Turnip Cakes Chinese style

This recipe if from my CSA weekly newsletter.  “This traditional recipe  is often seen in Dim Sum houses, and is adapted from Florence Lin’s Complete Book of Chinese Noodles, Dumplings and Breads.  This recipe easily halves or doubles.  The recipe as we give it below, makes two loaf pans (9”x4”x3”).  This is really easy to make, doesn’t necessarily taste “radishy,” and is absolutely delicious!

3 pounds turnips or radishes
4 tablespoons neutral oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper or ¾ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups rice flour
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Optional: ½ pound bacon or ground pork, precooked to until edges are browned, soaked dried shrimp or shitake mushrooms and shredded carrots. (These flavoring ingredients may first be stir-fried before being added to the radish and flour/starch mixture.)
2 tablespoons neutral oil + 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Garnishes: soy sauce, chili paste, minced scallions, garlic and/or cilantro.

Wash roots well.  Grate by hand or with a food processor.

Heat oil in wok or heavy-bottomed skillet, stir-fry the grated roots for 1 minute on medium heat.  Add the salt and pepper, cover and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, line two loaf pans with plastic wrap.

Mix rice flour with 3 ½ cups water, then pour mixture into roots, stirring constantly  Cook an additional 3 – 4 minutes.  Remove from heat. Stir in scallions and optional meat or stir fried vegetables.

Spoon mixture into loaf pans.  When full, push down to remove air bubbles.

Steam these loaf pans in a wok or large pot with a steamer basket for 45 minutes.  Check the water level regularly to make sure you don’t burn the bottom of the pan.

Let cool in loaf pans and then refrigerate.

When cold, remove turnip cakes from pan and slice ½ inches.

Heat a skillet over high heat. Add second set of oil. Pan-fry until crispy on both sides.

Serve with garnishes.

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