Fried Chinese Turnip/Mooli cake (蘿蔔絲煎餅)
I haven’t make this savoury cake for a long time since then, I missed this cake so much, just as I missed my mum! I can remember my mum always made this cake for us during winter, because winter is the harvest time for turnip. Usually we make this turnip cake (Law Bok Gow) to celebrate our Chinese new Year. I missed my mum so deeply. 😦 It is definitely a traditional Chinese savoury cake. Anyway, do you know what is Chinese turnip, it is a long white root vegetable, can buy it from lots of supermarket now, some people call it ‘mooli’, it is the same anyway! Not really matter! How to choose a nice and fresh one? You hold one on your palm and you feel it is heavy, ( I mean the weight ), and the skin is smooth and white, meanwhile it has not much wrinkles, and not many tiny roots outside, that is a good one, buy it! Usually, people make turnip cake (Law Bok Gow) 蘿蔔糕 in a deep tray and steam it, but this time, I want to have a liitle bit change, fry it but not deep fry (deep fry is too greasy and fatty for me), only use a little oil to fry it (shallow fry). This way, the pastry still crunch and crispy. And the filling is so flexible, it depends on what you have in your pantry. Usually, people will put chinese sausage, dry shiitake mushroom, dry shrimp, etc…But, for vegetarian, I put dry shiitake mushroom, spinach, roasted peanut, grated carrot, and minced quorn, of course with turnip or mooli (the main ingredient). The pastry is called ‘ hot pastry’, is similar with the English pork pie’s hot pastry. It use the nearly boiling water pour into the flour, this method will make a really soft dough, it is good for shallow fry or steam.
Ok, let’s get start it! You will surprise of the result, so delicious!
Chinese Turnip/Mooli cake (蘿蔔絲煎餅) For the pastry ingredient: ( it is called hot pastry)
- 300g plain flour, sifted
- 25g vegetable oil
- 150ml hot water, about 80°C to 100°C
- 40 to 50ml cold water (optional)
- 1/8 tsp salt
For the filling ingredient:
- 500g white turnip or mooli, grated
- 100g carrot, peeled and grated
- 4 to 5 dry shiitake mushrooms, soak in water
- 100g fresh or frozen spinach leaves, washed
- A handful of roasted peanut, grinded but not too fine
- 1 cup of minced quorn, optional
- 1 or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the seasoning:
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp white ground pepper
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- Thickening: 2 tsp corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp of water
- To prepare the pastry first: Put all the ingredients in a large bowl, except the cold water, pour the hot water in and use a wooden spoon to mix it, (then add the cold water if the dough is a bit dry), but if the dough is too sticky, add a little bit of flour but try not to add too much. Knead the dough for about 7 to 8 minutes until the dough smooth. Cover with cling film for rest for about 1/2 hour to 40 minutes.
- To prepare the filling: Squeeze and dry the soaked mushroom, sliced it.
- Toss the frozen or fresh spinach with boiling water until wilting, squeeze the water and pat dry, and roughly chopped it.
- Add the vegetable oil in a hot wok over high heat, add the sliced mushroom, grated carrot, minced quorn (if you use it), stir fry it for few minutes, then add the grated white turnip or mooli and the chopped spinach, keep stir it, after few minutes, it will form a bit watery from the mooli, but don’t worry, just keep stir and cook it until the liquid evaporated, add the seasoning, thickening and test the taste to adjust it. Finally add the roasted peanut and mix thoroughly, set aside.
- Now, is the step to wrap the filling into the pastry: Divide the dough into 8 equal dough, about 60g each, roll it into a ball. Use the palm to press down the ball flat or use rolling pin to roll flat on the table, spoon a certain amount of filling on the middle of the flat pastry, wrap and seal it. Place the seal side downward, and slightly pat the cake to flatten it.
- Prepare a large flat bottom frying pan and add oil over medium heat, shallow fry the flatten cakes until golden and crispy, turn the cake up side down and do the same way.
- Better to serve warm.
Note: This recipe was adapted from Carol.