Steamed Radish Cake

If I have one pain that refused to cure itself for months now, it would be the steamed radish cake. Many people make this particularly easy dish really well. But when I asked them for specific recipe, they just couldn’t tell me how. It was killing me. After many trials, I am proud to say that it is now pain-free.

Mother has been freaking out that I have been eating so much (failed) radish cake. We are given our daily ginseng tea for extra strength and patience. The second part is really, really needed living in the country. Radish is believed to have certain cleansing quality. Mother thinks it ruins the ginseng we consume. I don’t know who is happier, me for nailing down the recipe at long last, or mother for no longer has to put up with radish cake.

The turnip is grated, finely or coarsely, with a grater. You should do this really quickly. When I took my sweet little time grating it, the radish water stung my fingers, slowly but sure. Grated radish is mixed with flour mixture.

The other ingredients, such as  garlic and minced dried shrimp are stir-fried till fragrant before adding everything together.

We can buy freshly ground rice flour around here, which is the main core ingredient of  radish (or turnip) cake. You will get 1 kg of fresh rice flour by grinding 1,5 kg rice. When commercially packed rice flour is used, adjust the water called for accordingly.

Soak dried shrimp in water for 30 minutes, then finely minced. Mince the garlic too.

Grate radish. Quickly or get ready to be stung.

Drain part of the liquid . Set grated radish aside.

Combine some radish liquid and water in a big bowl.

Add rice flour into the bowl.

Break any lumps, with your fingers or spoon.

Heat oil and stir-fry garlic over medium heat.

Add minced dried shrimp.

Prepare 20×20 pan, lined with banana leaves. Brush all sides with cooking oil.

Back to the wok, add grated radish.

Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything well. Cook till the radish wilted.

Pour rice flour mixture into the wok.

And corn flour.

Cook over low heat till it slightly thickens.

Divide the radish cake into the prepared pans.

Steam the cake over boiling water for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Slice and pan-fry right away, or keep wrapped in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.


Chinese Steamed Radish Cake, Kue Lobak

Makes 2 20x20 pans, about 40 slices


500 g rice flour (commercial packed)
1000 cc water
300 cc strained liquid from grated radish

3 tbsp cooking oil
5 garlic cloves
50 g dried shrimp, soaked, squeezed dried and minced
1 kg grated radish, liquid drain (about 700 g grated radish and 300 cc liquid)
1/2 tsp white pepper
40 g sugar
20 g salt
75 g corn flour

If fresh rice flour is used, the recipe should be 800 g rice flour and 700 cc water with 300 cc radish liquid.


Combine rice flour, water and radish liquid in a big bowl. Set aside for later use.
Heat cooking oil in a wok (big enough to hold all the ingredients). Stir-fry garlic till fragrant. Add minced shrimp. Cook for another minute.
Add grated radish. Season with pepper, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add rice flour mixture and corn flour into the wok. Cook till it thickens, about 4-5 minutes.
Pour mixture into prepared pans.
Steam over boiling water for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature before slicing and pan-frying.
Radish cake can be pan-fried dusted with a little bit of tapioca flour to prevent sticking on to frying pan.

Check out these other links for more inspiration

Radish cake – Yi Reservation

Fried radish cake – Rasa Malaysia

| More |

9 Responses to “Steamed Radish Cake”

  1. 1

    stars209 — June 14, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    its absolutely new to me, your website is just superb :) )

  2. 2

    mycookinghut — June 14, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    yummy! this is one of my favourites!

  3. 3

    Mrs Ergül — June 14, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    I love the recipes you feature, Jun!!!! Amazing!!!!!!! Same compliment goes to the photos!

  4. 4

    chinmayie @ love food eat — June 15, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    This looks really interesting! I have never had anything like this before! I have all the ingredients needed so will have to try it soon :)
    Might have to skip the dried shrimp for the veggie version though ;)

    • Jun replied: — June 22nd, 2011 @ 6:38 am

      For our Buddhist vegetarian version, we omit both garlic and dried shrimp. Just straight and plain radish cake

  5. 5

    Tuty — June 15, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    Oh this is a great dim sum item. I love every picture you took here.
    One thing caught my eyes… you wrote: “Grate radish. Quickly or get ready to be stung.” Wow, obviously I have not grated radish before. Why would it sting?
    The grater board reminds me of home but I hated that grater ‘coz I always ended up with a cut :-P

    • Jun replied: — June 22nd, 2011 @ 6:39 am

      I don’t really know why it sting, but it really does. It feels like I had been smearing my hands with fresh chilies. It is weird.

      And I seriously hate that antique spikey grater. I hurt myself all the time using it

  6. 6

    PE Khoo — February 22, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    Hi friend, I really like seeing your recipe and all those pictures. Surely, this recipe is very informative and detailed. Since I don’t own a steamer like yours in the picture, do you add water in your wok apart from using a steamer over a wok? Why don’t you steam it directly using the steamer instead of putting on top of a wok? I had tried steaming this cake once before also taken from a recipe found in a website. However, I don’t really like the result as the texture was a bit on the sticky side. I doubted it might be due to adding a tablespoon of wheat starch and another tblspoon of cornflour, in addition to the rice flour. Some people added some tapioca flour to the rice flour but I don’t know why. Do you know what to add to the rice flour in order to get smooth texture? I haven’t try yours yet, but will infinitely try so soon. Hope my result will be very satisfactory next time. Thanks!

  7. 7

    宝宝塘美国代购网站 — August 31, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

    Yummy! so nice food! at beginning I thougt it’s a process making Tofu, lol

Leave a Comment