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Radish Cake (Lo Bo Gao)

About this recipe: Home-made radish cake is much tastier than what you can order at the restaurant. At Chinese New Year, this savory cake is served to friends and family who visit throughout the 15 days. This recipe comes from my friend Cathy but there are endless variations. You can add dried mushrooms, dried scallops and use rice flour instead of cake flour. Substitute yam or pumpkin for the radish.

Pat Central Region, Singapore

Ingredients
Makes: 1 20-cm cake

  • 2 lap cheong (Chinese sausage)
  • vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons dried prawns (hae bee), soaked and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped preserved radish (chung choy)
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 20g coriander, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • salt and white pepper
  • 500g white radish, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 375ml chicken broth (low salt)
  • 120g cake flour

Directions
Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr15min  ›  Extra time:1hr cooling  ›  Ready in:2hr45min 

  1. Steam the lap cheong for 8 to 10 minutes in a steamer basket until sausage is softened and has released a lot of fat and juices. Mince.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil and stir-fry lap cheong, shrimp, and radish. Add the spring onions and stir-fry 2 minutes before adding the coriander. Sprinkle five-spice powder, and salt and white pepper to taste and mix well. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add radish cubes and stir-fry 1 minute until fragrant. Add 125ml stock and simmer, covered, over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until radish is tender.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix flour with remaining stock until smooth and no lumps remain. Add cooked radish to the batter, including whatever liquid is left in the frying pan. Finally, add the meat mixture. Stir to mix well and pour batter into a 20-cm cake pan.
  5. Steam the radish cake over medium-low heat for 1 hour, or until set and firm to the touch. Insert a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean, it is done. Carefully remove the pan from the steamer and cool on a rack for about 1 hour.
  6. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen the sides. Garnish with reserved spring onions and coriander. Cut into diamond shapes and serve with hoisin or oyster sauce.

Serving suggestion

Pan-fry slices in a little oil until both sides are golden brown before serving.

Make ahead

This cake can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for about 10 days. Reheat by steaming or pan-frying.

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