Daikon cakes (lo bak guo) are a Cantonese dim sum staple. They’re also known as “turnip cakes”, but daikon is a little more accurate, because it’s made of shredded daikon, rice flour, chopped mushrooms, dried shrimp and bits of sweet Chinese sausage (lap cheong), steamed in a pan, then either eaten warm by the spoonful, or stored in a fridge to solidify and stiffen so it can be cut into squares to pan-fry.
Though the traditional way is to just pan-fry each little cake–which you would normally see at your typical dim sum outting–my aunt used to cut them into squares and fry them with eggs to serve as breakfast for my cousins and I when we were younger. I was a picky eater when I was younger, so the look of it always turned me off–but I eventually took a bite, and couldn’t eat daikon cakes the same again. This has been one of my favorite Canto-comfort dishes of all time, and I love cooking them for breakfast whenever my Popo has any left over from her monthly batch of home-made daikon cakes. The starchy daikon and rice flour gives it a buttery brown crispy on the outside when you pan-fry them in canola oil, but the inside is soft, like gnocchi, but a little more gelatinous and with speckles of sweet sausage and mushroom… and then of course, there’s the delicious petals of fried egg that clings to its edges, and the fragrant cilantro and scallions that bring it all together.
I’ll post my grandmother’s home-style recipe for daikon cakes in the future, but for now–this one is pretty spot on if you want to make them from scratch instead of picking them up from your nearby dim sum restaurant or Chinese grocery store.
Click through for my recipe!
Fried Turnip Cakes & Egg Recipe
- Turnip cakes (follow this recipe)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped scallions
- 1/2 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
- Optional: soy sauce or sesame oil on top.
- Cut up the turnip cakes into 1-2 inch squares.
- Heat a large pan at medium-high heat and coat the bottom with canola oil.
- Place the squares of turnip cake at the bottom of the pan side by side, making sure they don’t overlap each other.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes (or until the bottom is golden brown).
- Flip each cake over and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly just to get the yolks running.
- Pour over the fried turnip cakes and let it cook for about 2 minutes before flipping them over in the eggs.
- Top with scallions and cilantro.
- Drizzle with soy sauce, or just eat it as it is!