Friday, January 28, 2011

Steamed Spices Lotus Root Cake

This lotus root cake is quite similiar to the steamed radish cake that we can find at the dim sum restaurants, though some may have them fried. I also do not know why the radish cake seems to be associated with Chinese New Year , they are quite a popular snack taken during CNY although we can have this anytime of the year.if you're making radish cake for the new year, probably you might want to try this for a change.

Talking about Chinese New Year, i always find it amusing that somehow i think most chinese are very ' superstitious' in a way especially when it comes to the new year. We will always cook food that sounds auspicious and prosperous, most of the chinese will bound to have some lettuce, black moss, nian gao, dried oysters, lotus root, leeks, fatt gao and so many more in the kitchen during the new year. Chinese translation.. lettuce means "grow fortune", black moss "great fortune", nian gao "greater heights", dried oysters " good things", lotus roots " abundance yearly", fatt gao " abundance of wealth", leeks is kind of funny, it means 'counting' ..counting money ,i think.ha!. and i believe that no one would skip the mandarin oranges  which symbolize wealth and luck. Even the names of chinese new year dishes served at restaurants also carry funny names like 'laughing prawns', 'happiness all over' and one could never think of. Some also believes that the rice bucket needs to be full, the fridge also needs to be one time, i stuffed so much into the much as if the country is going to be on curfew, if my fridge can talk, i think it will probably say, "stop! I could hardly breathe, i'm dying of suffocation!" yeah, and please dont mention the word"die" you will get your mouth plastered throughout the day! Not to mention some of the taboos that are being of them is  do not sweep the floor on the 1st day of chinese new year as it believes if you do, you will sweep away all the fortune and luck from the house..and the list goes on. But anyhow, i believe that many of us will still be smiling away and chuckling to ourselves whenever we think of all these funny names and taboos. So shall i name this kuih, "smiling lotus packed with treasure"?

Ingredients: ( Steamed Cake@ Kuih muih with slight changes)
200gm lotus roots ( peeled, cut into slices)
60gm minced dried shrimps
2 shallots, chopped

150gm rice flour
2 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp caster sugar
400ml water

1/2 tsp five spices powder
1/4 tsp salt ( can adjust to your taste)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
some pepper

some lotus root slices
some red chilli
chopped spring onions

1.Mix batter ingredients, stir lightly until well combined, starin well and keep aside.
2.Saute the chopped shallots on low heat till aromatic and add in the dried shrimps and seasoning, stir fry briskly.
3.Next, place in the lotus root slices, toss well.
4.Gradually add in batter, stir until thicken, remove , pour into a 20cmx20cm tray, level the surface and top with lotus slices.
5.Steam in the preheated steamer at high heat about 35-40mins or until cooked through. Remove from heat, leave to cool and sprinkle with chopped spring onions and chilli rings.


  1. Lena...this is so special...have not eaten lotus root cake before. I am going to try this out after the new year :) Thanks for sharing such a wonderful delicacy :

  2. This is new to me adding lotus root to steam kuih and I love the idea.

  3. Ooo this is new to me.. lotus root cake. Nice

  4. this is very new to me!! lotus root cake yum!

  5. I think my fridge is always full, no need to wait till Chinese New Year....haha. Love your lotus root kuih. I have not tried it but it looks very delicious. Sharon has been asking me to make radish kuih but I am a little lazy to make :P One fine day.....

  6. First time come across lotus root cake, very interesting. Thks for sharing ^_^

  7. elin, if you like radish cake, then probably you will like this one too.

    zoe,it's new to me too cos we dont see this selling at all.

    swee san, so nice to see you here, thought you've gone missing??

    jess: yes, not bad,,i think can be panfried too

    marymoh, you dont have to make this, ask sharon to do it!

    nyeeloh, it's also quite similiar to yam cake except you dont get the chunks of yam in this.

  8. Lena, first of all, my mom is getting very comfortable asking me to cook many things - don't encourage her! LOL. I had no idea about the meanings behind the different types of food. Like nian gao is greater heights. So interesting to know all that. Some people can be quite supertitious. My grandma doesn't sweep the floor haha. I love radish cake so I'll probably love this too. Looks fantastic and delicious!

  9. Haven't tried this before, usually I will have those fried one served at dim sum restaurant. Yours look yummy!

  10. This lotus root cake is certainly packed with many treasures. You do create the most delicious food, Lena! I'm terrible at cooking Asian delicacies so I'm learning a lot from your blog.

  11. This looks delicious! I think I can eat two plates of this anytime! He! He! BTW, my mom used to sweep the floor during CNY, the only thing is, she only sweeps to one corner away from everyone, and only cleared it away the next day! That way, you get to follow the beliefs that was passed down from one generation to the next and at the same time, your house will appear clean! How's that!

  12. I have never tried this before. Something new certainly looks delicious. I laughed when I read your post, especially the last part when you named this cake. It's so true that chinese can be quite superstitious. But I love all the names they give to the dishes, I'm not a supertitious person but it's just amazing how Chinese language has the ability to express something so clearly with just a few words. And the dishes always come out so pretty during CNY.

  13. Exactly, Lena! No black dress or shirt! No to all the gourds or melon or anything with the name of 'guo'! No sweeping but luckily we have vacuum cleaner so what we called technology. haha... We can still mopping the flour by using micro fiber flat mop because it doesn't look like a broom. haha... Rememer there's one advertisement about a granny asking for everything RED in the house but at the end her grandson brought home a N.... you know! haha.... The ad was so hilarious. haha...
    Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
    Cheers, Kristy

  14. Btw, Lena, are you born in the year of Roaster? :o)

  15. I can't tell you that I have tried this before because I don't even know how lotus root taste like. Very interesting recipe to try. I definitely like this savory cake with all the tasty ingredients.
    To answer your question about the kumquat, I say it is not bitter all to me but it has a slight astringent like after taste that is not at all unpleasant. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

  16. this is very special - never heard of nor tried before. looks great!

  17. I love the conventional Chinese steamed radish cake, so am delighted with this interesting twist - lotus root! Interesting...

    I really enjoy lotus root used in soups or even sliced thinly then fried (more like a snack) so I know the flavour would work really well here.

    And hooray for a full fridge! (In my parents' home, this includes a separate deep freezer filled with frozen fish, meats and seafood too. Scary, right?)

  18. Yummy! I've been thinking of making lotus root cake for a long long time.
    I don't think we need to purposely stuff the fridge full for CNY.
    Haha, with all the few days stock of food to anticipate the closing of the wet market, we will definately stuff the fridge, whether we want to or not.

    BTW, I'm waiting for your reply............. kekeke

  19. Lena! I was about to make these for Chinese New Year but with taro. Lotus root seems to be interesting twist. Colorful and delicious!

  20. Lena, this looks wonderful. I think it is above my skill level at the moment, but I'll save it for when I catch up. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  21. oh certainly this is new to me. My grandma made yam cake which I love at this season but lotus cake sounds just as lovely.

  22. sharon, there are many more on those superstitious beliefs, if you ask your grandparents, i'm sure they are able to tell you more.

    min, yeah the one that we have at dim sum rests are usually the fried radsih cakes, i dont think they have this lotus roots cakes.

    foodiva, thanks! there's a lot of stuff that i like from your blog too , a suprise discovery for me.

    kitchen flavour: sweeping to one corner, actually not a bad idea, i dint know about this one, ha!

    leny: yeah, chinese can also be very creative in names, they can very funny, sometimes weird but sometimes can also be very appropriate.

    kristy: ya, ya! i remember that one, that ad was really funny, i know about the 'guo 'too, some people will get rid of all the melons and avoid eating them during CNY especially bittergourd!
    rooster? no, i'm not..after that..

    hi arthur! yes, i would like to try out the kamquat syrup one day.let me just think of something to go with this first..

    yummy koh, it's my first time seeing these cake too in books, it's not a bad idea to serve this during cny.

    kenny, i know abt the deep fried ones that you mentioned, it's also selling here. i've tried them before, not bad actually. wow, i'm sure your family must be a very big one that your parents need a freezer separately to feed those hungry tummies!

    wendy, actually we dont really need to stuff the fridge with so much, for logical reasons, the wet market is closed so we might not able to get what we want to cook..hey, tesco is open , dont think they willbe closed for the new year.. oh, i will get back to you on that asap!

    victor, this is also very similiar to the radish or yam cake, if you want to try this, you can use your yam cake recipe and just subsitute the yam with the lotus roots.

    no mary, i think you will have no problem making this at all..but just that probably you wont be able to get some of the ingredients there like five spice powder..not sure but if you can find yam, this can be a good subsitute.

    hi daphne: i like yam cake too, if between the two, i think yam cake would be more flavourful ..this lotus root cake is also very nice except that it has a weaker flavour than yam.

  23. Hi Lena, it's me again! Just dropping by to let you know that I have extended an award to you. Please do drop by to collect it when you can. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  24. Ooo, I LOVE radish cake from dim sum restaurants. I haven't had lotus root cake before but I KNOW i'll love it. Thank you!

  25. Nope, just me, my parents and my sister's family (three kids, all teens) - we just eat A LOT. :P

  26. Looks similar to radish cake, I have not tried this!Does it taste the same?

  27. Update: Back in Melaka already and pigged out to the max. And it's not even CNY Eve + time for reunion dinner yet! :P

  28. roxan, maybe you can give this a try some day, i'm sure you will be able to make this!

    hi jeannie, yeah, this taste quite similiar to the radish cake but i think the bits of the lotus roots make it more crunchier compared to radish.

    kenny, glad to know that you're eating like a pig, that's what cny is all about besides getting together! hahaha! I'm sure you'll wipes the plates clean with all those delicious home cooked dishes from your mom. Dont worry about the calories, i know you got a big tummy, maybe you could take do a bit of exercise@ take mickey out for walk, come back and eat again!

  29. Hehe. I shall do exactly that... if only so Mickey gets some exercise too! Hahaha... :)

  30. Great idea using lotus root! Looks amazing!

  31. It is the most beautiful steamed cake I've ever seen!!! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too!

  32. This looks great! I have never had a lotus root cake before...I bet it was delicious! :)