Dining Out 1 minute 07 February 2017

Chef Kwong Wai Keung of Three-Michelin-Starred T’ang Court’s Recipe for Turnip Cake

The humblest of ingredients can come together for a dish that’s as delicious as it is symbolic.

recipe video

“Turnip cake is a humble peasant dish that should be made using traditional methods.”

Few would know this better than T’ang Court’s executive chef Kwong Wai Keung who serves up a soulful rendition at his three-michelin-starred restaurant this Chinese New Year season.

Turnip cake, or cai tou gou as it is known in Cantonese is symbolic for this time of year. In Cantonese, ‘cai tou’ means radish, but can also mean good tidings in other intonations. ‘Gou’, which means cake can also mean to ascend.

It’s apt as the dish is made from the simplest of ingredients. “Cheap or ordinary ingredients can be made tasty,” says chef Kwong. That includes rice flour, cornstarch, preserved meats and sausages and of course, a good load of shredded turnip.

Does he have any tips? “A tasty turnip cake should be slightly burnt,” says chef Kwong. “When preparing Cantonese cuisine, the level of heat used is of utmost importance.”
Recipe for Turnip Cake
5 catties shredded white radish
1 catty Rice flour 
2 taels Corn starch 
2 taels Cornflour 
1 tael Salt 
3 taels Sugar 
2 taels Sesame oil  
1/2 Tsp Pepper
4 taels Preserved meat 
8 taels Preserved sausage 
8 taels Dried shrimp 
6 catties Water

Cooking method:
1.Sautéed preserved meat, preserved sausage and dried shrimps until aromatic. Set aside.
2.In a bowl, combine rice flour, cornstarch, cornflour, salt, sugar, sesame oil and pepper with 3 catties water. Mix well to become a smooth batter.
3.Boil another 3 catties water, add shredded turnip and poach until well cooked, add the batter in step 2 and mix well, then add the sautéed preserved meat, preserved sausage and dried shrimps and mix thoroughly.
4.Pour the mixture into a container and steam for 1 hour. Ready to serve.

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