Pan-fried Chinese turnip cake 萝卜糕

Chinese turnip cake aka 萝卜糕 Luobogao/lobakgo is made with Chinese turnip, rice flour, tapioca flour, cured meat, Chinese sausage, dried Shiitake mushroom and shrimps. It is one of the classic dimsum dishes, but also eaten as snack and breakfast with some rice porridge. The turnip rice cake is savory, sweet and has some heat of the pepper.

Chinese turnip cake

Chinese turnip aka daikon needs to be juicy and firm. It seems that winter daikon is the sweetest. When buying a Chinese turnip, check the skin. The skin should not be wrinkled, and the turnip must be heavy on the weight. The green part of the turnip looks fresh not wilted. 

My recipe is the Hong Kong version, with a lot of dried and cured ingredients. There is a simplified version with only rice flour and Chinese turnip. At dimsum restaurants, often only lap cheung is used.


  • 1 Chinese turnip/daikon about 900 gr.
  • 200 gr. rice flour
  • 20 gr. tapioca flour or corn starch
  • 2 lap cheung (Chinese cured sausage)
  • 3 dried shiitake mushroom
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimps
  • 1 lap yuk (cured soy sauce pork belly), optional
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tsp shiitake powder, optional
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 1,5 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 300 ml water (turnip water and water)
  • 200 ml water from the soaked dried mushroom and shrimp

Dried and cured ingredients

First soak the dried shiitake mushroom and shrimp in 200 ml lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Do not throw away the water. The water can be added to the rice flour mixture for extra flavor. 

Mince the lap cheung, lap yuk, soaked shiitake mushroom and shrimps. This can be done with a cleaver or in a food processor. Mince not too fine as you want some texture in the rice cake. Last, cut the shallots into small pieces.

Heat the pan with some vegetable oil and stir fry the minced ingredients for 3 minutes. After, add the shallots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Now, add the water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1/2 tbsp pepper, sesame oil, sugar, 1 tbsp chicken powder and the shiitake mushroom powder. Finally, stir fry for another 2 minutes. Set aside for further use.


Peel the Chinese turnip and grate it with the largest hole of the grater. Squeeze out all the water and pour the turnip water into a measuring cup. Add accordingly the water in the measuring cup which you have soaked the dried shrimps and mushrooms. You should have about 500 ml of liquid. If necessary add extra water.

Heat the pan with some vegetable oil. Add the grated Chinese turnip and stir fry it for about 3 minutes till the turnip turned soft and a bite translucent. After, add 1 tsp pepper and the chicken stock powder, stir fry for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Rice cake mixture

Add half of the liquid of the measuring cup into the pan and mix well. After, add gradually the rice flour and the tapioca flour. Finally, add the remaining liquid. The turnip rice cake mixture should be like white glue consistency. When it is too dry add more water, too wet add some rice flour.

Put the turnip rice cake in a plastic container or baking tin that is lined with parchment paper and steam it for about 50-60 minutes. 

Chinese turnip cake in a plastic container

Serving tips

The secret of a tasty turnip rice cake is to pan-fry it. First, store the turnip rice cake overnight in the fridge. The rice cake has absorbed all the flavors and is firmer. Cut the rice cake into squares and pan-fry it both sides. Another way to eat the turnip rice cake is to cut it into small pieces and stir fry it with some scrambled eggs and scallions. For some extra heat, you can use some chili oil aside.

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