Monday, January 26, 2009

Taro Cake (Chinese New Year)

Taro Cake

I have been very busy with cooking Chinese New Year cakes for the past few days. Taro is my favourite food, so it couldn’t be missed out on my cooking list for Chinese New Year. The taro used here was the leftover after making the Taro & Pearl Dessert, and was kept in the freezer until now. It’s indeed a good one, after cooking for a little while, it turned tender enough to my taste. Although it’s not the favourite of my daughter, she still liked to eat some because of the accompanied XO sauce. If any dish can go with any sauce, she would like to eat. Haha…

Taro cake (aka yam cake) is also one of popular snacks in Hong Kong, that can be easily found in Chinese restaurants. The Chinese word of 糕(gao, means cake or pudding)sounds the same as “rising”, ” growth”, “achieving higher level” in all endeavours. No wonder why Chinese people like eating all kinds of cakes, including this one during Chinese New year season.

Today is the first day of The year of the Ox, coincidentally falls on Australia Day!
Wish you all a prosperous and happy Chinese New Year! Happy “Niu” Year! (“Niu” means ox in Chinese Mandarin, sounds like “new”)

Taro Cake (Printable recipe)
By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 90 mins
Yield: Prepare an 8-inch round pan

Ingredients:
  • 600 gm taro, diced
  • 180 gm rice flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Chinese dried sausages (lap chang 臘腸)
  • 4 to 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 gm dried shrimps
Seasonings:
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 3/4 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of white pepper
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • green onion, diced, for garnish
Taro Cake Procedures

Method:
  1. Rinse and soak Chinese mushrooms in water until tender. Cut into small pieces. Soak dried shrimps and chopped coarsely, use a food processor if you like. Set aside.
  2. Mix chicken stock powder, five spice powder, sugar, salt and white pepper in a cup of water. Add a dash of sesame oil. Combine with rice flour very well.
  3. Add diced taro into 2 cups of boiling water and bring to a boil again. Cook for about 10 minutes. Don’t let it dry up and leave some water with the taro. Remove from heat, toss in fried Chinese sausages, mushrooms and dried shrimps (see picture). Immediately fold in rice flour mixture and mix very well into a thick batter.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased tray, 8-inch round. Use a spatula to even the surface. Steam over high heat with cover, about 60 minutes. Check the water level and replenish, if necessary, with boiling water. Insert a chopstick into the middle part. If it comes out clean, the taro cake is cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped spring onion. Serve hot. Or let cool and refrigerate with cover for 4 hours. Cut into pieces, fry both sides until golden brown over medium heat.
Notes:
  • While cooking taro, use medium-low heat. Don’t use high heat or cook too long. Just about 10 minutes. The amount of water left with the taro should not be too much, the cake would be too soft otherwise.
  • If you like to enjoy chunks of taro with bite texture, then cut the taro into bigger size, and don’t stir the batter too much, just combine all ingredients, leaving some taro cubes in shape.
Other recipes for Chinese New Year:


Chinese New Year Turnip Cake

Chinese New Year Coconut Pudding


11 comments :

  1. Thanks Christine. Now that I found your website. My husband can make me more Chinese food!! YES!!

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  2. I thought I would try to make a taro cake for chinese new year. This is my first time, and this recipe seems to be the simplest on the internet, so I gave it a try. It turned out to be very delicious. The only part that I was not sure about was the length of time to steam the cake. It took me 2 and 1/2 hour to steam it until there was minimal sticky flour mix attached to the chopstick when you put the chopstick into the cake. It may be because I used very big chunks of taro. Should I be taking the cake out of the steamer much earlier, even if something sticks? Will the cake turn more sturdy when it cools down? I was afraid that the cake would not stay together because of the sticky flour inside, so I kept cooking it way past the recommened time.

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  3. hi Christine i really love all ur recipes tks for sharing with us

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  4. I tried your recipe and it turned out good. This is my second attempt at making Taro Cake. My first try was another recipe which turned out to be too hard. Yours gives a nice texture and taste great! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. @Auntie Mreen
    Aw, thanks for your comment. So glad that you love it.

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  6. Thanks for the recipes, Christine. I just made one and is steaming right now. I have made radish and sweet potato cakes before using a similar recipe. I didn't have five spice powder so I skipped that and added slowly fried shallots t the mix.

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  7. Thank you for the recipe, Christine... I westernized it a bit because I didn't have dried shrimp & changed some methods... Instead of chicken stock power, made some chicken broth (homemade). So, instead of just plain water, I made 3 cups of chicken stock. I fried shallots & bacon together w/ the chinese mushrooms... I used a mix of spices instead of 5-spice: cardamom, garlic powder, cinnamon & ground coriander. Taste delicious w/ hot sriracha sauce.

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful ! Thanks for sharing your idea. Your version sounds delicious too.

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  8. Hi Christine,
    As it's almost time for Chinese New Year's again, I've been trying out your taro and radish cake recipe. Thanks for posting and sharing your experiences with us - especially those who cannot read Chinese but would like to replicate traditional Chinese dishes!

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  9. Hi Christine, I really love your recipes! Reading this post made me crave taro. I have a question regarding the flour - did you use white rice flour or glutinous rice flour? Would using either make a difference to the texture? Thanks! x

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