Monday, 9 February 2009

Loh Bak Goh - Chinese Radish Cake

Today is the last day of Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year was a much more hectic affair when I was younger, as we'd be constantly visited and would be out visiting relatives. Nowadays as we're in England and they're not, we don't do a whole lot to celebrate it. Many Chinese friends and contacts have expressed surprise that I didn't spend Chinese New Year with my family.

One of the highlights of Chinese New Year is this cake, made with Chinese radish / daikon / mooli. It's not a cake in the sweet sense, but a highly savoury dish. It's a popular dim sum dish, but home-made is infinitely better. It's first steamed, then cooled overnight in the fridge, and then sliced and fried.

This is my first attempt at making this dish, and a few things went wrong. Firstly, after I bought the ingredients, I realised I didn't have a big enough steamer. I improvised and decided to steam it in a sort of bain marie - the mixture went into a 2lb loaf tin in a baking tray of boiling water, then covered in foil and into the oven.

However, before this, more other things went wrong. I decided to follow Appetite for China's recipe but of course, I didn't read the recipe through properly. I lobbed the radish right on in there with the mushrooms and sausage while it was frying, instead of setting those ingredients to the side first. I also sliced the radish up a touch too large, so I ended up with rather chunkier pieces than anticipated. I then added too much dark soy to the mixture, staining the radish a darker brown colour which then made my finished cake a light brown colour, instead of white (meanwhile, I managed to smash a pint glass and break my food processor. Whoops).

No matter, it still tasted great, but let this be a lesson to me - always read the recipe in full first!

7 comments:

Helen said...

I have the same problem, I always skim read the recipe and then find I missed a vital part. It seems like you really topped things off with the pint glass and food processor though - good work! I'd be really interested to try this, as I never have (unsurprisingly). It looks like you have enough to keep you going for a week there!

kang said...

Yummy stuff, I always order this whenever I have dim sum, can't wait to get home in a couple of weeks, im really craving chinese food....

Kerri said...

I'm hopeless at reading recipes and even when I do, I still often miss something out or put it in at the wrong time. Sounds like you manage to save this one which is good.

sunflower said...

Looks tasty!

c+j said...

Hehe, all in the name of Loh Bak Goh. And from your pics it was all worth it. This is one dish I've yet to tackle. Maybe next year!

Ros said...

That's an interesting looking dish. i never read recpies either and I've lost count of the number of plates, glasses (particularly champagne glasses) and kitchen equipment I've destroyed!

Jeanne said...

I had this for the first time the other day in Chinatown. It sounded tremendously unpromising on the menu, but I LOVED it. Just goes to show menu descriptions can be deceptive :)