The Chinese turnip cake or Chinese LuoBuoGao, is a staple found in dim sum restaurants all over the world. The savory cake is a starchy, rectangular cake commonly filled with shiitake mushrooms and sausage. At about $3 a plate when eating out, it is actually a very affordable dish to make and acts as an excellent alternative for rice and noodles. The next time you become tired or rice, I highly recommend attempting to make turnip cakes!! Almost all variations aren’t vegan because they will toss sausage into the mix, but this recipe is one of the simplest turnip cake recipes ever and requires only 4 main ingredients. Chances are, you probably have salt, white pepper, and water at home so the base of the turnip cake is very simple to make.
Vegan Turnip Cake (3 Ingredients)
yield: 9 x 3 in cake-size
- approx. 2 ft. long worth of daikon root (measurement does not have to be exact. The more daikon, the better)
- 1 bag rice flour (CLICK HERE to see what brand and size used)
- 9 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 5 c. water
- 1 tbsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch (optional)
- 5 tbsp. vegetable oil OR any flavorless oil
Special equipment needed: Springform pan (I used 9 x 3 in), steam-safe plastic wrap, cheesecloth, large steamer
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, or until fully soft. Once hydrated, chop the mushrooms into small square pieces.
2. Peel the daikon root and slice into thin strips.
3. In a large wok, heat up 5 tbsp. oil and toss in the mushrooms to saute over high heat until lightly golden brown.
4. Toss in the daikon strips and saute for approx. 5 min. After 5 min, add in 3 c. of water , salt, white pepper, sugar, and corn starch (if using), stir, and let the mixture simmer for 20-25 min. over medium heat until daikon becomes translucent (check image below). Stir the mixture every 5 min.
5. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of water with 1 entire bag of rice flour. Mix until combined. Then slowly pour the mixture into the daikon and stir until a thick paste is formed. The paste will form quickly and will require arm strength to mix. Make sure all contents are evenly incorporated.
6. Set the mixture aside. Take the springform pan and remove the bottom. Take the circular portion of the pan and lay a cheesecloth on top of it. Then lay one sheet of steam-free plastic on top. Pat the cheese cloth and plastic down so that they line the rim of the pan. Place in the steamer and then scoop in the daikon mixture.
7. Steam the daikon cake over medium heat for 1 hour. Take the cake out and allow it to cool and firm for about 30 min.
8. Cut the cake into rectangular pieces and enjoy steamed or pan-fried. I personally enjoy it pan fried since it creates a crispy exterior. Dip in flavored soy sauce or hot sauce.