Homemade Chinese White Carrot Cake Recipe: Easy Steps to Delicious Results – Seaco Online
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Homemade Chinese White Carrot Cake Recipe: Easy Steps to Delicious Results

If you're looking for a delicious and traditional Chinese dish to add to your repertoire, look no further than the Chinese white carrot cake. This savoury dish is often enjoyed for breakfast or as a dim sum item and is especially popular during Chinese New Year celebrations.

A chef grates white carrots, mixes with flour and water, then fries the batter into a savory cake. Garnish with spring onions and chili

Understanding the basics of this dish is key to creating a successful and tasty version. Despite its name, the dish is actually made with grated white radish, not carrots. The radish is mixed with rice flour, water, and other ingredients to create a batter that is steamed until set. Once cooled, the cake is sliced and pan-fried until crispy and golden brown.

To make the dish vegetarian or vegan, simply omit the meat and substitute it with mushrooms or other vegetables. However, if you're looking to add some extra flavour and protein, seafood can be a great addition. Shrimp, scallops, or crab can be added to the batter before steaming or served on top of the finished dish as a garnish.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese white carrot cake is a traditional and delicious dish often enjoyed for breakfast or as a dim sum item.
  • The dish is made with grated white radish and rice flour and is steamed before being pan-fried until crispy.
  • Seafood can be a great addition to the dish for added flavour and protein.

Understanding the Basics

A kitchen counter with ingredients and utensils laid out for making Chinese white carrot cake

The Role of Daikon Radish

Daikon radish, also known as Chinese radish, is a long white root vegetable commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a crisp texture. Daikon radish is a key ingredient in traditional Chinese turnip cake, also known as radish cake.

The daikon radish is grated and mixed with rice flour, water, and other ingredients to form a batter. The batter is then steamed until it sets into a soft, savory cake. The daikon radish adds a subtle flavor and texture to the cake, while also helping to bind the ingredients together.

Traditional Significance

Turnip cake is a traditional dish served during Chinese New Year. It is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who eat it. The cake symbolizes rising fortunes and success in the coming year.

Traditionally, turnip cake is made with daikon radish. However, in recent years, white carrot has become a popular substitute for daikon radish. The white carrot has a similar texture and flavor to daikon radish, making it an excellent alternative.

If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese white carrot cake recipe, you can try using dried shrimp, dried scallops, or dried shiitake mushrooms. Soak the seafood in water until it is fully hydrated, then chop it coarsely and add it to the batter. The seafood will add a rich umami flavor to your cake.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with a cutting board, knife, chinese white carrots, flour, eggs, and other ingredients for making carrot cake

Essential Components

The essential components in a Chinese white carrot cake recipe include rice flour, white radish, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, dried scallop, mushroom, eggs, pork, spring onion, tapioca flour, and preserved radish. Rice flour and tapioca flour are the primary ingredients that give the cake its signature texture. White radish, Chinese sausage, and pork are the main flavourful components of the dish. Dried shrimp, dried scallop, and mushroom add umami and depth to the flavour profile. Eggs are used to bind the ingredients together, while spring onion adds freshness and colour. Preserved radish is used to add a salty and savoury flavour.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For a vegetarian or vegan version of the Chinese white carrot cake, you can replace the Chinese sausage and pork with mushrooms or other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower. You can also use vegetable broth instead of the traditional broth made from dried shrimp, dried scallop, and mushroom. Instead of eggs, you can use a vegan egg substitute such as flaxseed or chia seeds.

Ingredient Alternatives

If you cannot find some of the ingredients, you can substitute them with other similar ingredients. For example, you can use regular radish instead of white radish, or chicken or beef instead of pork. For the broth, you can use chicken or vegetable broth instead of the traditional broth made from dried shrimp, dried scallop, and mushroom. You can also use other types of mushrooms if you cannot find shiitake mushrooms. If you do not have preserved radish, you can use soy sauce or oyster sauce instead.

If you want to add seafood to the dish, you can use prawns or clams instead of the dried shrimp and dried scallop. Make sure to clean and devein the prawns before adding them to the dish. You can also use fish sauce instead of soy sauce for a more seafood flavour.

Preparation Techniques

A chef grating fresh white carrots and mixing them with flour, eggs, and seasoning in a large bowl

Steaming the Batter

To prepare the batter, you will need to mix rice flour, tapioca flour, water, and salt in a bowl until it's smooth. Once the batter is ready, you can add in any additional ingredients you like, such as seafood or vegetables. Seafood such as prawns or scallops can add a delicious flavour to the dish.

To steam the batter, you will need to use a steaming tray. Grease the tray with oil and then pour the batter into it. Place the tray into a steamer and steam for around 30-40 minutes or until the batter is cooked through. Once the batter is cooked, remove it from the steamer and allow it to cool.

Achieving the Perfect Texture

To achieve the perfect texture for your Chinese white carrot cake, it's important to use the right amount of liquid and cornflour. Too much liquid will result in a soggy cake, while too much cornflour will make the cake too firm.

When pan-frying the cake, use a non-stick pan and heat it over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a small amount of oil and then add the cooled batter. Cook the batter until it turns golden brown on both sides, flipping it over once during cooking.

By following these preparation techniques, you can create a delicious Chinese white carrot cake that is sure to impress. Don't forget to experiment with different ingredients, such as seafood, to add even more flavour to your dish.

Cooking the Dish

A wok sizzles with diced radish, eggs, and seasonings. Steam rises as the ingredients are stirred together over a hot flame

Using the Wok

To cook the Chinese white carrot cake, you will need a wok. Heat up some oil in the wok until it is hot enough. Add some garlic and fry it until it is fragrant. Then, add the white carrot cake and stir-fry it until it is slightly brown. Add some salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.

You can also add some seafood to the dish, such as dried shrimp or scallops, to give it a unique flavour. If you do choose to add seafood, make sure to soak them in water beforehand to soften them.

Frying to Perfection

Once the white carrot cake is cooked, it's time to fry it to perfection. Add some soy sauce and sesame oil to the wok and stir-fry it for a few more minutes. This will give the dish a nice aroma and flavour.

Garnish the dish with some fried shallots and serve it hot. You can also sprinkle some white pepper on top to add a little kick.

Overall, cooking Chinese white carrot cake is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients. With the right technique and a little creativity, you can make this dish your own and enjoy it with your family and friends.

Flavour Enhancers and Garnishing

A hand sprinkles flavor enhancers and garnishes onto a freshly cooked Chinese white carrot cake

Seasoning the Cake

In order to enhance the flavour of the Chinese white carrot cake, you can use a variety of seasonings. Some popular options include fish sauce, sesame oil, soya sauce, and Shaoxing wine. These seasonings can be used together or individually, depending on your personal preference.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your recipe, you can try using dried shrimps or scallops. These can be soaked and then added to the batter to give it a unique flavour. Alternatively, you can sauté the seafood in a pan with some minced garlic and shallots before adding it to the batter.

To add some freshness to the dish, you can garnish the cake with coriander. This herb can be chopped finely and sprinkled over the top of the cake just before serving.

Final Touches

Once the cake is cooked, you can add some final touches to make it look more appealing. One option is to fry some shallots until they are crispy and then sprinkle them over the top of the cake. This will add a crunchy texture to the dish.

Another option is to beat some eggs and then pour the mixture over the top of the cake. This will create a golden brown crust on the surface of the cake.

To add some colour to the dish, you can slice some red chillies and place them on top of the cake. This will give it a vibrant appearance.

It is important to note that while these flavour enhancers and garnishing options can make the dish more appealing, they can also add extra calories to the dish. Therefore, it is important to use them in moderation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming wok sizzles with diced radish, eggs, and savory seasonings, as a chef expertly flips and stirs the fragrant mixture

What ingredients are needed for a traditional Chinese white carrot cake?

A traditional Chinese white carrot cake recipe requires a few key ingredients such as rice flour, Chinese radish (also known as daikon radish), dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and mushrooms. These ingredients can be found at most Asian grocery stores.

How do you make a simple Chinese white carrot cake at home?

To make a simple Chinese white carrot cake, you will need to shred the radish and mix it with rice flour, water, and other ingredients such as dried shrimp and Chinese sausage. The mixture is then steamed until it forms a cake-like texture. You can find many simple and easy-to-follow recipes online.

Which recipe is considered the best for an authentic Chinese white carrot cake?

There are many variations of Chinese white carrot cake recipes, each with its own unique flavour and texture. However, the best recipe is the one that suits your taste buds. You can try out different recipes until you find your favourite one.

Can you suggest some variations for a classic turnip cake?

If you want to add a twist to the classic turnip cake recipe, you can try adding seafood such as prawns or scallops. The seafood will add a unique flavour and texture to the dish. You can also experiment with different types of mushrooms or add some chilli flakes to make it spicier.

What's the secret to achieving the perfect texture in a radish cake?

The secret to achieving the perfect texture in a radish cake is to ensure that the mixture is well steamed. You should also make sure that the radish is shredded finely and that the mixture is well mixed. This will ensure that the cake has a smooth and soft texture.

Why is the dish known as 'carrot cake' despite not containing any carrots?

The dish is known as 'carrot cake' because the Chinese radish used in the recipe is also known as 'white carrot'. The name is a translation error that has been carried over from the original Chinese name for the dish.