Although as a family, we all like eating Chinese steamed cakes very much; whether it be the Brown cane sugar cake, the Turnip cake, Water chestnut cake or the Taro cake. In spite of this, I've never made them at any other time of year except in the weeks just before Chinese New year.
看見這班嘴饞的人那麼熱心，也讓我愈做愈起勁。在唐人超市看到很多應節的蓮藕，記起那天讀到很受歡迎的年輕網友 Chocolate muimui 介紹她試味的两款年糕，其中一款便是蓮藕糕。
Their keen interest have made me want to try something different this year. When I was out at the Chinese supermarket, I saw some really nice and seasonal lotus roots. The sight of them sparked a memory I had of reading a post written by the young and lovely and popular blogger Chocolate muimui, about her test tasting a couple of steamed cakes. One of them was Lotus root cake.
There are only a handful of other experiences that I can recall having tasted or read about cakes made with lotus roots. Once was during a summer holiday when I was a teenager; I went to visit my mum's family village in China with her, and my grandmother made a lovely and cool, silky smooth lotus root cake, which I remember fondly to this day. The other times were whenever I read one of the greatest Chinese novels ' The dream of the red chamber'; the part when the 'sweet olive lotus cakes' among other sweet rolls were brought to the old mistress of the house, the descriptions of which always made me so hungry.
However, despite of my positive recollections, I haven't eaten or read about Lotus root cake in a very long time.
So I brought some fresh lotus roots home, planning to make two type of cakes; one sweet and one savoury. Surprisingly, my husband asked me to make the savoury one first. I suspect this is because he likes the preserved Chinese sausage and belly pork which are going to be in the cake.
The lotus roots tasted sweet and crunchy after being cooked. I mixed it with Chu Hou paste, five spice powder, shallots, Chinese mushrooms, dried shrimps and the preserved meat together to make the steamed cakes, and lightly pan-fried it on both sides before serving. The tasty and aromatic smell was so delicious. During the Lunar New Year festival, they will be very well received either as celebration food or as a gift.
( 2 個 8" 糕盤份量 )
- 去皮去節洗淨的蓮藕 600g
- 粘米粉 3 1/2 杯 ( 250ml 量杯)
- 澄麵粉 1/2 杯 ( 250ml 量杯)
- 粟粉 1 湯匙
- 水 4 杯
- 臘腸 1 條
- 冬菇 8 - 10隻
- 蝦米 2 湯匙
- 紅葱頭 4 粒
- 柱侯醬 3 -4 湯匙
- 生抽 1 湯匙
- 鹽 2 茶匙
- 五香粉 2 茶匙
- 糖 2 茶匙
- 麻油 2 茶匙
- 胡椒粉 2 茶匙
Lotus Root Cake【Chinese New Year Celebration Cake】
( makes 2 x 8" round cakes )
- 600g peeled, washed and sectioned lotus roots.
- 3 1/2 cups rice flour ( 250ml cup)
- 1/2 cups wheat starch ( 250ml cup)
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 4 cups water
- 1 wind dried Chinese pork sausage
- 1/2 strip wind dried Chinese belly pork
- 8 - 10 dried Chinese mushrooms ( dried shitake mushroom )
- 2 tbsp dried small shrimps
- 3 shallots
- 3 - 4 tbsp Chu Hou paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp five spice powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp seasame oil
- 2 tsp ground white pepper
- 蓮藕先切成 1 cm 厚度圓徑，再切成 1cm 左右方塊小粒，小煲內加水蓋過，大火滾開後用小火煮 5 分鐘右右至稔，過冷水瀝乾備用。
- 鍋燒紅，下油 1 湯匙爆香紅蔥頭，再下臘腸臘肉炒香，加入冬菇蝦米，炒乾後傾入藕粒，兜拌片刻，加入調味料再炒數分鐘入味。
- 將粘米粉、澄麵粉、粟粉和水在大煲內攬勻，加 2 茶匙鹽和 1 湯匙油；傾入鍋中混和餡料繼續用小火煮至半熟 ( 約 5 鐘 )，要不斷攪拌以免黏底。
- 把粉漿連餡料均勻平分在兩個底部先掃油然後鋪油紙 ( 容易固定)，再在油紙和週圍已掃油的烤盤內，注意為了要把每個角落都填滿粉漿，要隨加隨輕輕按實，撥平，包上保鮮紙。放進兩層蒸爐內，如用單層蒸爐則分兩次，隔水大火蒸 50 - 60 分鐘。用筷子插入抽出沒很多黏物便成。取出拿去保鮮紙，待涼後反扣大碟上。完全涼透後可包保鮮紙或錫紙置冰箱內保存一星期以內。要吃時才取出切塊煎熱享用。伴以芝麻和甜辣醬。
- Cut lotus roots into 1cm slices, then cross cutting each slice into 1 cm cubes. Put the lotus root cubes into a small pan, covered with water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes till soft, rinse with cold water, drained and leave to one side.
- Trim off the fat from the dried preserved pork, place it into a small pan of boiling water with the sausage to blanch, then cut into small pieces. Soaked the Chinese mushrooms till soft; washed, squeezed the water out and cut into small cubes. Soaked the dried shrimps till soft. Finely chopped the shallots.
- Heat pan and add 1 tbsp oil, fried the shallots, sausage and pork till soft, then add the mushrooms and shrimps, followed by the lotus roots. Mix in the seasoning and stir - fried everything together for a few minutes until well cooked and seasoned.
- Put all the flour in a big pan, add water, 1tbsp oil and 2tsp salt, stir until the batter are all combined and smooth. Pour the batter into the pan of cooked ingredients, continue to cook on low heat for about 5 minutes so the flour mixture is half cooked. Stir around all the time to prevent it from sticking onto the bottom.
- Spread the mixture evenly and press down gently into the two lined and oiled tins. Cover with cling film and place in a two tiers steamer on high heat, to steam for 50 - 60 minutes. When insert a chopsticks into centre of the steamed cake, when pulled out quite clean then its cooked. Remove the cling film and allow the cake to cool, before cover the top of the cakes with a large plate each and turn them over. Cut the cake into slices when it's cooled completely. Pan fried lightly on each side, to serve with sesame seeds and sweet chili sauce. The rest of the cakes can be cover and kept in the fridge for about a week.
This brand new addition to our favourite New Year steamed cakes list will definitely make a repeat appearance next year. ( Please note: The slices of these cakes in my pictures seem to be untidy and uneven, it's because a certain someone wouldn't let me wait until they had been cooled enough to cut, and insisted on doing it himself! The resulting cake slices all have different thickness. His explanation was that it will add to the homely rustic appeal! )