A dim sum house favourite, radish cake are easier to make at home than you think. Keep some on hand in the fridge or freezer for frying into crisp snacks.
- 500 g daikon radish, peeled and grated
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tbsp dried shrimp, rinsed, soaked for 20 minutes in warm water, drained and chopped
- 3-4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 Chinese sausage (lup cheong), finely diced
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, green and white parts kept separate
- 130 g (1¼ cups) rice flour
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- pinch each of salt, freshly ground white pepper and caster sugar
- soy sauce and chilli sauce, to serve
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.
Standing time: 1 hour
1. Place the grated daikon and water in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until tender. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, scoop out the cooked daikon into a large mixing bowl, leaving behind the cooking liquid. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and fill with water until you have 1 cup (250 ml) liquid. Pour this into the bowl with the cooked daikon and stand until cooled.
2. Return the wok or pan to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the shrimp, mushrooms, sausage and the white spring onion ends and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Add the rice flour, cornflour, salt, pepper and sugar to the bowl with the daikon and cooking liquid and stir to combine. Add the cooled mushroom and sausage mixture and be sure to add the oil from the pan. Mix well and stand for 15 minutes.
4. Give the batter a final stir, then pour into a well-oiled loaf tin. Place the tin in a steamer with plenty of water and steam for 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the steamer and stand for about 30 minutes or until set and just cooled.
5. Loosen the sides of the radish cake with a spatula and turn out onto a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife, cut into 1 cm-thick slices.
6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Fry the radish cake on both sides until golden and crisp. Sprinkle with the reserved spring onion greens and serve with the soy sauce and chilli sauce for dipping.
Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.