Pan-fried water chestnut cake

Pan-fried water chestnut cake 马蹄糕/matai gao is a classic dimsum dish. It is easy to make. It can be eaten cold or warm. My favorite is the pan-fried version which is often served at a dimsum restaurant.

Pan-fried waterchestnet on a plate with flowers and a ceramic pot


  • 250 gr. water chestnut flour
  • 15 gr. custard powder
  • 1/2 tin water chestnut or a cup with fresh water chestnut unpeeled
  • 50 gr rock sugar
  • 100 gr. cane sugar
  • 1,3 liter water
Ingredients water chestnut cake,

Put half of the water together with the rock sugar and cane sugar in a pan and heat till the sugars have been dissolved. Set aside to cool down a bit. Chop the water chestnut roughly, as you still want to have some texture in the water chestnut cake. Mix the rest of the water with the water chestnut flour and custard. Put the liquid twice through a sieve to have a smooth mixture. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar water. Finally, add the chopped water chestnut. Put the mixture in an oiled baking tin or cover the baking tin with parchment paper. Steam the cake for about 30 minutes. You can eat the water chestnut warm or cold.

Steamed water chestnut in a baking tin

To make pan-fried water chestnut, the water chestnut cake needs to be cold, preferably kept in the fridge overnight. Next day the outer skin is dry and gives a better crispy skin and the water chestnut cake will taste even sweeter. Cut the water chestnut cake into squares and coat it with some custard powder. Pan-fry the water chestnut cake till it is golden brown.

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