Friday, February 26, 2010

Delicacies for Chinese New Year Round Three - The Overloaded Taro Cake~!

This recipe is dedicated to my family, and to anyone who is as obsessed with this purple root as we are! Just make sure you do not overload with this fragrant yet zesty tasting taro, which turns the cake into a more croquet like consistency, but still mouthwatering.

For those who might be interested in reading further on this amazing root, please check out my previous post:
"Macaron de la divinité captures the essence of this mulberry purple coloured root....~ le Macaron aux Taro~
Taro flavoured macaron filled with coconut white chocolate ganache"

~ Chinese Taro Cake - 芋頭糕~


- 2 lb Taro root - about 2 medium size, peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes
- 500 g plain rice flour (粘米粉) - not glutinous rice flour
- 4 long links Chinese sausages (臘腸) - cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 200g Chinese cured bacon ((臘肉) - cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 4 dried scallops, 3 tbs dried shrimps, 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
(place all 3 above ingredients in a bowl and soak overnight with cold water just
enough to cover all the ingredients)
- 750mL water
- 3 tbs chicken bouillon powder
- 4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp five spiced powder
- 3 tsp salt
- 4 tsp sugar
- a bunch of coriander - coarsely chopped

1. Squeeze out the soaking liquid from the hydrated dried scallops, dried mushrooms and shrimps, and finely chop these ingredients. Reserve soaking liquid.
2. Steam the cubed taro in a even layer for 20 minutes or until all pieces have turned slightly translucent.
3. Heat up a wok or a large frying pan over medium high heat, add in the Chinese sausages and cured bacon, stir-fry for a 5-8 minutes or until most of the oil has rendered out from the cured meats.
4. Gradually add the finely chopped mushrooms, scallops and shrimps. Keep stir frying them for about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in all the seasonings and allow them to warm in the mixture for a minute. Remove from heat.

6. In a large baking pan (ideal size would be a 16 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep, or 2 9-inch cake pan would also be fine), pour in the rice flour and gradually stir in the soaking liquid and water. Mix until completely incorporated.
7. Stir in the solid ingredients from the wok and mix thoroughly, and gently fold in the steamed taro cubes.
8. Steam the cake in a large wok with consistent yet vigourous steam for an hour and a half.

9. When it is cooked, remove from heat and sprinkle the chopped coriander on top as garnish.
10. The cake can be served immediately as the steamed version,

11. For the pan-fried version, allow the cake to cool and refrigerate overnight. Cut the cake into slices and pan-fry until golden brown and crispy on each side. Serve with XO sauce or chili sauce if preferred.

Bon Appetit~!


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