Recipe: Lo Bak Gou Turnip Cake for Chinese New Year
It’s the must-have during Chinese New Year in the South. Lo Bak Gou in Cantonese and Mandarin Luo bo Gao 萝卜糕 translates to carrot cake, but it’s made with radish/turnip. The Chinese name for the turnip is white carrot.
Gou means cake 糕 and is the homophone for tall in Mandarin. During Chinese New Year, the common phrase for older generations to wish their children is 步步高升，which means with every step to leap into high achievements and success. Growing up my parents and late grandma also wished us children to grow up healthy strong and tall every year.
It’s the first time I’ve made my own Turnip cake, my mum this the turnip cake and pumpkin cake, using the same recipe, but substituting the main ingredient.
100g Scampi dried shrimps 虾米 soak for 15-20mins
8 shitake mushrooms soaked till soft and then squeeze the water out and dice
1 Lapcheong – Chinese preserved sausages diced
1 radish grated with a mandoline
1 1/2 cups of tapioca flour (usually all-purpose or rice flour works too. I chose Tapioca for gluten free option)
Stir fry lap cheong, dried shrimps and mushrooms till fragrant.
Add in the grated radish. Remove and cool.
In a separate bowl, add water to the 1 1/2 cups of flour till you get a sticky consistency (added about 2 cups of water)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp white pepper
Toss the cooked radish into the flour mixture and mix well.
Add 3 tbsp Shao Xing wine
Pour mixture into a container and get ready to steam for 20 mins.
Cool off and it’s ready to eat. We usually slice the turnip cake and then coat it with egg to pan fry to serve it hot and crispy on the outside.
Serves 4 persons.