Taiwanese Radish Cake (蘿蔔糕 – Gwei)

Gwei… Taiwanese radish cakes made of rice and daikon.  Mmmmm… Every time I hear that name, fond memories of savory and succulent Taiwanese dim sum treats from my childhood come rushing back.  I still remember those lazy weekend trips to Chinatown for dim sum in Philadelphia.  I’d watch steaming mini bamboo baskets of gwei passing by on carts and desperately point with my tiny fingers to get my parents attention.  So as an adult, this dish is on my must-make list. Thank goodness we kept Deniz’ old fashioned rice cooker, as the recipe doesn’t work with a modern rice cooker.  The below recipe is adapted from Wei-Chuan’s Chinese Dim Sum cookbook for a vegetarian diet.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of rice flour
  • 4 c water
  • 2 lbs of daikon radish, shredded
  • Morningstar veggie sausage patties
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t pepper (black or white)
  • Optional garnishes:
    • scallions, chopped
    • Maggie liquid seasoning
    • garlic chili oil
Instructions:

Toast the veggie sausage patties in the oven for 13 minutes on 400°F. Cool and pulse in a food processor (or chop manually) to a ground beef consistency.

Combine the rice flour and water and stir until no lumps remain.

Stir-fry the shredded daikon in 4 T of cooking oil on high heat until soft.  This will take a while, be patient.  Set aside.

Stir-fry the ground veggie sausage and chopped shallots in 3 T of cooking oil for a minute on medium high heat.  Add the salt and and pepper and stir-fry for a minute more.  Add the white radish and stir to combine.   Turn off the heat and add the watery rice flour.

Place in an old-fashion rice cooker.*  Add enough water in the gap between the cooker and the container to fill it half way. Make sure that the container is not touching the side of the cooker or steam will drip into the cake instead of back into the gap.  Cook in the rice cooker for two hours.   After 10 minutes of cooking, stir the cake mixture to evenly distribute the daikon.  Return to cooking.  Continue to add water in the gap between the cooker and the container throughout cooking as needed to keep the rice cooker cooking for the full cooking time.  Do not fill the gap more than half full or boiling water may bubble into the cake mixture during cooking.  After cooking, cool to room temperature.

Remove the cake from the container and slice into 1/2 inch slices.  Pan fry each slice on both sides until golden brown. Sprinkle on garnishes as desired.

*Note:  Old-fashioned rice cookers require water to be put in the gap between the cooker and the rice container to create steam.  They also have loose-fitting lids.  Newer rice cookers do not this gap for water.  This recipe won’t work on a new rice cooker because it will automatically turn off after 10 minutes and will not continue to cook.

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