Vegan Lo Bak Go
Lo Bak Go is a Chinese turnip cake made from daikon radish. Typically, Chinese turnip cakes are made with Chinese sausage and dried shrimps, but this recipe puts a vegan spin on the traditional Dim Sum dish by substituting with shitake mushrooms! The flavor of this dish is rather subtle, but it is still very delicious. These turnip cakes are steamed then lightly pan-fried, giving them an excellent balance between crispy and smooth texture. Daikon radish has many nutritional benefits, as it is a great source of vitamins. Specifically, it is high in vitamin C and folate. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps boost immune system function, and folate is especially important during pregnancy as it contributes to healthy growth and development of the baby. This vegan Lo Bak Go recipe replicates both the flavor and texture of the traditional Chinese turnip cakes, and it is a great dish to make during the lunar new year or any time to fulfill your Dim Sum cravings!
- 450g daikon, grated (or half grated and half chopped small)
- 225g fine rice flour
- 1 diced shiitake mushroom, rehydrated from dried (about 7cm diameter
- 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Oil for frying
- Place your grated/chopped daikon in a pot over high heat. Add just enough water to barely cover the daikon.
- Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer until the daikon is tender.
- In the meantime, fry up the fillings. Heat about a teaspoon of oil over high heat. Add the mushroom, scallions, shallots, garlic and salt.
- Cook while stirring continuously until the shallots are a bit golden then remove from heat and set aside.
- When the daikon is tender, drain it but reserve one cup of liquid. Keep the daikon in the cooking pot. If you prefer a saltier, more savory turnip cake, you can add a cube of vegetable broth to the reserved liquid. Or discard all the liquid and replace it with prepared vegetable broth.
- Mix the cup of liquid with the rice flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the fillings and white pepper and any additional seasonings you would like such as soy sauce.
- Add the rice flour mixture to the drained daikon. Cook over low heat while stirring until mixture has thickened. Less than 5 minutes.
- Prepare your steaming apparatus. Add water to the base of your steamer and bring to a boil. Oil a heat-proof container that will fit into the steamer basket.
- Fill your heat-proof container with the daikon mixture, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Place the container into the steaming basket and steam over high heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done.
- At this point, you can serve it or fry it first.
- Chill the cake to make slicing and frying easier. I find it is best to cover it and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
- Afterwards, slice into 3/4″ thick pieces. Fry in an oiled pan over medium/high heat for a minute on each side or until golden.
- Serve with sweet soy sauce, hot chili oil and fresh scallions.