Chinese Turnip Cake

chinese turnip cake

5 from 5 reviews

Recreate this Dim Sum specialty, Chinese Turnip Cake, at home with the delicious and authentic recipe. This recipe uses Chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms for maximum flavour.



  1. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes until they have softened.
  2. Drain the mushrooms and gently squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Finely dice the mushrooms and set aside.
  4. Peel the daikon radishes and coarsely grate them. I do this using a food processor with the grater attachment.
  5. Place the grated daikon radishes into a large pot and cover with cold water.
  6. Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
  7. Cook the radishes for about 45 minutes until they are very tender.
  8. Whilst the radishes are cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan.
  9. Cook the Chinese sausages for about 5 minutes until they have softened and have released some of their fat.
  10. Add the chopped shallots and cook until the shallots have softened.
  11. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool.
  12. Drain the radishes but do not squeeze out any liquid.
  13. Return the cooked radishes to the pot.
  14. Add the rice flour, cornflour, and sesame oil to the radishes.
  15. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  16. Add the shallots and Chinese sausage mixture to the radishes, together with the spring onions (scallions) and shiitake mushrooms.
  17. Season with salt and pepper.
  18. Mix until everything is well combined.
  19. To steam the cake, you can either use a 21 x 11 cm (8 x 4 inch) loaf pan or 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin. Line the tin of your choice with some baking paper.
  20. Pour the mixture into the cake tin.
  21. Steam the cake for 45 mins to 1 hour, until the cakes are set and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You can steam the cake in a Chinese-style metal steamer, in a steam oven (if you are lucky enough to have one), or in a large roasting pan. In the latter case, place the cake tin in a large roasting pan, and pour enough boiling water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Make sure the cake tin you are using is watertight (i.e. do not use a springform tin), otherwise, water may get into the cake tin. Cover the roasting pan tightly with some foil, and place in the oven at 150°C (300°F).
  22. Once cooked, leave the turnip cake to cool completely, and then refrigerate for at least a few hours to set.
  23. To serve, heat some vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Unmould the turnip cake and cut into thick slices. Fry the slices in batches until they are lightly golden on each side. I like to cook them until they have a nice, golden and crispy crust, but some people prefer to keep the cake soft in texture.
  24. Sprinkle the turnip cake with freshly chopped coriander (cilantro), and serve with soy sauce and Sriracha sauce.

Kitchen Notes

Chinese Turnip Cakes are traditionally made in loaf tins, but I find it easier to make them in round cake tins, mostly because I don’t have a Chinese-style steamer but use a Moroccan-inspired couscousier for steaming; it’s a bit smaller than most Chinese-style steamers and fits a round cake tin comfortably. So depending on what shape or size tin you are using, you may have to adjust the steaming time accordingly.

I always double the above recipe as the steamed cake keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.