How Lo can you Bak Go!

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Lo Bak Go aka fried radish cakes. This is definitely the item at yum cha that when I order it, everyone politely declines because of the texture. What the what? Crippy outside, smooth inside with interesting tasty bits? Anyway, everyone else is off their heads because these treats rock. I’d been missing the pants of them since going vegan until I had a mind losing cruelty free version at Ricky and Pinky’s in Melbourne. These guys have an amazing vegan menu that runs alongside their meaty offerings, if you haven’t been there go and ask for this and the veg dumplings. You will never recover from the deliciousness. Meanwhile, curb your cravings at home with this Lo Bak Go. There are a few steps in this one, but hey, that’s what Sunday’s are for!

Tools:

Large steamer pan or basket with lid

Ingredients:

  1. 1lb daikon (giant white radish, get it from your Chinese grocer), grated (or half grated and half chopped small)
  2. 1 3/4 cups radish cake flour (also from the Chinese grocer, fine rice flour also will do the job)
  3. water
  4. 1 tablespoon of finely chopped vegan BBQ pork (use a dry fried diced mushroom if you don’t love the vegan meats
  5. 2 tablespoons French shallots, minced
  6. 1 clove garlic, minced
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  9. sesame oil and peanut oil for frying
  10. Soy and ginger mix with sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, sliced spring onions, chili oil for topping

Let’s DO this!

  1. Place the grated/chopped daikon in a pot over high heat. Add just enough water to barely cover the daikon.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer until the daikon is tender.
  3. In the meantime, fry up the fillings. Heat about a teaspoon of oil over high heat. Add the BBQ pork, scallions, shallot, garlic and salt.
  4. Cook while stirring continuously until the shallots are a bit golden then remove from heat and set aside.
  5. When the daikon is tender, drain it but reserve one cup of liquid. Keep the daikon in the cooking pot. If you prefer a saltier, more savory turnip cake, you can add a cube of Massel chicken stock to the reserved liquid. Or discard all the liquid and replace it with prepared vegan friendly broth.
  6. Mix the cup of liquid with the rice flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the fillings and white pepper and any additional seasonings you would like such as soy sauce.
  7. Add the rice flour mixture to the drained daikon. Cook over low heat while stirring until the mixture has thickened. Less than 5 minutes.
  8. Prepare your steaming apparatus. Add water to the base of your steamer and bring to a boil. Oil a heat-proof container that will fit into the steamer basket.
  9. Fill your heat-proof container with the daikon mixture, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  10. Place the container into the steaming basket and steam over high heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done.
  11. At this point you can serve it or fry it first.
  12. Chill the cake to make slicing and frying easier. I find it is best to cover it and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
  13. Afterwards, slice into 3/4" thick pieces. Fry in an well oiled pan with a mix of sesame and peanut oil over medium/high heat for a minute on each side or until golden and crispy.
  14. Serve with soy sauce mix, hot chili oil, sesame seeds and fresh spring onions.

 

Polly McGee