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How to make Turnip Cake, a Chinese dim-sum favorite 蘿蔔糕

Turnip and Cake are two words that you don’t often see together. And if it was a sweet desert cake we were talking about – rightly so! However this is a savoury treat, I have no idea why it is called a cake at all, except probably some bad translation somewhere in the past. In England the nearest taste to this is the wonderfully named bubble and squeak, but this Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 is better, higher quality and more consistent. This Turnip isn’t the round kind of turnip that is most common in the west it is actually a very long white turnip also known as a Mooli or Daikon 大根.

Turnip Cake, ready to eat

Turnip Cake, ready to eat

This recipe is quite a long one with several stages in the cooking process, but you will make an amount that is enough for several servings/starters. Also it’s well worth it to taste Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 much higher in quality than any restaurant, dim-sum or yum-cha place you have ever been to!

The ingredients 食材 are as follows;

  • one mooli / diakon / long turnip
  • an equal volume of rice flour
  • a pint of water for the rice flour paste
  • a chinese bowl containing dried prawns, topped up with water
  • a chinese bowl of dried mushrooms, topped up with water
  • half a chinese bowl of dried onion
  • 250g of bacon
Turnip Cake, ready to fry, after steaming, cooling and a night in the fridge

Turnip Cake, ready to cut and fry, after steaming, cooling and a night in the fridge

The method 作法;

  1. Collect together your ingredients and two identical large bowls
  2. Into one bowl shred or grate or chop the Mooli into pieces approx 30mm long and 5mm thick
  3. Fill the other bowl with rice flour to about the same level as the grated Mooli in the first bowl
  4. Our Mooli was about 12″ or 30cm long
  5. We used a pint of water to mix the rice flour into a smooth paste
  6. Put the chopped Mooli in a large pan and add water until it is level with the Mooli (not from the pint, this is more water!) Boil this for 10 minutes or until the strands of vegetable break easily when bent
  7. Fry the bacon in another pan, add in the chopped shrimps, then mushrooms, when it’s all looking well done add the dried onions for a minute of cooking
  8. Add the contents of the frying pan to the other pan and mix it all together on a medium heat, just for a few minutes until mixed thoroughly
  9. Transfer the complete mixture to a large square dish to be steamed
  10. We steamed it in the glass bowl on a wire rack in a large wok with a lid
  11. After 10 minutes of steaming check the water level, after 20 minutes the Turnip Cake will be finished steaming
  12. Take out the large glass dish to cool, when it’s cool you can cover it and put it in your fridge
  13. The next day your Turnip Cake is ready to fry
  14. Cut out rectangles about 3″ x 2″ or 7cm x 5cm and finger thickness, we find that just right.
  15. Fry in a little oil, both sides until golden brown
  16. Serve with a splash of oyster sauce and a splash of sesame oil
  17. Enjoy and share! You deserve it!


As usual Joanne has recorded a cooking video so you can follow the exact recipe step by step, as she prepares, cooks and presents the Turnip Cake.

How to make Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 Taiwanese Style cooking video 烹飪影片

We really hope you enjoy this Turnip Cake. Everybody we know really loves Joanne’s version of this popular dim-sum choice. If you make this recipe please let us know how it goes. The next recipe will be stir fried vegetables, from garden to plate, even better than from farm to plate!


  1. I made this last night and it turned out beautfully! Thank you so much for sharing! Now I can make the Taiwanese dishes I miss so dearly.

  2. In Singapore we call it Carrot Cake (somehow we translated 蘿蔔 to carrot – very confusing for foreigners). I always thought it was radish, and now I know it’s turnip! LOL! But thanks ever so much for all the recipes – there’s lots of similarities in our dishes since the majority of the Chinese population here in Singapore are Hokkien. So I’ve Pinned lots of your recipes on my Pinterest board!

    • The mooli or daikon is kind of half way between radish and turnip I think… Thanks for your interest in my site and sharing the recipes on Pinterest, please join in my TaiwanDuck facebook, it’s the place I spend most time and chat with TaiwanDuck cooks!

  3. Well, greetings from Berlin first of all.
    Thank you very much for this great recipe. Currently I’m doing it for the second time: I reduced the amount of flour, feeling it was a lot the first time.
    I realized it’s quite good to fry the bacon thoroughly, like brownish- and the fatter the cut, the tastier.

    Thank you so much for your great blog and the really helpful directions.
    On the weekend, I’m going to make ZongZi… also for the second time. Guests!

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