“There are many versions of the radish cake in Asia. I grew up with the Chinese style, either pan-fried or steamed as a dim sum for yum cha. In Singapore, they often add dark soy, beansprouts and egg and it's just as delicious. Carol's version smells amazing while cooking and the flavours are so good!” - Lee Chan.
"Carol Han has been cooking this dish since she was a young girl, and I loved learning to make it with her. I’ve had variations of this dish in Hong Kong and Australia, but learning all the different stages it takes to construct this simple dish made me appreciate it more." - Lee Chan, Lee Chan's World Food Tour.
- 500 g rice flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 8 full small rice bowls water (approximately 1.5L total)
- 1 tbsp oil, plus 3 tbsp for final frying
- 1 large daikon, peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp five-spice powder
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp pork lard
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- 30 g deep-fried pickled radish
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- kecap manis, to taste (see Note)
- sliced spring onion, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to start this recipe a day ahead.
- Mix 3 bowls of water with the rice and tapioca flours. Boil the rest of water, add and mix until smooth.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add the one tablespoon of oil, radish, salt, sugar and five spice powder. Cook for a few minutes, until radish has softened, seasoning to taste with pepper and more salt. Stirring continuously, gradually pour in the rice liquid. Keep stirring until the mixture is thick (but not solid).
- Put mix in a steamer basket and spread it evenly, smoothing the top. Steam over boiling water until cooked (about 30 minutes – test by inserting a skewer into the centre). Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight to set.
- Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over high heat.
- Cut chai tow kway into bite-sized pieces. Fry with pork lard, garlic and pickled radish (should take a couple of minutes), mashing the cubes a little (this helps them go crisp).
- Add eggs and soy sauce and mix through gently, then add kecap manis to taste (it adds sweetness).
- Garnish with chopped spring onions to serve.
• The texture of the radish cake will vary depending on the ratio of water to flour and radish, and how long the cake is steamed for. Experiment to see what gives the texture you prefer.