Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daikon Cake Recipe

Copyright 2011 by Cooking With The Single Guy

4 lb. Chinese daikon (about 4 to 5), peeled, ends removed, grated
1 lb. rice flour (regular, not glutinous rice flour)
2 T wheat flour

2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced to small bits
2 cups dried shrimp, soaked for about 10 minutes to soften and then diced to bits (retain water used to soak the shrimp)
2 cups Chinese style bacon (lap yuk) or Chinese sausage (lap cheong), diced to small bits
1 cup spring onion (aka green onion) or cilantro, finely diced
1 T fish sauce or oyster sauce
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
2 T chicken bouillon, powder form
1 T salt
3 T Canola or vegetable oil

After you grate your daikon (you can also use a food processor), place it in a pot with about 3/4 cup of water and cook over medium high heat for about five minutes until translucent. (If water dries up, add a bit more to make sure the daikon doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.) When done, set aside to let cool and start prepping the filling. (There may still be water in the pot, and that’s fine. Don’t pour it out!)

In a sauté pan, warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and stir-fry all the ingredients for the filling: shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and Chinese bacon or sausage. Cook for about two minutes to blend flavors together, then add oyster sauce or fish sauce. Set aside while you mix the flour mixture.

In the pot of daikon, add the rice flour and wheat flour, mixing thoroughly, then add 3/4 of the filling (reserve some for garnish), along with the chicken broth, chicken bouillon, 2 tablespoon of oil, one tablespoon of salt and the reserve water from the dried shrimp. The mixture should have the consistency of pudding, but not super thick. If it seems watery, add a bit more of the wheat flour. If it looks too thick, add some oil.

Pour the mixture into a 12-inch cake pan and place in a steamer large enough to fit it. (You might have leftover mixture. Just refrigerate and steam the leftover at another time.) You can create a steamer by using a wok with a stand and water or a large stock pot. After placing the pan on top the stand in the steamer, fill with enough water until the water level covers the bottom of the pan, up about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Cover and bring water to boil and steam for 40-45 minutes. Check the steamer periodically to make sure there’s always water. If the water is boiling too rapidly, turn down the heat because you don’t want water splashing into your daikon cake.

Check to see if the daikon cake is done by sticking a wooden chopstick down the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. Sprinkle the reserve filling and green onion all over the top of the cake, padding it down into the cake with a flat wooden spoon. Remove from steamer and let cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

TIP: My Mom says the best daikon to use for this recipe is the short stubby daikon radish found in Chinatown. It might be labeled Chinese daikon. Don’t use the daikon with greenish tint or the long slender daikon.

PLUMPING MUSHROOMS: Shiitake mushrooms are sold dried in Chinatown, and to rehydrate them, simply bring a small pot of water to a boil and then add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms plump up. I sometimes had a dash of soy sauce to give the mushrooms a bit more flavor. Pour the water out and then soak briefly in cold water. You do this to help you in the next step: squeeze out the water in the mushrooms with your hand. (See, if you did this when the hot water, it'll be tough to handle.) Then the mushrooms are ready to use.

FRY IT UP: Refrigerate any leftover daikon cakes, and the best way to serve it up again is to lightly pan fry it with some oil in a pan or skillet. This way you get the crispy edge like the dim sum restaurants. When the daikon cake is freshly made, it’ll be tougher to pan fry because it’ll break easily. But after it’s been refrigerated, it’ll help stiffen it a bit to make it easier to handle.

1 comment:

Hungry Dog said...

Ah, one of my favorites. Love this at dim sum but I also love it at Out the Door--it's so delicious there, done with a vietnamese twist.