Law Bok Gow
(Chinese steamed radish cake)
Image by Perry Marco
6 to 8 servings as dim sum
- Large daikon radish, peeled -- 2 pounds
- Rice flour -- 2 cups
- Water -- 1 cup
- Soy sauce -- 1 tablespoon
- Sugar -- 2 teaspoons
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- White pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Optional garnishes (see variations) -- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
- Vegetable or peanut oil -- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Finely grate the daikon into a large bowl. In another bowl, add the rice flour and stir in 1/2 cup of the water until a smooth thick batter forms. Next stir in the grated daikon, soy sauce, sugar, salt, white pepper and any optional garnishes. Add enough of the remaining water to make a pourable batter.
- Grease a loaf pan or a 9-inch square cake pan and pour in the batter, smoothing the top.
- Set a rack in a wok or pot large enough to hold the pan and put 2 to 3 inches of water in the bottom. Make sure the rack is above the water. Place the pan on top of the rack and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cover the wok or pot tightly, reduce heat to medium low and steam for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours. Check the water level occasionally to keep it from drying out. The radish cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the pan, wrap with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until well chilled.
- Invert the pan onto a cutting board and slice the cake into squares. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the squares on each side until lightly browned. Serve warm with soy sauce or oyster sauce for dipping.
- Optional Garnishes: add any or all of these garnishes to your law bok gow for a more flavorful experience. Lightly sauté the ingredients in some oil or lard and then stir them into the batter once they have cooled.
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 Chinese sausages, chopped into small pieces
- Dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water until soft, drained and finely chopped
- Dried shrimp, soaked in hot water 30 minutes, drained and finely chopped
- Cilantro, chopped
- The grated daikon is sometimes simmered for about an hour first and then drained and squeezed before adding it to the batter.
- Make sure to use long-grain rice flour for this recipe. Do not use short-grain, or glutinous, rice flour.