White radish cake
White radish cake probably doesn’t look that appealing if you haven’t grown up eating it. You might have seen it on carts when you go to yum cha. It’s panfried and so very good.
White radish aka daikon is also widely used in Japanese and Korean cuisine, eaten fresh, pickled or cooked.
I only eat the homemade white radish cake. [This will be a recurring theme on the blog with Chinese foods. You’ll find that I’ll often proclaim that homemade is far superior. It isn’t true for everything but applies in this case.] The commercial white radish cake is far sweeter and almost always contains MSG.
I spent the first day of CNY with my extended family and over the years, somehow I become the designated white radish pan fryer for everyone on this day. My tips are to use a non stick pan and take your time. My family like it with crispy edges. No complaints about it not being golden brown enough this year which is a miracle!
So white radish cake…hmm cake? It’s always called that when I see the labels in English but to my mind, it’s more of a savoury slice. But whatever, just don’t expect a sweet, fluffy Western-style cake! What was I saying? Oh yes, white radish cake is also something that is traditionally eaten during CNY. I like it to have a distinct taste of radish with even a slight bitterness from the vegetable. If you make it yourself, then you can control how much of the good stuff gets put in.
You can simply eat it steamed with a little soy sauce poured over. In that case, it should be quite tender. Or, you can cut slices to pan fry to crispy deliciousness. If you plan to pan fry it, you’ll need a firmer texture (higher proportion of flour) so it doesn’t fall apart.
I had found a recipe online that was close to my own family’s recipe (except we don’t add sugar) but the website has since disappeared.
22 July 2012 – Update! I’ve posted my family’s white radish cake (lor bak goh) recipe. Try it first without a sauce to really enjoy the taste and texture.