Chinese New Year Turnip Cake


This recipe is handed down from my mom's mom. This is NOT a dessert (not sweet), but more like a 'quick bread' for the Chinese. This 'cake' is usually made and eaten during the Chinese New Year or its slices are usually found all year round among the DIM-SUMs in the Chinese restaurants. You can chill it in the fridge, but it should always be eaten HOT after re-heating either in the microwave, or frying in a few tablespoons of oil. This cake can be kept for 1 week in the fridge (but usually it's finished within a day!!)

6 to 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 8 ounces Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked overnight in water

  • cup dried shrimp, soaked in water overnight and drained

  • 1 pound pork sausage, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 slices fresh ginger root

  • 3 turnips, shredded

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper

  • pound white rice flour


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms, shrimp and sausages and saute for 1/2 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside. Heat 1 more tablespoon oil in wok/skillet. Add ginger and saute a bit. Add shredded turnips and stir fry for about 3 minutes (do NOT remove turnip water). Add 5-spice powder, salt, chicken bouillon and white pepper and toss all together until evenly distributed. Extract ginger slices from mixture.

  2. Turn off heat. Top turnip mixture with rice flour and use chopsticks to toss and mix flour in evenly. Add reserved sausage mixture and toss to mix in. Remove mixture from wok/skillet and place into a 9x2 inch deep round cake pan.

  3. Clean wok/skillet, fill with water and bring to a boil. Place cake pan on a round wire rack over boiling water. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, steaming cake 'batter', for 45 minutes. (Note: you can also use a large bamboo steamer if you have one). When 'cake' is steamed through, slice into pieces and serve hot OR cool on wire rack before covering tightly with plastic wrap and placing in refrigerator to chill.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

629 Calories
30g Fat
75g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 629
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 1504mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 75g 27%
Dietary Fiber 29g 104%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 14mg 70%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 635mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.