Thursday, March 19, 2020

Taro Cake


- taro root, cubed = approx. 900 g (after peel is removed)
**N.B. the taro root has to be fairly dry. If you purchase one that's super fresh, be sure to leave it out to sun-dry (even on a windowsill indoors) for a couple of days.
- rice flour = 600g
- 2 cups hot water
- 4-5.5 cups cold water
- 1/4 cup dried shrimps (soaked and chopped)
- 1/4 cup Chinese sausage (finely chopped) = approx. 2 links
- 1/8 cup Chinese preserved meat (looks like pork belly), finely chopped (if unavailable then replace with more Chinese sausage)
- 8 pcs dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked, finely chopped)
- 3-4 sprigs coriander, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 TBS white sesame, toasted
- oil
- five spice powder
- white pepper
- chicken powder
- 8 pcs Chinese preserved olive, finely chopped (optional)
- sliced preserved (pink) ginger, finely chopped (optional)


1. Combine 600g rice flour with 1 TBS salt, 1.5 tsp sugar, 1 tsp five spice powder, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp chicken powder, and mix well. Add 2 cups hot water and mix. Then add 4 to 5.5. cups of cold water, depending on how "smooth" or firm you want the end product to be. (I used 4 cups; next time I may try 5.) Mix well until all lumps disappear into the void.

2. Fry the dried shrimp in a wok with oil and a bit of Chinese cooking wine until lightly brownded.

3. Add mushrooms, fry.

4. Add Chinese sausage (and meat if you have it), together with a mixture of 1.5 TBS light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, some sesame oil, and cooking wine.

5. Add the taro cubes and stir around a bit. Add enough water to just cover the taro, and cover the wok. Cook for 10 min until the taro is soft.

6. Add the coriander and half the spring onions and stir. There should be very little water left in the wok at this point. Remove and add the mixture to the batter, stirring well.

7. Clean the wok and add enough water to reach the steaming stand, and boil the water. (Or use whichever steaming device you are using.) Grease the cake pan(s) / line with baking paper if you wish (for spring forms). Ladle batter into the cake pan(s). When the water is steaming, place the pan(s) onto the steaming stand in the wok / steamer and cover. Steam for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on how large your pan(s) are.

(I used two smaller pans, and steamed for 45min - 1 hr. If using one large pan (8cm deep and 27 cm diameter), try steaming for 1.5 hrs.)

8. Cakes are done if a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

9. Sprinkle the tops with toasted sesame and the rest of the spring onions and steam for an additional 5 min.

10. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the top with more five spice powder and the chopped olives and preserved ginger (if using).

11. To serve: either serve it freshly steamed or slice up and pan fry. Serve with oyster sauce and/or hot sauce of your liking (typically Chilli Bean Sauce a.k.a. do ban tjan).

Et voilĂ !

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