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Vegan Lo Bak Go (Steamed Chinese Turnip Cake)

I LOVE Lo Bak Go! In english, it’s called Chinese Turnip Cake. A terrible name, in my opinion, but they are tasty AF! Lo Bak Go is a dish commonly found at Chinese dim sum restaurants. Its main ingredient is daikon, also known as Chinese Radish or Turnip. It’s a giant root vegetable with white, crisp flesh and a mild flavour. The daikon is grated and incorporated into little steamed patties, then fried to make it crispy. The ones in the Chinese restaurants are usually not vegan-friendly due to the inclusion of Chinese sausage, dried scallops and shrimp, but luckily it is easy to veganize.

Video Tutorial for Vegan Lo Bak Go or Chinese Steamed Radish Cake

 

Turnip cake is a woefully insufficient name for these little crispy savoury cakes of tasty perfection. The flavour of daikon is very mild, water rich like a zucchini with the crispness of a radish. I grate only half the daikon and chop the other half into small pieces. That’s just my personal preference as I like the resulting textures but you can always simply grate the daikon. Then cover it with water and cook until tender.

In the meantime, get the fillings ready. I’m using fried shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and shallots to impart a mouthwatering flavour. You can also use other savoury ingredients like chopped vegan sausage or mince.

Next, rice flour is mixed with some of the cooking water from the daikon. To make this even more rich tasting, you can use vegetable broth instead of the cooking water. I keep it a bit on the lighter tasting side as I love dipping these cakes into sweet soy sauce and hot chilli oil and I don’t like overdoing it on salt.

Drain the daikon well, then put it back on the stove over low heat and add the rice flour solution and fillings. Stir that all together until the mixture becomes thick; it only takes a few minutes.

Grease ramekins or bowls before filling with the batter and steam!

After it’s steamed the mixture be nice and firm. At this point, you can slice the steamed turnip cake up and pan fry the pieces to crispy perfection. Serve with fresh chopped scallions, chili sauce and soy sauce.

Chinese Turnip Cake Recipe ( Lo Bak Go ) – US

Vegan Chinese Turnip Cake - Lo bak go
Yields 6
Lo Bak Go (Chinese Turnip Cake) is a staple at dim sum restaurants. These little crispy savory cakes of tasty perfection are made with Chinese turnip, also known as daikon. Additions of fried shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and shallots impart a mouthwatering flavour.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb daikon, grated (or half grated and half chopped small)
  2. 1 3/4 cups fine rice flour
  3. water
  4. 1 diced shiitake mushroom, rehydrated from dried (about 3" diameter)
  5. 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  10. oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Place your grated/chopped daikon in a pot over high heat. Add just enough water to barely cover the daikon.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer until the daikon is tender.
  3. In the meantime, fry up the fillings. Heat about a teaspoon of oil over high heat. Add the mushroom, scallions, shallot, garlic and salt.
  4. Cook while stirring continuously until the shallots are a bit golden then remove from heat and set aside.
  5. When the daikon is tender, drain it but reserve one cup of liquid. Keep the daikon in the cooking pot. If you prefer a saltier, more savory turnip cake, you can add a cube of vegetable broth to the reserved liquid. Or discard all the liquid and replace it with prepared vegetable broth.
  6. Mix the cup of liquid with the rice flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the fillings and white pepper and any additional seasonings you would like such as soy sauce.
  7. Add the rice flour mixture to the drained daikon. Cook over low heat while stirring until the mixture has thickened. Less than 5 minutes.
  8. Prepare your steaming apparatus. Add water to the base of your steamer and bring to a boil. Oil a heat-proof container that will fit into the steamer basket.
  9. Fill your heat-proof container with the daikon mixture, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  10. Place the container into the steaming basket and steam over high heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done.
  11. At this point you can serve it or fry it first.
  12. Chill the cake to make slicing and frying easier. I find it is best to cover it and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
  13. Afterwards, slice into 3/4" thick pieces. Fry in an oiled pan over medium/high heat for a minute on each side or until golden.
  14. Serve with sweet soy sauce, hot chili oil and fresh scallions.
Notes
  1. Too much water can make this cake soggy and too soft. Make sure you drain the daikon very well after cooking.
  2. Steaming for too long can make this cake too stiff. Just keep that in mind and check for doneness sooner rather than later.
  3. This turnip cake isn't as salty as the ones you will find in dimsum restaurants. I prefer to have the salt in the sauces I use for dipping, however, feel free to add more seasoning to the daikon mixture before steaming if you like.
  4. Using FINE rice flour is important. I use this brand: http://amzn.to/2qbNbnV
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/

Chinese Turnip Cake Recipe ( Lo Bak Go ) – Metric

Vegan Chinese Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Go) - Metric
Yields 6
Lo Bak Go (Chinese Turnip Cake) is a staple at dim sum restaurants. These little crispy savory cakes of tasty perfection are made with Chinese turnip, also known as daikon. Additions of fried shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and shallots impart a mouthwatering flavour.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 450g daikon, grated (or half grated and half chopped small)
  2. 225g fine rice flour
  3. water
  4. 1 diced shiitake mushroom, rehydrated from dried (about 7cm diameter)
  5. 30cc scallions, minced
  6. 30cc shallot, minced
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 7.5cc sea salt or to taste
  9. 2.5cc white pepper
  10. oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Place your grated/chopped daikon in a pot over high heat. Add just enough water to barely cover the daikon.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer until the daikon is tender.
  3. In the meantime, fry up the fillings. Heat about a teaspoon of oil over high heat. Add the mushroom, scallions, shallot, garlic and salt.
  4. Cook while stirring continuously until the shallots are a bit golden then remove from heat and set aside.
  5. When the daikon is tender, drain it but reserve one cup of liquid. Keep the daikon in the cooking pot. If you prefer a saltier, more savory turnip cake, you can add a cube of vegetable broth to the reserved liquid. Or discard all the liquid and replace it with prepared vegetable broth.
  6. Mix the cup of liquid with the rice flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the fillings and white pepper and any additional seasonings you would like such as soy sauce.
  7. Add the rice flour mixture to the drained daikon. Cook over low heat while stirring until the mixture has thickened. Less than 5 minutes.
  8. Prepare your steaming apparatus. Add water to the base of your steamer and bring to a boil. Oil a heat-proof container that will fit into the steamer basket.
  9. Fill your heat-proof container with the daikon mixture, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  10. Place the container into the steaming basket and steam over high heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done.
  11. At this point you can serve it or fry it first.
  12. Chill the cake to make slicing and frying easier. I find it is best to cover it and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
  13. Afterwards, slice into 3/4" thick pieces. Fry in an oiled pan over medium/high heat for a minute on each side or until golden.
  14. Serve with sweet soy sauce, hot chili oil and fresh scallions.
Notes
  1. Too much water can make this cake soggy and too soft. Make sure you drain the daikon very well after cooking.
  2. Steaming for too long can make this cake too stiff. Just keep that in mind and check for doneness sooner rather than later.
  3. This turnip cake isn't as salty as the ones you will find in dimsum restaurants. I prefer to have the salt in the sauces I use for dipping, however, feel free to add more seasoning to the daikon mixture before steaming if you like.
  4. Using FINE rice flour is important. I use this brand: http://amzn.to/2qbNbnV
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/

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