Fried Radish Cake (Chai Tow Kway)

I rarely cook with daikon but about a week ago, I had this yen for daikon soup. However, the moment I returned home with my purchase, my craving for the soup was gone (isn’t that just typical?). :-) So now, I had to find something else to make with the daikon (come on, Chris, you already have a giant zucchini in the fridge that you’re not doing anything with!). With the help of my favorite search engine – Google, I learned that in Chinese cuisine, two common uses for daikon are turnip cake and chai tow kway (fried radish cake). Hey, I remember eating chai tow kway when I was working in Singapore a long time ago, and liking it! I definitely would not mind eating it again. After more googling, I settled on trying The Little Teochew’s Fried Radish Cake recipe which is posted on Rasa Malaysia. The recipe seemed fairly simple and the end result looked so delicious! The one thing I did differently though was instead of a steamer, I used the microwave to “steam”. I worried about how the “cake” would turn out but anytime I can avoid lugging out those big steamers (somebody has to wash them after they’re used, ya know), I will.  I think overall the “microwave experiment” was successful. :-) The consistency and texture turned out the way I think they should (if my memory serves me right). Now, I can have yummy chai tow kway in no time at all. Yay!

Grated daikon

Microwave until translucent and allow to cool

Rice flour

Add water and salt

Stir to combine

Add cooled daikon

Looks like watery coleslaw

Transfer to microwavable casserole dish (it can be the same one you used earlier to microwave the grated daikon)

Micowave until the “cake” is set and cool completely (I did let mine cool overnight in the fridge as suggested in the original post to allow the radish cake to firm up) 

This is what it looks like after it has cooled (sorry for the blurry picture)

Cut up into bite-size pieces

Fry until golden brown and moderately crisp on the outside

Salted turnip (that’s the name on the package), minced. I assume this is what they call “chai poh” or preserved radish/turnip. Lord knows how many preserved veges there are at the store…even I’m confused!

Minced garlic

Add the salted turnip and garlic

Lightly beaten eggs

After adding fish sauce, white pepper, and serrano pepper, pour in the eggs. Fry until cooked.

Note: I halved the recipe – see the original post here

Making the radish cake
350g grated daikon + 5 teaspoons water
100g rice flour
½ cup water
Pinch of salt

  1. Mix grated daikon and 5 teaspoons water in a microwavable casserole dish. Microwave covered on High for 5 to 6 minutes until daikon turns translucent. Let cool.
  2. Combine rice flour, ½ cup water, and salt. Add cooled daikon and stir to mix (will look like watery coleslaw).
  3. Pour the daikon mixture into a microwavable casserole dish (just use the one from earlier) and microwave covered on High for 4 to 6 minutes (checking every minute after the first 4 minutes) until set. Make a 1-inch cut in the middle of the cake to make sure that the bottom is no longer watery while at the same time be careful not to overcook and dry out the cake.
  4. It is recommended in the original post to cool the radish cake overnight in the fridge to allow it to firm up (which I did).

Frying the radish cake
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 radish cake (from above), cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons minced salted turnip
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Dash of white pepper
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional *not in the original recipe*)
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
Chopped green onion (which I omitted because I didn’t have any at hand)

  1. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet or pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the cut-up radish cake and fry until golden brown and moderately crisp.
  2. Add the salted turnip and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.
  3. Add fish sauce, white pepper and serrano pepper (if using), stirring to mix.
  4. Pour in the eggs, and allow the eggs to set slightly before turning over in sections. Continue to fry until the eggs are cooked. Dish out and sprinkle liberally with chopped green onions.
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2 Replies to “Fried Radish Cake (Chai Tow Kway)”

  1. Yah, makes me feel like eating it too but too much effortlah! Can you make it for me the next time I come and visit? :)

  2. Sure…although the hands-on part is really not very time-consuming at all…the wontons actually take more effort. :-D

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