Turnip Cake (Lor Bak Gou)

Kung Hei Fat Choi!!! Turnip cake is a well-loved dim sum dish, served steamed or pan-fried throughout the year. Turnip cake is especially popular during Chinese New Year because the word cake ‘糕’ and ‘high’ in Cantonese are both pronounced as ‘gou’, making cakes a symbolic food of prosperity and fortune. So. Eat your cake.

If you’re wondering what turnip cake actually is, it is a savoury steamed cake made of rice flour and shredded turnips, with little pieces of Chinese sausage, mushroom and dried shrimp. It is truly much more delicious than it looks in writing (as are most dim sum items 😉 ) This is my mum’s recipe I’ve posted. It is my favourite. 

Turnip Cake (Lor Bak Gou)

  • Servings: 2 cakes
  • Print


  • 1200g Chinese turn, peeled and finely grated
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms IMG_1980
  • 228g rice flour
  • 95g wheat starch
  • 150g (2 large) Chinese sausage (lap cheung), diced
  • 38g dried shrimp, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tsp white pepper

Let’s cook:

  1. Soak shiitake mushrooms for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain mushrooms, and squeeze out excess water. Trim and discard stems. Dice the mushroom caps.IMG_1983
  2. In a large pot, simmer turnips on very low fire in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes until cooked. Turnips will turn clear. Do not drain water.
  3. In a wok or pan over medium high heat, stir fry the mushroom, lap cheung and dried shrimp for 3 minutes until browned. Place in pot with turnips. Add the chicken stock and white pepper. Keep on low fire.
  4. Slowly stir in rice flour in thirds, mixing thoroughly between additions. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time as needed. The final texture should be tight and sticky.
  5. Scrape mixture into 1 or 2 lightly greased baking dishes, about 3-4 inches in height.
  6. Steam for 40 minutes.
  7. Let rest for 20 minutes. Serve topped with dried scallions.
  8. Keep up to a week in refrigerator, and reheat by steaming or slice and pan-fry in a small amount of oil until crisp on both sides.






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