One of my fantasies is to become a master dim sum chef. One day, I will move to Hong Kong and do a traditional 8 year apprenticeship, learning every type of dough, every way to fold a dumpling, and become of master of teas as well. One day…right after I become a master sushi chef.

Luo Bo Gau (Daikon Radish Cakes)

When I saw Luo Bo Gao (Daikon Radish Cakes), a dim sum classic, on Asian Dumpling Tips ( a wonderful site by cookbook author Andrea Nguyen), I was happily surprised by how easy the recipe looked. It seemed like the perfect starter dish to learning dim sum.

As it seemed, it was pretty easy, and it solved two problems I have with Luo Bo Gau when I get it at restaurants. Most of the time, restaurants are skimpy with the sausage and dried shrimp. They are probably trying to keep the costs down because dim sum is pretty cheap, but once you have it with more sausage and dried shrimp, you may be reluctant to order the skimpy ones again. Secondly, they never seem fried enough. I like it when the edges get really crispy and if you make it yourself, you can control how crispy they are, or you can eat them just steamed if you want to cut down on fat and calories. It’s yours to control.

Luo Bo Gau (Daikon Radish Cakes) 8

This recipe uses two 9″ round cake pans, which makes sense because that is what will fit in most steamers or large pots, but if I can find a way next time, I’ll try it in a square or rectangular pan. This is purely aesthetic, and only because I’m used to seeing them served as rectangles.

Luo Bo Gao (Daikon Radish Cakes)
~adapted from Wai Chu’s recipe posted on Asian Dumpling Tips
~about 8 servings

  • 1 rounded tablespoon small dried shrimp
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
  • 1 pound daikon radish
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Chinese pork sausage
  • 3 scallion, finely chopped
  • vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • oyster sauce and/or hot sauce to serve

Instructions -

1. Place dried shrimp in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 30 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine rice flour, wheat starch, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Drain and finely chop the shrimp.

4. Peel the daikon and grate through small holes of box grater onto a clean kitchen towl. Squeeze as much liquid as you can into a measuring cup. Measure the daikon juice and add enough water to make it 3 1/2 cups of liquid.

daikon shredding daikon

5. Put the liquid in a pot and add grated daikon. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add sausage, scallion, and shrimp, cover and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat. Slowly add the rice flour/wheat starch mixture while whisking to break any large lumps. The batter will still be sticky and lumpy.

sausage, dried shrimp, scallion, daikon

6. Set up a steamer and boil the water.

7. Brush two 9″ round cake pans  with vegetable or grapeseed oil. Divide the batter into the two pans. Dip a spoon into cool water and use the back to smooth the surface. (I found it to be very sticky and had to wash the spoon several times in between.)

Luo Bo Gau in pan

8. Steam the cake pans, covered, for 40 minutes. You can either do both at the same time in two separate steamers or steam one and leave the second one in room temperature, steaming it after the first is done.

9. Be careful when removing the cake pans after they are done steaming. Set them on the counter to cool to room temperature.

10. Un-mold onto a cutting board and cut into desired pieces. Fry them on medium high heat in oil, until crispy and browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with oyster and/or hot sauce.

Luo Bo Gau (Daikon Radish Cakes) 6

Make-Ahead

After you steam and cool the Luo Bo Gau to room temperature, do not cut. Wrap it in plastic and keep refrigerated until ready to use, up to three days.

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