I grew up eating this. During special Chinese occasions or festivals, my mom would make it and I always looked forward to eat it – pan-fried always, topped with 卤汁, garlic chili sauce or just neat on its own. Soft in texture yet crispy and slightly charred on the outside with the aroma of spices, every mouthful bursting with the flavours of dried shrimps & mushrooms. Turnip cake, to me, is like pan-fried carrot cake but BETTER. Really, this is good stuff, cannot bluff. 😅
Yield: 2 cake tins of 8-9″
- 90g dried mushrooms, rinsed then soaked in water till soft & sliced thinly. (Retain water used for soaking)
- 150g dried shrimps, rinsed then soaked in water till slightly softened. (Retain water used for soaking)
- 240g shallots, sliced
- 600g rice flour
- 1.8-1.9kg of turnip, shredded (I use food processor to shred)
- 6 rice bowl of water, mushroom & shrimp water included here
- 3 x 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper powder
- 3 x 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder
- 3 x 1 teaspoons of salt
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- Cooking oil of your choice
- Sieve flour into a large mixing bowl. Add that 6 bowls of water (mushroom & shrimps water included). Add in 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. Using a whisk, mix till all the flour are dissolved. Set aside.
- Add about 1/2 cup of oil into wok. Fry shallots in medium low heat till just lightly brown. Do not fry till shallots are crispy brown as if for topping over vegetables or other dishes. Turn off flame, scope out the shallots quickly and set aside, leaving the oil in the wok.
- Turn on heat, this time to high. Add in sliced mushrooms and shrimps. Add in more oil if necessary (you can tell when the mushrooms and shrimp look dull and the aroma is somewhat lacking). Add in 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Fry till fragrant – about 5 minutes.
- Add in turnip. Reduce heat to medium. Add in 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, and the last 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Keep frying till turnip darkens slightly and soften – about 8-10 minutes.
- With another turner spatula ready, add in flour mixture. Keep stirring / frying while cooking. Using both turners, keep stirring and frying constantly to prevent mixture and sticking onto wok and also, to ensure well-mixed. Gradually, you will see that the mixture will dried up into a rough dough texture. Keep stirring / mixing. Taste at this juncture and add more light soy sauce where necessary. Turn off heat when the rough dough texture has already been achieved for about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to cake tin. Using a spatula (the kind used for folding) dipped in cooking oil, pat and compressed mixture so that it is neatly levele, resembling a cake.
- Steam in high heat for 45 minutes (remember to check and add in hot water for steaming in anticipation of water drying out). Leave on tabletop to cool. When cooled till room temperature, refrigerate.
- To serve, cut into 1.5cm – 2cm thick slices, pan fry with a little cooking oil till crispy and slightly charred.
Source: my mum’s personal recipe.