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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Radish Cake with Seafood and XO Sauce

Radish Cake 5

Radish Cake 3

XO Sauce 1

Collage

It took my 2 weeks' business travel to pry me away from my cookies. Taking a break sometimes, opens up the mind for new stimulation. The stimuli for this post came in the form of an amazing XO Sauce I found in Taiwan. Unlike the supermarket versions that we get here, this is chock full of precious flavourful ingredients such as dried whole baby scallops (not the shreds we normally get), dried whole shrimps garlic and chilli . The bottles of XO sauce we normally get in Singapore are expensive and for most of them, the solids would only constitute 50% of the bottle, the rest being made up of a mild chilli oil. With this Taiwanese XO sauce, the hefty bottle was packed almost to the brim with the precious ingredients. Sold at 250NT (about US$8) for a substantial 500g bottle, this is what I would consider great value for money!  This would definitely be on my replenish list when I return to Taiwan next time.
For those who do not have access to this, fret not, head over to Trissa's or Pickyin's blog to learn how to make this sauce from scratch.

There are a million ways to use the XO sauce. It is completely addictive when eaten on its own with steamed white rice, brown rice or glutinous rice. When you are in a hurry, it can be used to toss with noodles or spaghetti. It is also a great stir fry seasoning for vegetables or meat.

Here, I have chosen to use the sauce with the very tasty Hong Kong style Radish Cake. Commonly offered at Yum Cha (dim sum), the Hong Kong style Radish Cake is a steamed rice cake filled with bits of chinese sausage, dried shrimps and shitake mushroom. This can be eaten on its own or more commonly, pan fried to crisp up the skin. In the recent years, restaurants here have started to stir fry these with XO sauce, seafood and bean sprouts... a la Chai Tau Kuey.

Radish Cake 1
I got the recipe from Celebrity Chef Sam Leong's 'A Taste Of Home' . However, I do suspect that there is a typo in the recipe. Instead of Rice flour, the book had asked for Glutinous rice flour. I had to throw out a batch and replace the glutinous flour with Rice flour. Also, whenever I steam rice cakes at home, I make sure that I 'pre-cook' my flour prior to steaming the liquid batter. This can either be done by mixing very hot water into the flour mixture or stirring the flour batter over low heat to thicken it up before steaming. Most recipes may just call for steaming the liquid batter directly over boiling water but I find this impractical for house cooks like us. Our stoves will never be able to generate the kind of heat intensity to cook the rice cake through.


So, if you've enjoyed this dish at Dim Sum restaurants, you can now replicate this at home now.... and eat to your heart's content!
Radish Cake 5(250)
Recipe : (Adapted from Sam Leong's A Taste Of Home)

Prawns                 8 medium, peeled
Cooking Oil          1 Tbsp
Bean Sprouts        100g, Blanched. (don't need to be too precise, I think I only used 50g)
Chinese Chives      100g (Kuchai, I used a few sprigs.Add according to your liking)
Spring Onions        100g (same as above)
Eggs                       2 Beaten

Radish Cake
Cooking Oil           1 tbsp
Dried prawns         1 tbsp (soaked in water for 10mins, then minced)
Chinese Sausage    20g     (minced)
Dried Shitake Mushroom   2 pieces (soaked in water for 10mins, then minced)
Water                    500ml
Rice Flour              75g
Potato Starch         20g
Corn Starch           20g
White Radish         100g (shredded and squeezed dry)
Sugar                     1/2 Tbsp
Salt                        1/2 tsp

Seasoning
Water                   4 tbsp
XO Sauce            1 Tbsp
Oyster Sauce        1/2 tsp
Sugar                    1/8 tsp
Dark soy sauce      a dash
Sesame Oil            a dash
Chinese Cooking Wine a dash

Method :
1. Prepare Radish Cake : Heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok. Fry dried shrimps, Chinese Sausage and mushroom until fragrant. Ladle out and set aside.
2. Mix 250ml water with Rice flour, Corn flour and Potato Starch flour and set aside.
3. Place remaining 250 ml water in a pot with shredded radish. Bring to boil. Add in sugar and salt seasoning.  Pour boiling mixture into flour mixture in (2).
4. Stir well. Return mixture into pot. Heat over low heat and stir continuously. Once mixture starts to thicken a little add in (1).
5. Continue stirring until mixture becomes almost pasty.
6. Pour mixture into an oiled 21 cm square tin.
7. Steam over vigorously boiling water for 35mins.
8. Cool down completely (refrigerating over night if possible). (Rice cake will still be soft after steaming. Do not try to cut)
9. Cut Radish Cake into small squares. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Sear cake over high heat to crisp the surface.
10. In a hot wok, heat oil . Add bean sprouts, chives and spring onion. Stir fry briefly, then add eggs and cook until just beginning to set.
11. Add radish cake and ingredients for seasoning. Fry until fragrant and egg is cooked. Dish out and serve hot.

33 comments:

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

Hmmm, superb recipe. Now I remember I went through quite a bit of XO sauce radish cakes during my 2 months in Hong Kong and quite like the thing. I still have some sauce left, will see if I'm up for this. Thanks for the shout out!

Jeannie said...

You are right! I love the XO sauce you have...definitely value for money and that radish cake! Salivating just looking at it!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

what a lovely twist to the old radish cake.
The XO sauce really looks good, and for that price, a good steal.

Anncoo said...

Mmm...love your carrot cake especially with the XO sauce added. Looks very delicious :)

Anonymous said...

Your carrot cake makes me homesick of all the delicious Singapore food. To eat some of the Sin or M'sia mee siam, mee rebus, char kwey tiao, laksa, satay etc we have to drive 5 hours to either Las Vegas or 16 hours to San Franciso. My homecook laksa or mee siam somehow lack something, only eatable. Theresa

Kathryn said...

That sauce sounds really interesting- I've never heard of it. Do you think I could find it at an Asian grocery store?

Cooking Gallery said...

You make me crave for a plate of radish cake again! What a brilliant idea, using XO sauce to stir fry the cakes, I've not tried this way yet, thanks for sharing this...:)!

daphne said...

yeaH! I do like using xo sauce- probably not used it enough! Love how you make the radish cake from scratch and then fry it- you really do have heaps of patience dear! The results are worth it I am sure- it looks less oily..and look at the amount of prawns! Awesomeness.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

carrot cake and XO sauce, i bet it taste super yummy!

tigerfish said...

Yes, I actually don't buy XO sauce because it is so expensive! I think the LKK brand cost more than US$10!!!

daydreamer said...

I love radish cake, especially those sold in dim sum restaurants. Have always been hesitant in making this at home, seems complicated. But you made it look doable, so I'm going to try this one of these days 

Anh said...

Absolutely delicious! I have bookmarked the recipe :)

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

Gosh, that looks scrumptious! Never tasted a radish dish but I think I should give it a try. Maybe next I go to a dim sum place I'll look for it!

shaz@feedingmykidsbetter said...

Thanks for your invaluable tips! I have the same book. If not for your advice, I'll probably have to throw out a batch and feel totally frustrated with a failed attempt.
Love your blog by the way. 

ICook4Fun said...

I love XO sauce and will add it into my fried rice, fried noodles and some stir fry veggies too. Great idea by adding them into the Radish cake too. They look great! Wish I can have a plate for breakfast now :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Radish cake is great, but I love it even more with this flavorful sauce!

Joanne said...

I looovveee radish cakes but have never thought I could make them myself! This recipe sounds fabulous!

Passionate About Baking said...

Ooh, I've always enjoyed this at Tim Sum restaurants! I must order this if I know they served it. I really like radish cake fried with beansprouts and XO sauce!
Yours looked really yummy!!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Shaz, I think in general, it is a good book..possibly a typo. I will email Sam Leong and let him confirm.

Jun said...

I love radish cake. But I have never had radish cake fried like char kwe tiau. And also never had xo sauce. I am missing out on so much ...

travellingfoodies said...

i concur with shirley that rice flour 粘米粉 should be used instead of glutinous rice flour 糯米粉. And the technique to cook the batter first prior to steaming is the same as what my grandma had "taught" us, by observing how she prepare it when we were much younger. However, this requires constant stirring in a rather swift fashion to prevent the batter at the bottom from crusting, before transferring the dough to a tray for steaming.

I like to use the water which was used to soaked the dried shrimp and mushrooms to make the rice flour batter. It would stain the cake to a slight tinge of yellow but at the same time, locks all the flavours which had seeped into the soaking water into the cake adding lots of goodness to it. The volume of water also varies with the "degree of dryness" of the flours used. Usually I add just sufficient water to form a thick batter and cook the dough like you'd mentioned. Lots of water boils off during this time anyway so adding too much water to form a watery batter initially is just wasting gas and elbow grease. :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Alan, have always looked forward to your pearls of wisdom! I do envy that you've had the opportunity to learn from your grandma. I learn by trial and error , comparison between cookbooks and a little analytical common sense:) keep these comments coming!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Major drool! I love XO sauce and if there is something with XO sauce on it I must order it. I also love radish cake but have never had the two together-sounds delicious! :)

edith said...

From the way you decribe this XO sauce, I am already feeling hungry. Let's see whether I will have a chance to sample this.

Your raddish cake looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley

In step 3, you boiled the radish with water. After it is boiled, the remaining water is poured into the flour mixture? Do you measure the boiled liquid? I suppose the amount of liquid will affect the texture of the kueh. Either hard or soft, sometimes it is quite difficult to get to the right softness. When the kueh is cooled down, will it be harder from the time it was out of the steaming wok?

Thanks

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@anonymous: the radish is boiled with the remaining 250ml water. The whole hot radish water mixture is then poured into the flour liquid. Actually interestingly water will still continue to evaporate as you 'cook' the batter. I believe what determines when it will become harder or softer is how long you steam it. When the heat is turned off, the cake is actually still sticky and very very soft... It is impossible to cut. When it cools down completely, it will be harder. If you are afraid of drying it out too hard, cool down at room temperature and cover up when you put in the fridge. The fridge air is actually very drying. The intensity of your stove will be different from mine so you may want to experiment a few times to determine the timing that will give you the most satisfactory texture.

Alice said...

i love raddish cake
yours look so delicious! :)

Jo said...

Super, super yummy! And I love that XO sauce.

Maria said...

Such interesting flavours! I've never bought nor made XO sauce!

grub said...

this tastes super good with lots of eggs, white pepper and hoisin sauce! though my parents always eat it with siricha chilli. i'll recommend them use XO sauce next time

penny aka jeroxie said...

I have to remember to get some of this when I come back for a visit.

Eesh said...

Im yet to find a good XO sauce. Clearly i live in the wrong country :P.

Mei Teng said...

Yum! I love radish cakes.

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