Thursday, May 31, 2012

Homemade Daikon Cake

Ok just to prove to Chung Wu that it is more than meta-comments, here is a review of my own creation, daikon cake.

I modified the recipe from a Chinese dim sum recipe book, and the recipe is as follows:

- 600g Fresh Daikon (about one large whole one), peeled

- 85g rice flour (note that this is NOT the glutinous variety)

- 65g corn starch

- roughly 2 tbsp wheat starch

- salt to taste (optional)

- 20g sugar

- 200 mL + 80 mL water or broth

- 1/4 to 1/3 cup Chinese sausage, diced (that's roughly 2 links)

- 1-2 tbsp dried daikon or other preserved vegetable bits that you like, minced

- 2 tbsp dried shrimp, mince if too big to start

To make the 'cake':

Mix together the rice flour, corn starch, wheat starch, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add water/broth to mix and make into a slushy batter (the consistency should be pretty wet).

To cook the daikon:

Slice the daikon into thin julienned strips (or if you're lazy, grate it with a somewhat large holed grater). If you like to have big chunks of daikon, you can also reserve 1/3 of the daikon and cut that third into cubes (1/2 inch squares) instead of strips.
Then, saute the daikon in a large pan with a little bit of oil. When it starts to get translucent, add the 80 mL of water/broth, cover and cook until soft. When soft, add a little of the 'cake' batter to the pan and mix to cook. It will become a bit sticky. Now remove daikon from heat, and while it is still hot, add it to the remaining batter and mix well.

*Note here: after i made this and tasted it, the texture was a little more sticky than I liked it. I think because depending on the juiciness of the daikon that you bought, 200 mL of water might be too much. So, in the future, I will probably add only 150 mL of water at first, then adjust the wetness of the batter after I mix the batter with the daikon, and make sure it isn't too wet.

Now for the yummy bits:

Here, the ingredients call for Chinese sausage... well, you know what? I realized I didn't have any. BUT! I had some bacon!!! So I substituted bacon for the Chinese sausage. First I made the bacon into bacon bits. Then I sauteed the dried daikon mince and the dried shrimp with a little bacon fat and mixed all the yummy bits together.

Finally, mix in the yummy bits into the daikon/flour-y batter mixture, and pour/spoon it into a steamer safe container! Steam it over boiling water for ~1 hr, or until your knife/chopstick comes out relatively clean (sometimes if the batter is too wet it won't be fully clean, but as long as it's not super runny you're good!)

The bacon was really delicious in this recipe, actually! Would make again. I actually also feel like I could have done without the extra salt. Usually I like to steam the daikon cake, then cool it down and pan fry it to eat with some sweet soy sauce, but because I added salt in the batter, it was too salty!! And I couldn't have my extra yummy soy sauce. =( I'm guessing that the bacon also contributed some sodium.

So there you have it! So easy to make at home, and super fresh. Let me know if you try it!
With some prodding, nudging, and leading-by-example from Natulcien, I have decided to revive this blog. It's been pretty dead for a while. But I read back the entries that I wasn't too lazy to post from Singapore, and big-headedly thought that I am not such a bad writer. At least I entertained myself when I re-read them!

So, I-like-meat is back from the dead, just in time for my trip to the Big Island, Hawaii! Stay tuned...

Day 4 in Singapore - Wednesday April 6, 2011

I've been getting better and better at going to work! You'd think it easy, but really it's quite confusing sometimes to navigate all the interconnect malls and underground passages. From Monday, when commute took me an hour, it now only takes me 35 minutes door to door! I LOVE PUBLIC TRANSIT (when it's effective... ahem *Caltrain!*)

I realize I've been talking a lot about food in this blog, but another interesting topic that I think about during my commute is fashion. When walking around in Singapore, you can't help but notice the way the ladies dress. Perhaps its because I live in Silicon Valley, but here the ladies dress a lot more formal for work than the ladies back home. This could also be me too used to the laid-back lab fashion, too. But being formal doesn't stop them from being fashionable!