Weekend Recipes

Chinese New Year Turnip Cake

Turnip Cake

Turnip cake, or lo bak gou, is a staple at Chinese New Year and a dim sum classic.

There are many interpretations of a turnip cake, especially when it comes to fillings (see below), but this is one that can hopefully be easily replicated! Like all worthy celebratory foods, this is definitely not a quick dish!

You’ll need:

  • Three large mooli (also known as daikon or Chinese white radish)
  • Rice flour (more on quantity later)
  • Four Chinese sausages, diced (these look similar to Spanish chorizo, but are sweeter in flavour)
  • White pepper to taste
  • Two tsp sugar
  • Two tsp salt


Peel and grate the mooli. This veg naturally holds a lot of water so you’ll want to pop into a large wok or frying pan on a medium heat (no oil) for about 20 minutes to reduce this. Transfer into a large mixing bowl and weigh the contents, adding your rice flour to the ratio of 6:1, plus sugar, salt, and white pepper to taste.

Keep this to one side while you fry the diced sausage, before adding it to the cake mixture. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment and transfer before steaming it in a large stew pot or wok, lid on, for an hour to an hour and half. Keep an eye on the water level and occasionally top up if it’s looking a little low.

Once cooked, leave to cool before cutting into slices about 1cm in width. On a medium heat, fry the cakes until golden and crisp on the sides.

Serve up with a dipping sauce of your choice. Sriracha works, but you can also try vinegar, XO sauce, soy sauce with a bit of fresh garlic and chilli, or simply oyster sauce.

This dish will freeze well as long as it’s not fried beforehand. If you want to up the number of fillings, you can also try adding diced Chinese mushrooms, dried scallops or dried shrimps (blanched before adding), or spring onions finely sliced.

Wishing you a very happy Chinese New Year!

Turnip Cake

© All photography and views expressed in this blog are my own. For more information, and for details of my editorial policy, please see my blog disclaimer.


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