Chinese Radish Cake

I’ve been having a hankering for singaporean food. Food that you absolutely cannot find in Geneva. Kaya, Prata, Nasi Lemak and above all, carrot cake aka radish cake aka turnip cake. This dish has caused plenty of confusion even amongst people who are familliar with it. First of all, it’s not a cake. It just has this name because it is directly translated from Chinese, which names a lot of foods that come in a loaf form, a cake. And it’s made with radish, which in Chinese directly translates as white carrot. But in Singapore, it’s typically called carrot cake.


  • 1 large Radish or daikon
  • Handful of dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 3 big tbsp dried shrimp
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 big tbsp corn starch
  • White pepper, 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Water

Soak dried shrimp and mushrooms, once soft, coarsely chop them. Fry up chopped bacon. When it’s cooked, add shrimp and mushroom and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Set aside. Grate Radish using the large holes on a box grater. Cook in a pan until soft and water is evaporated, drain liquid and reserve. Set aside to cool.

Stir together flour, starch, salt, sugar, pepper and spice. The mixture requires 1.5 cups of liquid so use the reserve Radish juices and top up with water. Stir well and add everything else to the bowl.

Grease a casserole dish well with sesame oil and steam. I used 2 dishes of dimensions 4″x6″ and steamed for 25-30minutes. If you have a large dish that can hold the entire recipe, steam for 50-55 minutes.

The consistency should be firm but the sides will still be wet and a little soft. Let it sit to cool for about 20 Minutes then invert. It should fall out easily. Slice into thick cubes or slices and pan fry with oil before eating. You can also eat it without pan frying if you prefer.


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