Lo Bak Go (Chinese Turnip Cake)

The only unsinkable ship is friendship.
~ Jeff Sczpanski

Polly came over and helped me make Lo Bak Go. I am glad she came over because it’s a lot of work making this. I learned this from a previous Community Kitchen class.

Lo bak go is a savory cake which primary ingredient is grated daikon radishes. The daikons are mixed with bits of dried shrimp and Chinese sausages that are steamed and then cut into slices and pan-fried. Chinese people normally make Lo Bak Go in the Chinese New Year.

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As the name implies, the main ingredient is the daikon radish, which is also known as Chinese turnip (or lo bak). The rice flour and corn starch is used to hold the cake together. The other ingredients such as Chinese sausage, mushrooms, shallots and dried shrimp are used for flavouring.

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Here is how Polly and I make the dish:

Small (1).2We started off grating the daikon. It was easy with the food processor.
Small (4).2We then cooked the daikon with some water for 20 minutes. This will soften the daikon.
Small (2).2While waiting for the Daikon to cook, we chopped the flavouring ingredients into small pieces. This is really hard work. I am not sure if I should use the food processor for this because the ingredients are pretty hard.
Small (3).2We then fried the ingredients at the same time until they are fragrant. We forgot to add in the seasonings, like salt, pepper and sugar!!
Small (5).2We mixed the corn starch and rice flour in water before we pour it over the fried ingredients together with the cooked daikon.
Small (6)We need to stir the mixture until it turns into paste. This is a difficult part because we need a lot of arm strength to stir through the thick mixture. After this, we steamed the mixture for one hour.

The lo bak go could be served warm or if you chose to freeze it, you need to fry it before serving. It is best eaten with sweet chilli sauce (lat jiu jeong) or sweet sauce (tim jeong).

We are bringing this dish to our little Chinese New Year gathering this weekend at Sabrina and Eric’s new house. Thanks Polly for coming over today. Let me know how your kids like it.

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  1. Hello!!!This is a very nice web-page.Congratulations!! I am not sure if anyone can help me with this. I have been looking all over the internet for a recipe of a dessert that my grandmother used to make. She no longer remember much thinks now due to healths problems. I am craving for this dessert or (gow-in chinese) i just know that she used to put rice in water overnight and then next day she will put it in the blender and that is all i can remember that i saw her doing. It is not Pak tong gow. She steamed this cake in thin alluminium pans and pour some sore of syrup also. Is kind of a rice pudding/gelatin. Hope someone can help me!!!!Please!!! I am writing from Panama City, Republic of Panama. Warm Greetings!!!

  2. Suanne, re hard ingredients, my semi-heavy duty Kenwood food processor says the only thing that I should not attempt to process are nutmegs. wow, yours should be very delicious. I do a more simplifed version of a smaller quantity, quite as delicious when eaten cold which seems to bring out an intensification of flavour, when I get help, shall go for the Full Monty following your recipe. LPG & WTG were some of my favourite street food that I would occasionally eat for breakfast before heading for school in KL. 4:3 in favour WTG though, in terms of frequency! Do you know the Chinese
    sausages I get in London come exclusively from Vancouver?

    1. Hi Chinchyesek: I like your “name”! When you said “before heading for school in KL”, my mind was thinking she must be a BBGS, or St Mary or Covent Bukit Nenas girl. Wow, sausages in London came from Vancouver? Really? What type of sausages are you referring to?
      Ben

  3. Ben, am a guy, from that famous school
    in Jalan Hang Tuah or Shaw Road in old money that needs no formal introduction that with Bukit Nanas Convent are the only two schools in West Malaysia featured on national postage stamps issued recently, what an honour, other schools must be green with envy AND they actually are from the feedback that I receive from friends in KL.

    *Larp Cheong

    They are Chinese pork and duck liver sausages, next time I go to my local Chinese supermarket and buy some, will get the manufacturer’s name. Will not with salted fish eat too much of it though on account of health considerations, they being processed foods, can’t get Mui Heong here, maybe you folks in Vancouver are more fortunate. You’re right, everything in London is expensive or very expensive including eating out.

    1. Hi Chinchyesek: Ooops sorry! Are you from MBS or VI? If it is VI, I was with the school that beats the crap out of VI boys who dares to walk past the school from Pudu Raya! LOL! Those were the days. MBS’ians rules Petaling Street and VI boys are the whimps. 😉 BTW, I love London … great place to visit with lots of things happening and home of the Chicken Tikka Masala! Vancouver is a no-fun city.
      Ben

  4. Ben, it seems my response to your latest
    was not published, can you check if it’s
    lurking anywhere?

    1. Hi Chinchyesek: There’s all the comments there is. I guess it was not saved properly. Ben

  5. Ben, I clicked Submit Comment, waited a few good few seconds as usual, nothing manifested, drafted message still there, clicked again, advised it being a duplicate, nothing sent presumably, waited & waited, nothing appeared, drafted message then disappeared,so NOTHING could be saved, ideally one should write on Word or Email program & then TRANSFER to ChowTimes but it’s such a palaver, don’t you think but then at least there is then a back-up copy of what you had written. Can’t reconstruct word for word now.

    1. Oh Chinchyesek: I don’t know what to say. I must admit that the site is at times very erratic and I don’t know where to start looking to fix. I noticed that ever since WordPress had upgraded to 2.7, the performance is really slow.

  6. Poor Suanne, I can’t imagine her cutting up the hard ingredients piece by piece using just the knife, if a bit hard, I would perhaps soak or steam them to soften a little, cut into chunks/pieces and let the machine do all the hard work and no, the cutting blades haven’t been blunted, I checked, and no, I do not throw away the soaked shitake mushroom stems.

    Ben, don’t you help in the kitchen?

    1. The kitchen is Suanne’s domain. My area is the dining table — that I am totally responsible for. LOL!

  7. Ben, not to worry too much, perhaps the recent episode was just a one-off, if updated wordpress is slow or gives too much of a problem, why not revert to an older version you’re happy with, I do that with the web browsers that I use, sometimes the latest version is not the best one for my machine, I don’t know why but IE has never worked well on my PC regardless of version -always sluggish- but I have never liked IE anyway.

  8. hi Polly, i didn’t know that u knew Suanne. it’s a small world. i knew u from your husband and now i may have a chance to know Suanne from you……

  9. hi suanne,
    i was wondering how much of each ingredient did you use to make this recipe, and how many “cakes” did it yield? thank you~

    1. Hi flown, I had not made this for a while. My estimate for the cost of the ingredients would be less than $10 and I had a big platter of cakes, something like 50 pieces.
      Suanne

  10. Oh wow! I will be making this soon – for CNY! 🙂 Thanks!!

  11. LOVED THIS! Been wanting to know how this dish is made—-and now I KNOW! 🙂

    However, do you provide an actual ‘recipe’ for it? I can’t locate it on the site. LOL

    I want to make this dish ASAP, but I need to know the “amounts’ of all the great ingredients! :))

    Thanks so much~~~

    Bf

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