Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turnip Cake

Thursday, and still stuck at home, and still cooking.  This is another dish I thought would be good for Chinese New Year, as an appetizer, perhaps.  You see it served for dim sum and it is best served pan fried right before you are going to eat it.  Pass on those ones rolling on the cart on endless rounds around the dim sum restaurant.  I don't mind a cold turnip cake so much, but depending on how much oil they used to fry them, and how long they've been sitting on the cart, they may taste greasy and stale.  


2 lbs Chinese turnip or daikon
1 oz Small dried shrimp
1 1/2 Cups dried shiitake mushrooms
6 oz Chinese sausage
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
1 Small shallot, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice wine
2 Tbsp light soy
1/4 tsp Ground white pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 2/3 Cups rice flour
2 Cups of liquid reserved from turnip, shrimp and shiitakes
oil for pan frying


Grate the turnip using a coarse grater into a large bowl.  Cover the turnips with boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes.  Drain using a sieve or colander, reserving the liquid.  When cool enough, squeeze out excess water. 


Rinse then soak the dried shrimp in boiling water until soft.  Drain, adding the liquid to the turnip liquid.  Chop the shrimp into very small pieces.


Rinse then soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling water until softened.  Drain and add the liquid to the turnip liquid.  Squeeze out excess liquid from the mushrooms, remove stems and finely chop.


Steam the Chinese sausages for about 10 minutes and finely dice.
In a large wok, heat 1 tbsp of oil.  Fry the sausages for about a minute and then add the shrimp and mushrooms and fry for another couple of minutes.  Add the scallions, shallot, garlic, sugar, wine, soy and white pepper and stir fry for another couple od minutes.  Then add the turnip, cilantro and rice flour and toss to combine well.  Add the reserved liquid and mix well.  
Put the turnip mixture into a greased square pan, 10" x 10".  Or split up into two smaller pans depending on the size of your steamer or wok.  Steam for 75 to 90 minutes, adding water as needed to steamer.  
Let cool slightly, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Remove the cake from the pan and cut into small squares.  With our below freezing temps, I just put my pan outside for a few couple of hours and it was ready to go.
Pan fry the turnip cakes in a little bit of oil over medium heat until heated through and just slightly crispy on the outside.
Delicious!  Especially with my la jiao jiang from the other day.

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