia do call it a pak loh bak (white carrot). There is also a green radish.

On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

You usually see vendors frying it in a huge wok with a flat bottom. You see a little pile on one side of the wok sort of pre-fried with soy sauce and then when a customer orders some, the vendor will fry up some minced garlic and choy poh, draws in some loh bak koh cubes, breaks an egg in after fying it for a while and finishing it off by tossing in some bean sprouts.

We also get fun pei (fen pi...the Shanghainese kind usually served with sesame paste) and chee cheong fun (the rolled up kind) fried (with some teem cheong too...kinda strange) in the same way at some restaurants.

Loh bak koh (steamed radish cake) and wu tau koh (taro cake...more commonly known as yam cake here) is served with teem cheong (sweet sauce)/hoisin sauce and chiili sauce (some serve it with a sambal).

To make matters more confusing, this steamed radish cake is known as chai tau kueh in Penang, the same name that the KL-lites call the fried version.

At some dim sum restaurants here, both versions of loh bak koh are served, the steamed ones which have been pan-fried and the fried version. To differentiate them, the pan-fried ones are called jeen loh bak koh while the fried with egg one is called chow loh bak koh.

See this thread for an earlier discussion of the same topic.

There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

(Edited for typos)

Edited by Shiewie (log)
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There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

The pumpkin that you mentioned, Shiewie, is it kabocha? Like this?

gallery_28660_4251_62902.jpg

Interesting. May be I will make some...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

The pumpkin that you mentioned, Shiewie, is it kabocha? Like this?

gallery_28660_4251_62902.jpg

Interesting. May be I will make some...

Yup! Yum - looking forward to pics.

Edited by Shiewie (log)
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On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

Sadly, this is why it's so hard for me to find a place to eat this. The taste of it makes me cringe for some reason, just the way a piece of pork fat would. Yes, you may strip me off my eGullet membership now.

I don't think you usually fry the yam cake this way. What my family does is slice it and panfry--crispy edges!

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

Sadly, this is why it's so hard for me to find a place to eat this. The taste of it makes me cringe for some reason, just the way a piece of pork fat would. Yes, you may strip me off my eGullet membership now.

I don't think you usually fry the yam cake this way. What my family does is slice it and panfry--crispy edges!

What makes you cringe? The texture of the cake or the minced preserved radish? If it's the latter, you can leave it out if there are lots of other ingredients.

My family is like yours, MLI. We've never cut it up into chunks then stir-fried. We've sliced and panfried for the crispiness.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Why is it that most dim sum places do *not* pan fry the lo bah goh until it's a nice golden brown? Why do they only lightly pan fry it? I love the crispy bits and I hate it when it's flabby. Is this normal for them to be lazy on the frying?

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There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

The pumpkin that you mentioned, Shiewie, is it kabocha? Like this?

gallery_28660_4251_62902.jpg

Interesting. May be I will make some...

Technically, these are squash. Very close though.

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On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

Sadly, this is why it's so hard for me to find a place to eat this. The taste of it makes me cringe for some reason, just the way a piece of pork fat would. Yes, you may strip me off my eGullet membership now.

I don't think you usually fry the yam cake this way. What my family does is slice it and panfry--crispy edges!

What makes you cringe? The texture of the cake or the minced preserved radish? If it's the latter, you can leave it out if there are lots of other ingredients.

My family is like yours, MLI. We've never cut it up into chunks then stir-fried. We've sliced and panfried for the crispiness.

It's the radish. I love the cake part, that's why I want to eat it. Yeah, but around here, they often fry the garlic and the radish together beforehand, and then when a customer orders, they use that oil to fry the radish cake.

And you can call me May. :smile:

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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  • 9 months later...

Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

And the taro cakes, mentioned on the tittle of the thread, are they the same as the taro puffs with minced pork inside and a crackly/flaky, batter like exterior? I know that is is fried by slowly lowering it in hot oil but I do not know the dough mixture and the filling. Thanks in advance.

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Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

And the taro cakes, mentioned on the tittle of the thread, are they the same as the taro puffs with minced pork inside and a crackly/flaky, batter like exterior? I

The lobak goh at dim sum places is sometimes greasy because the slices are pan fried prior to serving.

The taro cake in the title is similar to radish cake except that it's made with diced cooked taro. The taro puffs you described are quite a different thing, but also delicious! :biggrin:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

I think we had some discussions on radish cake (or daikon cake, or turnip cake) before in this forum.

Basically you first thred the daikons. In a wok, first stir-fry the dried shrimp and laap cheung and sliced black mushroom. Then add in the daikon shreds. Then add in the batter, which is a mix of rice flour and water. The ratio is the key (rice flour to water, and batter to daikon shreds). Start with some recipe to get an idea. Then trial and error. Too much rice flour, the cake will be overly hard and tastes "chalky". Not enough, the cake will fall apart. Add some salt in the process. Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes or so. Then transfer the content to some cake pans and steam the mixture for 1 to 1.5 hour. Let it cool to room temperature. Slice it and pan-fry the slices when ready to eat. Keep the rest in the fridge.

I think I have posted a link to a video llustrating how it was done (narrated in Mandarin) sometime back.

Yes I agree: the process of making daikon cake should not make it greasy because only minimum oil is used. It's the pan-frying process that grease is added. You can actually skip the pan-frying part and just eat it steamed. Add a little bit of light soy sauce and chopped green onions.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Yes I agree:  the process of making daikon cake should not make it greasy because only minimum oil is used.  It's the pan-frying process that grease is added.  You can actually skip the pan-frying part and just eat it steamed.  Add a little bit of light soy sauce and chopped green onions.

For non-fried daikon cake, Msians (or at least my family) usually eat with chopped green onions, cilantro, deep-fried shallots, more fried lup cheong, fried chopped har mai (dried shrimp), geong see (fried ginger in fine shreds), sweet chilli sauce and a sauce we simply call tim cheong, a 'sweet sauce' which is deep red in colour, I think, due to nam yue (red fermented bean cube). I'm feeling very hungry.

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

Did you try the recipe I posted near the top of the thread? The resulting daikon cakes come out the same as those found in dim sum restaurants.

And the taro cakes, mentioned on the tittle of the thread, are they the same as the taro puffs with minced pork inside and a crackly/flaky, batter like exterior? I know that is is fried by slowly lowering it in hot oil but I do not know the dough mixture and the filling. Thanks in advance.

Those are tricky and I haven't had a chance to master them yet. The dough uses bakers ammonia, taro, and wheat starch.

Here are a couple of recipes to try:

http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2005/05/taro-puffwoo-kok.html

http://www.globalchefs.com/recipe/dessert/web/des015woow.htm (sweet version)

These were from a batch I made up using instant mashed potatoes in place of the taro

gallery_26439_3934_369027.jpg

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      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      It sometimes seems likes every town in China has its own special take on noodles. Here in Liuzhou, Guangxi the local dish is Luosifen (螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn).
       
      It is a dish of rice noodles served in a very spicy stock made from the local river snails and pig bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. Various pickled vegetables, dried tofu skin, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and loads of chilli are then usually added. Few restaurants ever reveal their precise recipe, so this is tentative. Luosifen is only really eaten in small restaurants and roadside stalls. I've never heard of anyone making it at home.
       
      In order to promote tourism to the city, the local government organised a food festival featuring an event named "10,000 people eat luosifen together." (In Chinese 10,000 often just means "many".)
       
      10,000 people (or a lot of people anyway) gathered at Liuzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the grand Liuzhou luosifen eat-in. Well, they gathered in front of the centre – the actual centre is a bleak, unfinished, deserted shell of a building. I disguised myself as a noodle and joined them. 10,001.
       

       
      The vast majority of the 10,000 were students from the local colleges who patiently and happily lined up to be seated. Hey, mix students and free food – of course they are happy.
       

       
      Each table was equipped with a basket containing bottled water, a thermos flask of hot water, paper bowls, tissues etc. And most importantly, a bunch of Luosifen caps. These read “万人同品螺蛳粉” which means “10,000 people together enjoy luosifen”
       

       
      Yep, that is the soup pot! 15 meters in diameter and holding eleven tons of stock. Full of snails and pork bones, spices etc. Chefs delicately added ingredients to achieve the precise, subtle taste required.
       

       
      Noodles were distributed, soup added and dried ingredients incorporated then there was the sound of 10,000 people slurping.
       

      Surrounding the luosifen eating area were several stalls selling different goodies. Lamb kebabs (羊肉串) seemed most popular, but there was all sorts of food. Here are few of the delights on offer.
       

      Whole roast lamb or roast chicken
       

      Lamb Kebabs
       

      Kebab spice mix – Cumin, chilli powder, salt and MSG
       

      Kebab stall
       

      Crab
       

      Different crab
       

      Sweet sticky rice balls
       

      Things on sticks
       

      Grilled scorpions
       

      Pig bones and bits
       

      Snails
       
      And much more.
       
      To be honest, it wasn’t the best luosifen I’ve ever eaten, but it was wasn’t the worst. Especially when you consider the number they were catering for. But it was a lot of fun. Which was the point.
       
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