Taro cake is a Chinese dish made from the vegetable taro. While it is denser in texture than radish cakes, both these savory cakes made in a similar ways, with rice flour as the main ingredient. When served in dim sum cuisine, it is cut into square-shaped slices and pan-fried before serving. It is found in Hong Kong, China, and overseas Chinatowns restaurants. Other ingredients often include pork and Chinese black mushroom, or even Chinese sausages. It is usually topped with chopped scallions.
- 600 gm taro, diced
- 180 gm rice flour
- 3 cups (750ml) water
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Chinese dried sausages (lap chang 臘腸)
- 4 to 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 10 gm dried shrimps
- chopped spring onion for garnish, optional
- 2 tsp chicken powder (bouillon powder)
- 3/4 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- white pepper, to taste
- sesame oil, to taste
- Rinse and soak Chinese mushrooms in water until tender. Cut into small pieces. Soak dried shrimps and chopped coarsely, use a food processor if you like. Set aside.
- Mix chicken powder, five spice powder, sugar, salt and white pepper in a cup of water. Add a dash of sesame oil. Combine with rice flour very well.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat to saute the diced taro, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in 2 cups of boiling water and bring to a boil again. Cook for about 10 minutes. Don’t let it dry up and leave some water with the taro. Remove from heat, toss in fried Chinese sausages, mushrooms and dried shrimps (as picture shown above). Immediately fold in rice flour mixture and mix very well into a thick batter.
- Pour the batter into a greased tray, 8-inch round. Use a spatula to even the surface. Steam over high heat with cover, about 60 minutes. Check the water level and replenish, if necessary, with boiling water. Insert a chopstick into the middle part. If it comes out clean, the taro cake is cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped spring onion. Serve hot. Or let cool and refrigerate with cover for 4 hours. Cut into pieces, fry both sides until golden brown over medium heat.
- While cooking taro, use medium-low heat. Don’t use high heat or cook too long. Just about 10 minutes. The amount of water left with the taro should not be too much, the cake would be too soft otherwise.
- If you want more taro texture, you might like to reserve some fried taro dices and mix them together with dried sausages and shiitake mushrooms.
- If you like to enjoy chunks of taro with bite texture, then cut the taro into bigger size, and don’t stir the batter too much, just combine all ingredients, leaving some taro cubes in shape.