Turnip pudding is a classic savoury cake served in dim sum restaurants and especially during the Chinese New Year period as a symbol of prosperity. They are made with daikon which is a type of radish, long in length, can grow between 6 to 20 inches, chalk white in colour with long roots.
Daikon is extremely low in calories, a 3 ounce serving contains only 18 calories! They are also rich in vitamin C, and contain active enzymes that aid digestion.
Picking your daikon:- Look for the long, chalk white colour daikon resembling a normal carrot but super-sized. Look for one that is free of cracks, firm with green leaves at the top.
These turnip puddings are so versatile as you can add in any cooked or diced ingredients of your choice. They are soft, light and delicious. The down side is that it is time consuming, a bit demanding and definitely requires a lot of work. Hence I always make 2 loaf tins worth, and put one in the freezer. You can re-steam over a high heat for 10 minutes and fry on both sides till golden brown. This way you can have some turnip pudding as often as you like.
Make: 2 Loaf Tins
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
2000 grams Chinese turnip
500 grams rice flour
1¼ litres water
1 cup water for daikon
3 tablespoons corn flour
50 grams dried shrimps
10 Chinese mushrooms
3 Chinese sausages
3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chicken powder
½ teaspoon pepper
Sprinkle of white sesame seeds, chopped spring onions, chopped coriander, chilli sauce or Hoisin sauce.
Soak Chinese mushrooms in hot boiling water for 20 minutes, cut into small cubes. Soak dry shrimps in hot water for 10 minutes and cut into small cubes.
Add a cup of water into a pot, lid on, boil the sausages on a medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove from pot, cut into small dices. Put all the dice items into a bowl.
Peel the skin off the turnip, grate into fine shreds and place into a separate bowl.
In a mixing bowl, add in all the seasonings, sieve rice flour, corn starch followed by 1 ¼ litre of water. Kneel with hands to form a smooth batter.
In a hot pan, add vegetable oil and diced ingredients. Fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes, keep stirring. Remove ingredients into a bowl.
With the same pan, add the shredded turnips and fry on medium heat for 1 minute. Add in 1 cup of water. Boil on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Pour the turnip contents into the batter mixture. Add in diced ingredients, mix well.
Brush a little oil along the sides of the baking tin and pour in the batter mixture. Steam over high heat for 1 hour. Remove and cool and cut the loaf into 2 cm thick slices. Fry both sides in oil until it turns golden brown and slightly crispy.
Garnish with optional extras and serve.
Winse Chan is a rising chef from Scotland and soon to be author of a cookbook about classic and authentic Chinese recipes, passed down from generations and inherited from the women who have influenced her cooking. She is currently working with Nee Hao Magazine to bring you a series of exclusive mouth watering recipes for you to try cooking at home.