Turnip cake

From Ned Deily, this photo of the turnip cake from a gathering of friends for dim sum at the San Francisco restaurant Ton Kiang yesterday:

Ned tagged me in his Facebook posting on the gathering, because he knows how much I like the turnip cake at the Palo Alto restaurant Tai Pan, which specializes in Hong Kong-style cuisine. Ton Kiang features “the finest in Chinese and Hakka cuisine”.

Turnip cake isn’t actually made with turnips, but rather radishes (though turnips, various kinds of radishes, and for that matter beets are all closely related botanically, in the Brassica family). From Wikipedia:

Turnip cake … is a Chinese dim sum dish made of shredded radish (typically Chinese radish or daikon) and plain rice flour. The less commonly used daikon cake is a more accurate name, in that Western-style turnips are not used in the dish; it is sometimes also referred to as radish cake, and is traditionally called carrot cake in Singapore. It is commonly served in Cantonese yum cha and is usually cut into square-shaped slices and sometimes pan-fried before serving. Each pan-fried cake has a thin crunchy layer on the outside from frying, and [is] soft on the inside. The non-fried version is soft overall. It is one of the standard dishes found in the dim sum cuisine of Hong Kong, China, and overseas Chinatown restaurants. It is also commonly eaten during Chinese New Year, since radish (菜頭, chhài-thâu) is a homophone for “good fortune” (好彩頭, hó-chhái-thâu) in Hokkien. In Taiwan, turnip cake is also commonly eaten as part of a breakfast.

Yum yum pan-fried turnip cake! At any time of the day.

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