Chinese Taro Cake Recipe: How to Make This Delicious Snack at Home – Seaco Online
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Chinese Taro Cake Recipe: How to Make This Delicious Snack at Home

If you're looking for a unique and delicious treat to add to your recipe collection, Chinese taro cake is a must-try. This popular dim sum dish is made with a combination of taro and rice flour, along with a variety of savoury ingredients such as Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, and mushrooms. The result is a chewy and crispy cake that is packed with flavour and sure to impress your taste buds.

Taro root being peeled and grated. Ingredients being mixed in a bowl. Batter being poured into a cake mold

Taro cake has a long history and tradition in Chinese cuisine, particularly in Cantonese cooking. It is often served during special occasions such as Lunar New Year, where it symbolizes prosperity and higher growth. The cake is also a popular snack or breakfast item and can be found in many dim sum restaurants around the world.

Making Chinese taro cake requires a bit of preparation, but the end result is well worth the effort. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the ingredients and preparation methods involved in making this delicious dish, as well as answer some frequently asked questions. So, grab your apron and get ready to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills!

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese taro cake is a popular dim sum dish made with taro, rice flour, and a variety of savoury ingredients such as Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, and mushrooms.
  • Taro cake has a long history and tradition in Chinese cuisine and is often served during special occasions such as Lunar New Year.
  • Making Chinese taro cake requires a bit of preparation, but the end result is well worth the effort. Seafood such as dried shrimp and scallops can be used to add an umami flavour to the dish.

History and Tradition

A wooden table with traditional Chinese cooking utensils, showcasing the ingredients and steps for making taro cake

Chinese taro cake, also known as Wu Tao Gou, is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a popular dim sum item that is often served during the Chinese New Year and other special occasions.

The dish originated in southern China, particularly in Cantonese cuisine. Taro, the main ingredient, is a starchy root vegetable that is widely used in Chinese cooking. It is believed that the cake was first created in Hong Kong, where it quickly became a favourite among the locals.

Chinese taro cake is often served as a savoury dish, but it can also be enjoyed as a sweet dessert. It is made by mixing grated taro with rice flour, water, and other ingredients such as mushrooms, dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and scallions. The mixture is then steamed until it is firm and cooked through.

During the Lunar New Year, Chinese taro cake is a must-have dish for many families of Chinese descent. It is believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year.

If you are looking to add some seafood to your Chinese taro cake recipe, you can try adding diced shrimp or scallops. These ingredients will add a delicious seafood flavour to the dish and make it even more special.

Ingredients Overview

A table displaying taro, rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. Mixing bowl and utensils nearby

When it comes to making Chinese taro cake, there are three main categories of ingredients you need to consider: main ingredients, seasonings and flavour enhancers, and optional toppings. Here's a breakdown of what you'll need to make this delicious treat.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients for Chinese taro cake are taro, rice flour, and glutinous rice flour. Taro is a starchy root vegetable that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavour and a creamy texture that works well in this recipe. Rice flour and glutinous rice flour are used to bind the ingredients together and give the cake its signature texture.

Other main ingredients you'll need include:

  • Chinese sausage: This adds a savoury, umami flavour to the cake.
  • Dried shrimp: These add a salty, seafood flavour to the cake.
  • Scallions: These add a fresh, oniony flavour to the cake.

Seasonings and Flavour Enhancers

To give your Chinese taro cake its delicious flavour, you'll need to use a variety of seasonings and flavour enhancers. Some of the key ingredients include:

  • Salt: This is used to enhance the flavour of the other ingredients.
  • Sugar: This adds a touch of sweetness to the cake.
  • White pepper: This adds a subtle, spicy flavour to the cake.
  • Soy sauce: This adds a savoury, salty flavour to the cake.
  • Sesame oil: This adds a nutty, aromatic flavour to the cake.
  • Oyster sauce: This adds a rich, savoury flavour to the cake.

Optional Toppings

While Chinese taro cake is delicious on its own, you can also add some optional toppings to give it an extra boost of flavour. Some popular toppings include:

  • Lap cheong: This is a type of Chinese sausage that is often used as a topping for taro cake.
  • Dried scallops: These add a rich, seafood flavour to the cake.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: These add a savoury, earthy flavour to the cake.
  • Shallot: This adds a sweet, oniony flavour to the cake.
  • Sesame seeds: These add a nutty, crunchy texture to the cake.
  • Cilantro: This adds a fresh, herbaceous flavour to the cake.

If you're a fan of seafood, you can also try adding some chopped scallops or other types of seafood to your taro cake. This can add an extra layer of flavour and texture to the dish. Just make sure to use fresh, high-quality seafood and cook it thoroughly before adding it to the cake.

Preparing the Taro

Mixing grated taro, rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. Pouring the batter into a greased pan. Steaming the cake until firm

Before you can make Chinese Taro Cake, you need to prepare the taro root. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Cleaning and Cutting

Start by cleaning the taro root. Rinse it under cold water and scrub it with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Then, peel the taro root with a vegetable peeler. Once the taro root is peeled, cut it into small, bite-sized cubes.

Boiling vs Steaming

You can either boil or steam the cubed taro root. To boil the taro root, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the cubed taro root. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until the taro root is tender. Drain the water and set the taro root aside.

Alternatively, you can steam the cubed taro root. Place the cubed taro root in a steamer basket and steam for 20-25 minutes or until the taro root is tender. Once the taro root is cooked, remove it from the steamer basket and set it aside.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese Taro Cake recipe, you can use dried shrimp or scallops. Soak the dried seafood in water for 20-30 minutes before adding them to the recipe. You can also use fresh seafood such as prawns or squid. Clean and devein the seafood before adding it to the recipe.

Making the Batter

A pair of hands grating fresh taro into a bowl, adding flour and water, then mixing the batter until smooth

To make the batter for Chinese taro cake, you will need a mixture of rice flour, glutinous rice flour, and starch. The starch can be potato starch, cornstarch, or any other type of starch you prefer.

Mixing Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of rice flour, 1/4 cup of glutinous rice flour, and 1/4 cup of starch. Mix the dry ingredients together until they are well combined.

Combining with Taro

In a separate bowl, mix the cooked taro with 1 cup of cold water. Gradually add the dry ingredients mixture to the taro mixture, stirring constantly until the batter is smooth and well combined.

If you want to add seafood to your taro cake, you can use dried shrimp or scallops. Soak the seafood in hot water until they are soft, then chop them into small pieces and add them to the batter.

Once you have mixed all the ingredients together, pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Steam the cake for about 45 minutes or until it is cooked through.

Overall, making the batter for Chinese taro cake is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients. By following the steps outlined above, you can create a delicious and authentic taro cake that is sure to impress your friends and family.

Cooking Method

Chinese taro cake being steamed in a bamboo steamer over boiling water. Ingredients like taro, rice flour, and seasoning are visible

Steaming the Cake

To begin, you'll need to prepare your steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you can use a large pot with a steaming rack or basket. Fill the pot with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil.

While the water is heating up, grease a non-stick pan with some oil to prevent the cake from sticking. Once the pan is greased, pour the taro cake mixture into the pan and smooth it out.

Place the pan in the steamer and steam the cake for about 45 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level in the pot and add more water as needed to prevent the pot from boiling dry.

Finishing Touches

After 45 minutes, remove the pan from the steamer and let it cool for a few minutes. Once it has cooled down, run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake.

Invert the pan onto a plate to release the cake. If you want to add some extra flavour and texture to your taro cake, you can pan fry it in a skillet.

Heat up some oil in a skillet and carefully transfer the cake to the skillet. Cook the cake for a few minutes on each side until it is golden brown and crispy.

If you want to add some seafood to your taro cake, you can try adding some diced shrimp or crab meat to the mixture before steaming. This will give your cake a delicious seafood flavour that pairs well with the taro.

Frequently Asked Questions

A kitchen counter with ingredients and utensils for making Chinese taro cake

What's the secret to a perfectly moist taro cake?

The secret to a perfectly moist taro cake is to use the right amount of liquid in the batter. Too much liquid can make the cake too dense, while too little can make it too dry. It's important to follow the recipe and measure the ingredients carefully. Also, make sure to steam the cake for the right amount of time, as over-steaming can make it too soft and mushy.

Can I use a different type of flour for my taro cake?

While taro flour is traditionally used in taro cake recipes, you can use other types of flour as a substitute. Rice flour or glutinous rice flour can be used as a substitute for taro flour. However, the texture and flavour of the cake may be slightly different.

How do I get that authentic Taiwanese flavour in my taro cake?

To get the authentic Taiwanese flavour in your taro cake, you can add Chinese sausage and dried shrimp to the recipe. These ingredients are commonly used in Taiwanese cuisine and will give your cake a unique flavour. You can also add seafood, such as dried scallops or dried oysters, to enhance the flavour.

Is there a trick to frying taro cake without it falling apart?

To fry taro cake without it falling apart, make sure to cut it into even slices and let it cool completely before frying. This will help the cake hold its shape when frying. Also, make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the cake slices. You can use a non-stick pan or add a little bit of cornstarch to the cake batter to help it hold together.

What's the best way to incorporate purple taro into my cake recipe?

Purple taro can be used in the same way as regular taro in a cake recipe. However, keep in mind that the colour may bleed into the batter and affect the appearance of the cake. To avoid this, you can try steaming the purple taro separately and then adding it to the cake batter once it has cooled.

Are there any good substitutes for taro if I can't find it?

If you can't find taro, you can use sweet potato or pumpkin as a substitute. These vegetables have a similar texture and flavour to taro and can be used in the same way. You can also add seafood, such as shrimp or crab meat, to enhance the flavour.